Being mindful is one of the greatest coping skills in dealing with stress. A nice walk in the park, an easy moment journaling, a relaxing breath of fresh air …
Sometimes half the battle is actually REMEMBERING to do it! Eric Schiffmann in his brilliant book, Moving Into Stillness, provides keen insights to help us remember to engage in mindful behavior. He helps remind us that deciding to check in and asking for guidance is one way to begin a journey of mindfulness. Schiffmann says that one obstacle to listening is simply forgetting to ask. Therefore, he reminds us to “remember to remember.”
Five Strategies for Remembering Mindfulness:
1. Set a notice on your electronic device that simply says “my time” or “take the next 10 minutes for a walk outside.”
2. Paint an object or rock and set it in clear view. I have a rock that I keep on my desk that says “SOAR” on it with a picture of a yoga pose (Dancer). When my eye catches the object in my view, I am reminded to take a few minutes to practice — even just a breathing exercise. Soaps or candles placed in the bathroom, or the scent of essential oils can also help remind you to be mindful.
3. Schedule mindfulness into your morning. If you create mindfulness as part of a daily or weekly routine, it will be much easier to remember. I suggest waking up and going for a peaceful walk or starting the day with a relaxing stretch series.
4. End the day with mindfulness by sipping herbal tea and practicing deep breathing. Ask a loved one to help or to get involved. Our friends, partners and loved ones can help us remember. Each night before sleeping, try sitting back-to-back with a loved one and simply focus on timing your breathing together.
5. Place something in a pocket, tie a ribbon around your finger, create a visible reminder to help you remember.
Once you “remember” mindfulness, then take five minutes and practice on of these
Healthy Outlets for Managing Stress
- Create a film. A song. A collage. A poem. A blog. Create
- Take a Walk. Sit on a Bench
- Watch an Animal for 10 seconds
- Ride a bike
- Experience something beautiful. A sunset. A quiet moment. A piece of art
- Organize a shelf or drawer
- Talk… to yourself. To a friend. To a loved one. To a minister. Talk.
- Color. Outside the lines
- Create something that is beautiful to you.
- Volunteer for a cause, school or movement.
- Watch a film.
- Watch your favorite TV show.
- Learn about something in which you’ve always been interested.
- Place quotes on your mirror, wall, refrigerator. Print them out on business cards and carry them with you. (See the last 30 pages of Robyn Hussa’s Guidebook for Eating Disorder Recovery for templates and samples)
- Research a person who you consider to be a hero. Learn as much as you can about them.
Reach out and let them know.
- Send out a sphere of love: from your heart to your nose, then to your head, then to your entire body … then to your neighbor, then to your city, then to your state, then to the country, then to the next continent over, then to the stars, to the sun, to the planets and to the universe.
- Create a list of things you have always wanted to do.
- Begin one of the items on your “to do” list.
- Do something that makes you reach out of your comfort zone: embark toward that potential new career / client / living situation, take care of that phone call that has been hanging over your head.
- Take a course on financial “worth” (for example: Overcoming Under-earning, by Barbara Stanny)
- Try an exercise from Healthy Selfitude at www.HealthySelfitude.com.
- Specifically describe your feelings in your journal, to a friend, to your cat. Get them out!
- Read out loud to someone you love.
- Use your voice.
- Sit back to back with a loved one and see if you can feel their breath.
- Create and practicing affirmations.
- Take yourself on a date and learning something new about your likes or dislikes.
- Find a craft store and seeing what excites you there … be mindful and nonjudgmental!!
- Visit Robyn’s “yoga for recovery blog” and practice one of the exercises (www.eatingdisorderrecoveryyoga.com)
- Add to this list …