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  • Sara

Mindfulness On the Go

We all have very busy lives that sometimes cause us to jump into autopilot mode. We can have so many things on our plates that it seems impossible to keep up with. If we let everything sit, though, the list just gets longer. So, we kick it into high gear and go a hundred miles an hour to get everything done…until we can’t. And during our efforts to beat the clock, we can feel like we don’t have time to think about anything off of our to-do lists, especially ourselves.

You might recognize this feeling if you’ve ever started a task and then finished it but don’t quite remember doing it, like eating a meal or drinking a third or fourth cup of coffee. Or if you have hopped in the car and reached your destination but don’t remember the drive to get there. Are you missing the sunglasses on your head or the phone in your pocket? Those are the days that are so jam-packed, they’re barely memorable except for the long-lasting effects they have on our mental health.

These are examples of mindlessness and zoning out. This is especially common when we have just way too much on our plates and don’t take a breather or two when we need it throughout the day. If we don’t take the time to relax here and there, our bodies get stuck in fight or flight and it’s next to impossible to return to a baseline state. Instead, we get stuck in a state of anxiety and don’t know how to come down and feel “normal” again.

This is precisely when mindfulness can be used to allow the mind and body to feel calmer. With so many to-dos and so many priorities, you might be thinking that you don’t have time for mindfulness, but I bet there are ways that you can incorporate it into your day, even when you are on the go. Practicing mindfulness can be a great way to stay in tune with your surroundings, and recognize important signs and information about our life, relationships, and health. When we put effort into paying more careful attention, we can naturally be present in the moment, and this will automatically set our mind at ease.

These are also the days that mindfulness can help us re-center our thoughts and reduce feelings of overwhelm, so contrary to what your automatic reaction might be to incorporating it into your busy schedule, it could be the most important thing on your list of to-dos.

Mindfulness is not something that needs to only be practiced at home or at bedtime. It only takes a few minutes and can be practiced (literally) anywhere. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ways that you can practice mindfulness from wherever you’re carrying out your day:

Notice when you are being too hard on yourself – This can be something that you do every time you start to feel those core beliefs of unworthiness, ‘being bad,’ or not being enough creep in. Try to notice when you are having an internal monologue of being too hard on yourself. Your inner critic often shows up when you have lots to do so it can remind you that you won’t be able to keep up. Tune in to those negative thoughts and see if you can reframe them to be kinder to yourself. Counter your inner critic with an inner hero. In those moments, try to turn your thoughts from negative to positive, and incorporate a gentler inner monologue with affirmations like, “You’re doing the best you can; You’re only one person, etc.” The more often you pause to do this, the more likely it’ll eventually stick, and your mind will start to turn to your hero first.

Give in to relaxation – Even if you take a few deep breaths while driving somewhere or give yourself a five-minute break to take a walk while you are at work, moments of relaxation throughout your day can do wonders. When relaxing, make sure to be in tune with your surroundings so that you stay mindful. You might also want to take a few deep breaths, taking in the fresh air and being mindful of all five senses in that moment.

Practice staying present – It can be easier to turn away from painful or difficult events in our life, but it might be time to start facing the hard parts of life so that you are more open to possibilities in every situation. Your chances of healing are much higher if you face things in the moment and allow yourself to be present with what you are feeling. We can’t outrun things in life that cause us stress or pain, all we can do is sit with those emotions and try to find clarity about what to do next.

Mindfulness doesn’t always need to mean engaging in long meditative sessions or journaling, it can be mini moments throughout your day that’ll provide the opportunity to be more in tune with yourself and how you’re feeling in the moment. Next time you are out and about, don’t shy away from being mindful. You might be surprised by what you notice.


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