Last Updated on April 20, 2022 by Melissa S.
Increasingly, we all lead busy lives where overwhelm and burnout are commonplace. Whether you’re balancing a career with the responsibilities of parenthood, or a busy stay at home mum trying to side hustle around nap time, as well as keep on top of the housework, taking time for ourselves can be something that is sorely neglected.
However in recent years, the practise of mindfulness and its benefits has become more and more prominent. Although there are some great paid tools and apps out there to assist with this process, there are also some great ways to practise mindfulness for free.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the act of being present in the moment, bringing all your attention to what you are doing and feeling. When we are mindful, we can be more aware of our thoughts, emotions, behaviors and sensations without judging them or trying to change them.
It is all too easy to spend our days “going through the motions” without really considering what we are doing or appreciating what is around us. By practising mindfulness you may even find it has a positive impact on your bank balance as you become more aware of your actions – spending included!
Be present in the moment
Being present in the moment is a key component of mindfulness. Being mindful means to pay attention, but it does not mean that you are constantly thinking about what happened yesterday, or worrying about what might happen tomorrow. In other words, being present means being aware of your surroundings and experiencing them fully without judgment or distraction.
We are all familiar with expressions such as “mindless spending” or “mindless eating”. Being mindful of spending and other actions means we are much less likely to waste money as we become more conscious of our spending habits and identify any self sabotaging patterns.
Take a mindfulness break with an online card game
If you’re feeling burnout, whether from your side hustle, main job or housework, taking a mindfulness break can re-energise you and increase productivity when you begin work again.
Computer games can be expensive and time consuming, so if you are looking for a quick mindfulness break to play a calming brain teaser, online card games are perfect.
I am a big fan of the classic Solitaire, and playing this version brought back so many memories of my first windows laptop in the early 2000s when I would play it for hours!
Spider Solitaire (pictured above) is another of my favourites. It is a variation on the classic, where full suits of cards need to be matched to create a royal flush. I find that playing calming puzzle and card based games that can be concluded in around 20 minutes is a great way to take a mindfulness break when feeling overwhelmed.
Mindful eating is a way of paying attention to the sensations and thoughts that arise during a meal. This can help you to eat more slowly, take in all the smells and tastes, savour every mouthful and notice when your body feels satisfied.
Again, the benefits of mindful eating vs mindless eating are plenty – not only are you likely to make healthier choices and smaller portion sizes, but this could have a positive effect on your bank balance when you choose to swap takeaways and eating out for home cooking more often.
Go for a walk
Nature walks are a great mindfulness practice. In nature, you can get in touch with your senses and become aware of the beauty that surrounds you. You can also notice anything that is out of place or unusual, like an animal, bird or plants growing in unlikely places.
The best thing about walking is it is good for you, and completely free.
Avoid doing too many tasks at once
Doing too many tasks at once can cause you to become overwhelmed. It is often the case that when we are doing more than one task at a time, we tend to do them poorly. It also greatly increases our risk of burnout.
It is much better to focus on one task at a time, setting a timer if necessary, and work on it exclusively. You may find you get far more done this way, and avoid the feelings of overwhelm.
How will you practise mindfulness?
In summary, the benefits of practising mindfulness include learning to be non-reactive, less anxious and less stressed. Mindfulness can help people become more focused on the present moment, which is a healthy way to manage our thoughts and emotions.
By adapting just one or two of the ideas in this post, you could improve your productivity, stress levels and health. Which tips are you planning on following? be sure to leave me a comment below and let me know.