Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Amazon. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
Now that another new year is just around the corner, I’m making an effort to approach it in a new way. In other words, instead of putting too much emphasis on achieving certain pre-set goals, I’ve decided to pay more attention to myself and my true well-being.
In short, I plan to put more effort into practicing mindfulness and make it a part of my daily self care routine.
What is Mindfulness?
Put it simply, mindfulness is all about staying and living at the present. It is about taking in the moment, accepting yourself and your surroundings and gaining at least a degree of peace and calm in the process.
As we are all aware, modern life is getting hectic by the day and the stress levels in our daily life are going up. Then, in the name of entertainment and leisure, we are now exposed to any number of distractions. So, it’s no wonder that at any given moment, our minds are always wandering at too many places—and we seldom are where we really are.
This is why practicing mindfulness has become necessary more than ever today, well at least in my life. However, as with everything, it takes time and effort to be mindful, to be aware, and to be “present.”
So, following are some practices that I integrate into my daily life to stay steady and focused and to prevent my mind from wandering all the time.
1. Enjoy More Relaxed Mornings
As I get up in the morning, I let my mind relax and take in the beautiful morning and the sunlight. Then, I’ll head over to the living room and perform some form of meditation. I created a calming space filled with greenery. I also like to use an essential oil diffuser which helps to calm my body mind, and senses. I turn on my Amazon Echo Dot, and use a meditation Alexa Skill like Guided Meditation.
I like Alexa Skills because it feels like I’m getting a personalized experience with my Amazon Echo Dot. Skills unlock Alexa features to make for a more personalized, unique experience. There are hundreds of Alexa Skills available from like listening to your favorite podcast to ordering food. It’s so easy to incorporate guided meditation into your daily self care routine with any Amazon Echo device. All you have to do is say the phrase, “Alexa, help me be mindful this year” and she’ll answer back with a couple of options.
After meditation, I continue on with my morning routine. More than anything, I don’t rush into my early morning chores. I take my time, steady my mind and then only attend to the necessary tasks. Also, if it agrees with me, I’ll do a light exercise or workout routine that will refresh my body and mind.
2. Put More Effort Into Clothing / Style
Since I’m self-employed and work from home most of the time, I’m always in yoga pants and a t-shirt. I like to dress for comfort which is totally fine; however, it gets old and boring. So, I’m going to put more effort in my style when working from home. When I’m dressed up, it makes me feel good and positive about myself and I can go about my daily business with a more relaxed frame of mind.
3. Eat Breakfast Mindfully
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. My personal preference is a light breakfast like avocado toast and eggs with tea or coffee. I take my time, eat slowly and enjoy every bite to ensure my energy is off on the right foot.
4. Go on a Mid-Day Walk
Since I work from home, I try to take a mid-day walk usually during my lunch break. And while I’m taking the walk, I try as much as possible to remove all thoughts of work. This way, I can get back to my remaining day’s work with renewed energy and vigor.
5. Recite Positive Affirmations
We have a bad habit of blaming or doubting ourselves and this is extremely harmful for our general wellbeing. There are days when I’ll have this feeling of not being good enough or that I need to do more.
But that’s alright. It’s bound to happen now and then and there is no need to take yourself to task for this. What I do is focus on my accomplishments and pay myself a compliment. In other words, I positively affirm myself and try not to give into self-doubts too much. Reciting positive affirmations is in fact one of the more useful practices in mindfulness.
6. Add Greenery to the Work Area
I keep my work area clean, organized and clutter-free. This will free up you mind and will aid productivity. Also, I like to add greenery to my workspace. Studies have shown that adding plants, especially succulents, to your work area leads to cleaner air so you feel healthier and this in turn helps increase productivity.
7. Early Bedtime & Meditate
I’ll turn in early usually around 10:00pm as it often helps me get a sound sleep. By going to bed early, I can maximize sleep and get up at early so I won’t have to rush through my morning-time chores (remember my first point?). I’ll turn on my Amazon Echo Dot and use the Sweet Dreams skill for Alexa so I can enjoy ambient sounds as I fall asleep.
Also, I might consider practicing a simple meditation in bed before turning in. I’ll usually do this when I want to reflect on the good things I’ve done during the course of the day and again and make sure not to dwell on things that have gone amiss. In short, I try to avoid judgment and reflect on the positives.
On a final note, the key to mindfulness lies in paying close attention to the moment, or the present, if you like. Mindfulness teaches us to notice and appreciate these small things of life and thus help us relax and free our mind from worries and anxieties that otherwise beset us and come in the way of our wellbeing.
To learn more about Alexa Skills, check out the skill store here. And if you want more skills for health and wellness for the New Year, check out the selection here. New skills are being added all the time.