5 Mindful Tips to Get You Through A Busy Week
Photo by: Alen Palander
Ever experience a day or week that you wish there was just a little more time between sunrise and sunset? The word “busy” is subjective to each and every individual! However, becoming mindful during busy times is a practice for all. In between the text messages, email responses, client meetings, phone calls, racing thoughts, deadlines (this list could go on forever), there must be time for a few moments of mindfulness to keep us from totally crashing. Are there ever times when your mind jumps through your to-do list so fast that you feel like you’re spinning? This is a good indication that your busy week has pushed you into a stress overload.
We’ve all been there, including those who practice mindfulness often. We’ve taken our experiences and those around us and compiled this short list of five mindful tips that can help people from all walks of life get through a busy week with less stress.
1. One Minute Meditation
When you’re immersed in multiple tasks taking the time to meditate may seem like you’re just adding more to your (what may seem) endless to-do list. Meditation does not need to be time-consuming. Sparing one minute for meditating can recenter the mind to a state of well-being and subside stress.
If you’re reading this, it’s an indication that you (one) have a minute to spare and (two) you’re consciously searching for additional tools for achieving mindfulness. No matter the time of day, take a break to test this one-minute meditation practice.
Find a comfortable place to sit.
Use your phone as a timer - set for 1 minute (or more)
Close your eyes.
Clear your mind of pressing thoughts.
Take a deep breath in for 4 seconds.
Hold your breath for 4 seconds.
Release for 4 seconds.
Repeat the breathing practice for one minute.
2. Energized Decision Making
Making big decisions are rarely a simple task, especially when the mind is occupied with numerous responsibilities. Because of this, it’s important to make tough decisions when your mind and body are most energized. This will help ensure that the choice made is best for the situation at hand.
Being in an energized state is depended on the person. Whether you’re a morning person (lark) or a night person (owl), could be a good indication of when you should make big decisions. No matter the time of day, there are a few factors that larks and owls should consider before committing to a choice:
Be well rested.
Have a full stomach.
Weigh the pros and cons.
Possess a calm state of mind.
If you’re having trouble maintaining a calm state of mind, maybe you could incorporate a one-minute meditation break before attempting to make that big decision.
3. Set an Alarm for Time Out
When you’re busy it can feel as though emails, texts, social media notifications are flooding your life. In one of our recent blog posts, 5 Ways to Take a Digital Detox, we highlight a study that suggests the average person touches a phone 2,619 times a day and the top 10% of heavy users had 5,427 touches a day.
The ding/beep/charm of an email or text can instill a feeling of anxiousness which in turn can create stress. This can be very overwhelming, especially during times of busyness. But what if you embraced notifications as a moment to recenter the mind. This will take a little mental retraining, but it is very possible. Use these sound (or vibration) notifications as trigger reminders to take a deep breath to become present again and recalibrate priorities on your task list.
Next time you hear a ding from an email, instead of checking in right away - give yourself a pat on the back for everything you’ve accomplished so far in the day.
If this doesn’t work for you, set yourself an alarm to go off at some point in the day. Name the alarm something clever to remind you to refocus or use a positive affirmation - You Got This! Take a Break! You’re doing great. Keep going!
4. Gratitude & Respect for All
However busy you may be, there’s a good chance you encounter a lot of different people, either face-to-face or via email. It is important to remember that everyone around you might not understand how much you have going on at the moment. Just because you’re busy and your mind is moving faster than usual doesn’t mean that you should treat people differently or with less respect than normal.
Showing gratitude to others does not need to be a grand gesture. When you’re over-extended remember to:
Be an active listener.
Make eye contact.
Give a compliment.
Explain your appreciation.
These are just a few simple ways (of many) to show peers your gratitude and respect. And these actions will take you a long way and only take you a matter of seconds to express.
5. Food for Focus
During high times, you likely put your own needs and health to the back burner - this is a big mistake. Mr. Maslow himself outlined basic human needs in his Hierarchy of Needs pyramid. Before anything, even our deepest desires, we need nutrition to fuel our minds.
During a busy week, do you ever skip meals, resort to fast food or binge eat? If any of these scenarios are off course from your regular eating habits, it could be a sign of stress or that you’re “eating” your emotions.
When you have a lot on your plate (pun intended), you need the proper food consumption to fuel your mind, energize your body, and maintain positive spirits.
Here is a list of healthy food that you can carry with you and will help boost your train of thought for those busy days:
Blueberries - A great boost for concentration and memory.
Green tea - The caffeine will improve alertness and focus.
Dark Chocolate - The magnesium helps de-stress and simulates a release of endorphins.
Avocado - Improves blood flow to the brain.
H2O - Staying hydrated helps you think faster with greater clarity.
More brain-boosting superfoods here.
These are just a few snack ideas to keep you moving. Be sure to eat well-balanced meals throughout your day. Looking to mix up your meal plan. Check out our 21 delicious detox recipes for a little additional inspiration.