Mindfulness: No More “Why Did I Just…” Moments

mindfulness

Please tell me I’m not the only person who has eaten half bag of trail mix or half dozen (or more!) mini Reese’s cups and then stop and say “Why did I just do that???”  Can anybody relate??  It’s like I lose my mind for a minute only to realize (too late!) that I just made a poor choice!

 

Mindfulness.

 

Let’s start with a dictionary.com definition:  “a technique in which one focuses one’s full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them.”  

So first of all, WHEN do we have time to focus full attention only on the present???  Aren’t we usually doing 3 things or more at once?  

AND, what’s this “not judging” business?  I’m bad or a cheater if I eat half bag of M&Ms right??  I need to punish myself.  I need to verbally beat myself up.  

I’d like to propose that we can begin to take some steps towards mindfulness to reduce (and eventually rid ourselves of) “Why did I just….” moments!

I find that I have these out-of-control, mindless  moments most often when I’m tired, stressed, overwhelmed.  I’ve had it.  I’m over it.  I have no willpower or self-control left.  My tank is empty, and I think my tummy is too!  So I go on a spree before I realize what I’ve done.  

 

Mindfulness.

 

I believe that when we slow down, even a little, and take care of a few areas of our lives, we become more mindful.  It’s what we do in the other 23 hours and 55 minutes of our day that will save us from ourselves in those 5 minutes of losing our minds.  And it boils down to taking care of ourselves.  

Earlier this week I posted a picture of me getting a mani/pedi while reading a book and said that this is something that helps me stay mindful.  Now, how is that?  Those things (even though that mani/pedi was the first one I’d had in 2 months) provide some relaxation.  I took about an hour out of my day for some self-care.  I have a half marathon on Saturday.  I had PMS.  I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed with a few things.  I needed to take care of me.

Girls, it’s okay to take care of yourself.  You are better for everyone when you take a little time for you.  Because this is how it goes otherwise…..back to our scenario of “Why did I just do that?”  If one of those moments happen, then it leads to feeling bad about yourself, the negative chatter in your mind, and it all spirals out of control.  

So a key thing to help you stay mindful is self care.  It could be in the form of mani/pedi, a massage, bubble bath.  Whatever says “pamper me” to you.  

As I mentioned, when I’m tired it’s easier for me to have those out-of-control moments.  I think I need “fuel” and not in the form of lean protein or my superfood shake.  It’s usually in the form of chocolate!

When we’re well-rested and feeding our bodies proper fuel, it’s easier for us to practice mindfulness.  We have energy.  We’re not dragging in the mid-afternoon grabbing for a quick pick-me-up.  

Here’s the thing, when we have more energy and mental focus, we can Experience the signals we’re getting from our bodies and then properly Assess them as to whether to Take action.  

We’ll call it the EAT strategy 😉 When we begin to condition ourselves to slow down in other areas….taking the 5 minutes for quiet time, a bubble bath after the kids go to bed, a 10 minute walk before everyone else wakes up, scheduling an hour once a month for a mani/pedi….we can slow down in response to our hunger and craving signals and begin to assess what, if any, action we need to take to satisfy that urge.  

It’s a practice.  I still have moments.  In fact, a common phrase I use is “I need a moment”.  My son knows it’s like a “mom time out”.  I need to get my head right and my attitude right before I respond to anything or anyone.  

If you want more on mindfulness and exclusive content, sign up for my weekly email here.

Additionally, I have a free group starting on Monday April 11.  We’ll be talking about mindfulness and a whole lot more as it relates to your faith and fitness journey.  If you need some support and encouragement, reach out to me.  I’d love to have you in the group!  

 

I wanna hear from you….

When do you feel most out of control?  

Do you have a key word or phrase that lets your family know you “need a moment”?

How do you stay mindful?

How to Make Time for a Time Out

relax

“What do you do to relax?”

I once asked this to a group of women and got the reply, “Relax.  What’s that?”  

 

In this “hurry up” society when everything is at our fingertips, and Starbucks will now have our coffee ready when we arrive, we don’t know how to relax.  Stress relieving activities.  What are those?  And if we knew them, why would we do them?  We don’t have time!!  

Given that it’s Spring Break around here, I thought I’d spend a day on this topic of taking a time out.  We’re not going anywhere this week, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find time in our day to relax, decompress, or take a time out.  

These days people think they have to take a vacation, go to the beach, or camp out to relax.  But even then, they’re tied to their iphones, ipads, electronics, etc.  

 

So how, in our everyday lives, do we build in time to relax, decompress, take a time out?  In this day and age driven by stress, HOW can we build in some relief?  

 

  1. Breathe – No really, just BREATHE.  Take a minute, seriously, just one minute, and focus on your breath.  Feel and hear the inhale.  Feel and hear the exhale.  It can be calming.  It can help you focus and get you centered.  Eventually the minute will extend to two minutes then five minutes.  Then maybe you can think of doing this upon waking and before going to bed and anytime through the day when you realize you need to focus or need a time out.  
  2. Read – Find a book of five minute devotions or scripture readings.  You may enjoy poetry or even a few pages of a novel.  
  3. Get outside – Take a leisure walk.  Maybe take your lunch outside.  Open your blinds or windows if you can’t get outside.  Let the sun shine in!
  4. Gratitude – Take note of things for which you are grateful.  Keep a journal.  When you lay down at night or wake up in the morning, write down 3-5 things that you are thankful for.
  5. Self-Care – Soak in a warm bath.  Schedule a manicure or pedicure.  Or just take 15 minutes to do your own nails.  Massage.

 

Now when are you going to do this?  

You can start with five minutes.

  • It may mean getting up five minutes early.  
  • It may mean catching yourself when you’re scrolling social media and instead close your eyes and breathe for a couple of minutes.  
  • It may mean that when you are out doing errands, just park a little bit farther away and walk to your destination.  Feel the warm sun or the breeze as you go.  

So whether you’re on a beach this week or working 9-5, do yourself a favor and take a time out.  I dare you!

 

Do you find it difficult to relax?

How do you work in daily time outs?  

I know my list isn’t complete.  What are some other ways to sneak in some stress relief?