As 2018 comes to a close, you might be feeling your motivation draining a little in more ways than one — I know I have. The end of the year is always a busy time, and personally, the holidays have kept me so preoccupied that I’ve been neglecting my mindfulness practice for a while, and I’ve definitely been feeling the repercussions. If you feel like you’re kind of in the same boat, don’t worry: Figuring out how to be more mindful in 2019 isn’t as hard as you think, so get ready to leave those scatterbrained feels behind in 2018 where they belong.
At its core, mindfulness is about being fully aware and grounded in the present moment, without judging any fleeting thoughts or feelings you might have, Lisa Sussman, LMHC, clinical director at The Palm Beach Institute, a Delphi Behavioral Health Group, told Elite Daily back in July. TBH, though, the definition of mindfulness alone might be enough to leave you feeling overwhelmed.
But mindfulness doesn’t have to feel like a chore. In practice, finding ways to be more in-tune with your own needs can be tremendously simple, and once you get into the groove of it, you’d be surprised by how easily things can fall into place. Here are seven ways to bring a little mindfulness into all that you do in 2019.
Be Kind To Yourself
Are you your own worst critic? Same, friend — but 2019 is the year to officially cut that ish out. "Practice self-compassion and love [in the new year]," suggests Jaime Vinck, MC, LPC, NCC, CEIP, chief executive officer at Sierra Tucson.
I know it’s easier said than done, but a really straightforward way to start being kinder to yourself is to simply avoid saying (or thinking) anything to yourself that you would not say to a friend. Better yet, commit to giving yourself just one compliment, or saying one nice thing to yourself each day, even if it’s as simple as "I am enough."
Notice When Social Media Makes You Feel Crappy
Being more mindful can include practicing balance when using social media, says Vinck. "Limit time for specific sites, and hold yourself accountable," she tells Elite Daily in an email.
In other words, be real with yourself about the difference between scrolling through Instagram for a few minutes to simply pass the time, and losing yourself in a depressing black hole of awfulness on Twitter. You know you know the difference — I see you stalking your high school nemesis still, girl.
Use All Five Of Your Senses
Yes, seriously. According to Katie Mac Jurado, MA, LMFT, CCTP, a therapist baed in Minneapolis, getting in tune with your senses can help you be more mindful all-around.
"Incorporate all five senses into your space," she suggests in an email to Elite Daily. "Earth-toned colors, plants, or images of nature, soothing music or white noise, pine- or lavender-scented candles, cozy sweaters and blankets, and a healthy snack will all center you and promote mindfulness."
Move Daily, In Any Way That Feels Good For You
“Movement is so important to me, and I’m truly in my personal flow state when I’m dancing or working out," ClassPass founder and executive chairman, Payal Kadakia, tells Elite Daily. "I like to be present all day long, and movement helps me to hone my focus so I can be at my best when it counts."
Keep in mind, this doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym every single day after work. Kadakia suggests incorporating movement into your day whenever you see the opportunity to do so. "Shake up your productivity routine by taking a call during a stroll around the block, or hold a walk-and-talk meeting around the office," she explains.
Keep A Stash Of Snacks On-Hand At All Times
Honestly, there’s nothing worse than being hangry, and taking five for a snack can be a really easy, yet effective way to check in with yourself.
"I love foods like almonds because they’re that perfect in-between snack to give me the sustenance I need to power through my meetings or work travel," says Kadakia. Try keeping a stash of almonds (or any energizing snack that makes you feel good) in your bag, desk drawer, or car cupholder to keep you fueled and focused throughout the day.
"Reduce stress with mindful breathing," says Dr. Nadia Sabri, a board-certified pediatrician and founder of The Mindful MD Mom.
Dr. Sabri tells Elite Daily that mindful breathing — which simply means taking a moment to focus solely on inhaling through the nose and slowly exhaling through the mouth — can help to activate your body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn can slow down your heart rate, bring down stress levels, and promote feelings of calm.
Take Time To Recognize What You’re Grateful For
Whether it’s a list you write in a notebook, or a few notes you jot down in your phone, take a few minutes from time to time in 2019 to name the things you’re grateful for in your life, and refer to that list when you’re feeling down.
"Instead of focusing on [what you lack] in your life," Dr. Sabri explains, "bring your awareness to all that is present."
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