I used to think that “staying present in the moment” was something reserved only for “young folk” who didn’t have kids or jobs. But now as I start a new chapter as someone who is “five decades plus two,” I totally get it. And Staying Present in the Moment isn’t that hard either…you just have to be aware that things are outta whack and take some steps to make positive changes so you don’t miss out on this amazing thing called LIFE.
Have you seen the TV ad for the newest in iPhone app bling; an app called Calm that encourages users to “do nothing” for anywhere from 15-60 seconds? Trust me, if you are wound tighter than a spring 24/7 (like me), that 60 seconds can seem mighty long.
HOWEVER. blocking out distractions and noise and focusing on the moment and your breathing is indeed a form of “being present.” Want some more easy ideas?
A Checklist For Staying Present in the Moment
Ever heard the saying “can’t walk and chew gum at the same time”? I think the premise of this old adage is that someone is lacking in coordination. But truth-be-told, a great way to be present in the moment is to enjoy some form of movement. Movement can be physically moving your body and doing an activity like taking a walk and just focusing on the sights and sounds of nature, or something a little more intense like Tai Chi where every moment/pattern is designed to be aware of your every step and breath.
I am currently taking a 10-week class on Tai Chi for Arthritis and I am in LOVE with this form of relaxation and exercise. As someone who struggles with ADHD, depression, and anxiety, I’ve been encouraged by many friends and family for years to work on mindfulness and meditation; which I completely blew it off until this last year. Tai Chi has been one of the many steps I took to slllloowwww down and try to live life to its fullest every day. The results of not going 100 mph all the time have been monumental.
I might have to change this site name from Franticmommy to Mellowmommy 🙂
Check-in with your heart and write your way to gratitude. I recently saw someone ask the question on Facebook whether continuing to keep a gratitude journal was a waste of time and the overwhelming response was that it’s never a waste of time to acknowledge all that you are grateful for.
So what are you grateful for? It can be as complex as relief from a health condition to as simple as being grateful for your warm, snuggly bed at night. You are really the BEST person to ask for advice on any given topic – so ASK!
Stay organized and create a checklist. One great way to feel like you are a cat on ice (spinning and scrambling, but going nowhere or getting nothing accomplished) is to run the laundry list in our minds of all the of things we think we need to get done. Like, yesterday. When your mind has clarity and is not processing 50 things at once, you can actually focus on the task at hand. Take 5 minutes to write down all the tasks that need to be completed for you to move forward with your changes. This will not only eliminate that spinning-in-one-spot feeling, you are likely to see that these things that seemed so critical in your mind, really aren’t.
If scary change is looming, don’t run from it. Change can be positive, or stressful as hell. I’m afraid too many people pull an “ostrich” when it comes to uncertain change (stick their head in the ground and pretend change isn’t there…though I doubt ostriches really do that anyway).
Instead, take change by the short hairs and acknowledge it, deal with it, and take appropriate steps to secure successful change. After writing your check-list the appropriate steps will leap off the page and inspire you to get going! Prioritize and strategize your personal time and master the art of delegation. If there are tasks that are better done by others, don’t hesitate to ask. Sometimes when the little tasks are out-of-the-way, the more difficult ones don’t seem as daunting. After the smoke has cleared and you have successfully moved through your necessary changes, CELEBRATE!
Don’t forget self-care!! You all know I’ve been hardcore on this site these last few months about self-care and self-love. But we need to take care of the body we are in. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. Our body’s autonomic nervous system is always responding to triggers whether you are paying attention to it or not. Be good to yourself and plan a routine of self-care (especially while in transition). Book a massage, continue eating healthy whole foods, and maintain your REM sleep pattern are great examples of self-care.
Use the eyes God gave you: Ever noticed that people tend to view their world through a 4×6-ish inch screen? We’ve all seen the parent who is proudly grinning from ear-to-ear at the school play…as they view the whole moment through the screen of whatever electronic device they are using to record the event. Don’t be that parent. Which brings me to the next tip;
Take a break from technology: My body begins to rebel if I stay sitting at my computer for longer than an hour. I have friends whose relationship was in crisis until they vowed to drastically reduce screen and Smartphone time and greatly increase their one-on-one time that included prayer and being outside in nature together. Please, please, put down your device, look at the world and the people around you…really look at them. We live in such a magical place and are surrounded by the wisest, coolest people ev-ah.
Don’t take it for granted.