Hanna Asheber is a second-year undergraduate student in the health sciences field at the University of Western Ontario. She has a passion for learning and spreading knowledge on the importance of health and in this blog discusses the benefits of mindfulness and how it can be incorporated into one’s daily routine.
When was the last time you set everything aside and just took a deep breath? We live in a fast-paced society where it’s become hard to take things slow because life just feels like a competition of who can be the most productive. Whether that’s feeling too busy because of stressful deadlines and countless assignments, or feeling overwhelmed by the news and social media, I am sure you can agree that we could all use the time to breathe some days.
Being mindful has many benefits. For one, it helps decrease our stress levels - and I think it’s safe to say that these are proving to be one of the most stressful times for a lot of us. Practicing mindfulness allows us to fight diseases better and lower any depressive symptoms. Overall, being mindful increases our general well-being and now more than ever, it’s so important to prioritize your health above all else.
So you might be asking yourself, “well, I know why it’s good for me but I don’t have time for it!” And to that I say, being mindful doesn’t have to be excessive like a 10-step Korean skincare routine. It’s the little things that count! Being mindful is a form of self-care and is easy as bringing awareness to your daily tasks. By putting yourself first for 5 minutes of your day, you can experience all the benefits of mindfulness. So here are 5 ways you can incorporate mindfulness into your busy life!
1. Take a deep breath
Although it sounds simple and cliche, deep breathing has shown great health benefits. By concentrating on something you do thousands of times throughout the day, your mind can take a break from the daunting and stressful tasks ahead.
2. Take up journaling
Now I’m not telling you to write a 3-page essay about your feelings every day, but by writing small things you want to accomplish or have already done, you create a self-made record of your progression. To make this task easier, you can search up short prompts and set aside 5 minutes of your day to write whatever your heart desires! Some things I journal about are: my highlight of the day, 3 things I am grateful for today, how I am feeling today, and sometimes simply just doodle. There are no rules!
3. Practice mindful eating
As a student with a constant on-the-go life, I know how tempting it can be to bring your laptop or phone to the kitchen table and work while you eat. Even if you think this is saving you time, it might cost more than you know. By being conscious of what you’re putting into your body, you start to appreciate life’s little blessings and become aware of your body’s fullness cues which helps prevent overeating.
4. Put your phone on do not disturb
As most of us are now working from home, there’s no one to monitor whether we’re being productive or not. It then becomes so much easier to veer off track and end up on TikTok for hours. Making yourself unavailable to others brings a sense of peace and creates time for you to check things off your to-do list.
5. Get your dance pants on
Once again, our situation right now makes it hard to enjoy the little things in life like walking to class or work or just getting outside. Our bodies benefit so much from moving, so by intentionally making time to be active, you're doing your body wonders! This doesn’t have to be an hour-long session. You can stretch or have a mini dance party. Do whatever makes you feel good!
Incorporating these 5 easy tips into your life can make the world of a difference. Being mindful doesn’t always mean practicing yoga or meditating every day. It’s the idea of being a conscious individual and enjoying life’s little pleasures! I hope these tips help you start your days by putting yourself first and incorporating mindfulness in everything you do.