Ten Mindful Tips for Quick Renewal
The other day I left the house in quite a mood. I’d spent the morning making changes to my website, figuring out — and most of the time NOT figuring out — a slew of technical issues. Feeling frazzled, I knew I’d better leave my office before my laptop went sailing out the window.
In my car, NPR News recounted the latest on highly contagious Covid-19 variants, issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine, easing restrictions as case numbers rise. I clicked the radio off. I like to be well informed, but at that moment, news about dire situations beyond my control was not what I needed. It got me thinking about the quickest ways to renew ourselves when life’s stresses drain our energy and leave us feeling ungrounded.
Here’s my top ten tips for finding mindful moments to center ourselves, awaken our senses, and reconnect to our inner joy.
It may be a nearby park, a hiking trail or the plants in your office building’s atrium. Or a rose bush in your backyard. Just get yourself as close as possible to living, breathing vegetation. You'll experience not only better air quality, but the stress relieving benefits of nature.
Smell something you love
Maybe it’s that rose bush or that first cup of coffee or your favorite perfume. Smell is a powerful sense and a pleasant aroma can lift your mood and bring forth pleasant memories.
Listen to music that speaks to your heart
Research shows that hearing your favorite tunes can trigger the release of the feel-good chemical dopamine.
Touch something soothing
Pet your cat. Bundle up in a fleecy blanket. Massage your neck. Notice the feel of a silk robe against your body. Touch is especially important for those of us living alone. For me, as for many, it’s been over a year since I’ve received a hug. So maybe we can’t be embraced or go for a massage at the moment, but there are other ways to experience the healing power of touch.
Turn off the gadgets
Switch off the electronic devices, the computer and the TV and give yourself some tech-free time. Spend a quiet moment with yourself meditating, walking, reading a book or taking a bath. Or reach out to a family member or friend. Reconnecting by phone can brighten both of your days.
Watch the clouds roll by
Take a couple minutes to study their shape-shifting transformations. This is one of my favorite meditations.
Breathe and stretch
Both are great for bringing your awareness inward and making you more mindful. Notice where tension is settling in your body so you can breathe, stretch and release it. Do yoga if you'd like, or simply lift your hands up as far as you can and reach for the ceiling, taking a deep breath with each stretch.
Get close to water
Being a Pisces (a water sign), this one works particularly well for me. Just listening to a trickling fountain can sooth my nerves. A walk by the river or a bubble bath are some of my favorite ways to relax and renew. A kayak trip down the Willamette River is surely in my future.
Express your gratitude
We all have much to be grateful for, no matter what our circumstances. Just the simple act of remembering how blessed we are can bring us back to a more centered, appreciative state of being.
Most importantly — every day — do something that brings you joy.
What's your favorite way to renew yourself? Comment below.