7 Mindfulness Tips to help you push through the rest of 2019
It is an epically busy and manic time for many of us in business – because we are trying to tie up loose ends, so we can actually enjoy a Christmas break with loved-ones ... or maybe your business thrives over the festive period and this is the reason you are super busy? – because your break doesn’t hit until next year! ... Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves – because we do still have several weeks before 2020, and so here are 7 mindfulness tips to keep you on track for the remainder of 2019:
#1 Take Five Out
Set your alarm five minutes earlier than usual and lay in bed for this short period – take a deep breath and smile (I know tough sometimes) but waking up in your healthy state, and in your comfy bed are actually really significant things to be grateful for. And when we are grateful, we naturally smile and as a result getting out of bed becomes easier. Carry this gratitude with you all day – and yes smile lots.
#2 Past, Present, Future
Some believe that being present means that the past and the future do not exist. This is a myth. Being present or mindful is understanding that we do not trip up on our past or worry about what has already happened and we do not fret about what is yet to come in the future ... The present is ever present – it is happening always – so we still have to be aware of our next choices, and we must still be able to reflect.
Understanding that we can only do what we can in any given moment we are doing it means that we are focusing all that energy into that task – making it easier to be productive and to progress.
Mindfulness also refers to not making assumptions, not taking anything personally, and reserving judgement. This is why there is a sense of freedom attached to being mindful.
#3 Pause Before Responding
Patience and tolerance lowers during time of stress, and our professional filters can be compromised. It is vital that whenever interacting with another – either at home or at work, or in a social environment, even with strangers – at this time of year, when everyone has stresses they are coping with, that we pause before responding.
And breath. Then speak.
Do not allow emotions to drive your communication. Relax your shoulders so your body language translates in this way and just consider the words you say before you say them. As the age-old cliché goes – ‘if you can’t say anything nice (or non-constructive in this case), then don’t say anything at all – that is, until you have considered exactly what it is you are trying to communicate in the most efficient and beneficial way for all involved. And in most circumstances, a short pause and deep breath is all that is needed for a considered response.
#4 Conscious Breathing
This is so relevant for business and even more so around this time of year with those anxiety-inducing Christmas shopping trips or planned family lunches: There can be chaos around us – at the office, in the board rooms, at home, in the shopping centres, on the roads – yet if we concentrate on the breath that is entering at the point of the nostrils and leaving at the point of the nostrils – then chaos ceases to penetrate us – Leave your mouth closed and jaw relaxed, expression light and muscles non-tensed then experience what is occurring around you not only with clarity, but with a barrier of conscious breath that helps stop you from getting overwhelmed by your surroundings. I actually relaxed just writing that – hoping it had the same effect on you reading it.
#5 Mindful Meals
Eat sensibly! Sorry if I sound like your mum – but the more tired and stressed we are, the easier it is to grab for a quick sugar fix or a caffeine hit ... these are just going to give you bigger drops in energy and the vicious cycle begins. Be prepped with nuts, dates and seeds – these are beyond incredible – full of nutrients and minerals that are required by humans daily. Eat stuff that has little to no packaging and that doesn’t need a massive label to describe what it actual is. Prepping food the night before can be helpful and a good switch-off time before you get ready for bed. Also, not doing anything else when you are eating or drinking other than chewing, swallowing and enjoying the food is mindful eating – No quick meals over the laptop or rushing to the next meeting shoving a sushi roll in your chops.
One of my favourite things to do when drinking refreshing water is to imagine the water reaching all parts of my body and nourishing me. I know I’m oversharing – but don’t knock it until you’ve tried this mindful way of drinking water.
#6 Refresh Before Bed
Even if you feel that your mind is racing and your body is pumped and as a result you are working until early hours of the morning to stay on track ... whatever time you switch off from work – ensure you have a refreshing shower.
Listen to the sound of the water and allow your thoughts to drift away down the plug hole as you cleanse your body and calm your breathing. Sing if you want to - it’s a great way to let express and relax. Then just get straight into bed. Do NOT look at any device or work-related material at that point ... DON’T DO IT!
#7 Slumber Time
Be mindful that whilst you have lots to do, the most important thing is your rest – so ensure you get a good quality stretch of sleep. Without a decent sleep, our clarity slips, and our productivity decreases. Quality of sleep correlates with quality of work, not to mention avoids the dreaded burnout that can creep-up just in time for the holidays. Be mindful of your health during this business-festive season!
Check out my free monthly sleep Podcast: Sleepless in the City.