This last weekend I was able to get away with the family and our gorgeous rescue dog for a change of scenery, lots of walking and lots of good food. We laughed, talked, spent quality time together and relaxed.
I wasn't sure how I'd feel about being away after spending so long in the same four walls, or how I'd feel about what to do if there were lots of other people around. I'm even more convinced now that we can only control ourselves in life - if our safety relies purely on the common sense of others, this virus could certainly be even more consuming! But, my commitment to myself during our weekend away was to be present, in the moment with all that we did and to not let worry and anxiety take over me. And so today, I want to share with you five ways in which to be more present in your day to day life.
Connecting with your breathing brings you back into the now, into the moment, and back into yourself. Two of my favourite and really simple techniques are 1) stop, close your eyes, and just take 6 to 12 big deep breaths, from your belly. 2) Box breathing; breathe in for a count of 3 or 4, hold your breath for a count of 3 or 4, breathe out for a count of 4 or 4 and hold for a count of 3 or four, and repeat three times.
Paying attention to how many times a day you judge yourself and others will go a long way to brining you back to the now, to the present and back to yourself. If that little voice comes up that tells you that you're not good, fast enough, clever enough, etc. etc. notice it, and release it. And if you find that you're always judging others, notice it, release it and let it go. I talk a lot about judgement with my coaching clients, but noticing is the first step to being present.
Noticing what's going on around you is a great way to bring you to back to the now, to the present and to yourself. Notice how you are feeling, notice where you are, notice what you're doing, notice what you're thinking, notice the sounds, the noise, how you're sitting or walking, notice how you are breathing, notice the smells and movements around you.
Give Yourself Permission to Rest
We often think that we have to work harder and push harder and that we need to be constantly go on the go with guilt setting in if we stop because of all of the things that we think we 'should' be doing. But rest is vital for our wellbeing, mental and physical, it's also great for our performance. So give yourself permission to rest and just be in the moment.
Gratitude is a great way to bring us back to the now, to the present and to ourselves. In this moment, right her, right now, what are you grateful for? What can you be grateful for? Find one thing to be grateful for, find three things, or even ten.
Our lives are so full and so busy, we can find ourselves constantly thinking about everything that has been or we're always trying to plan for or predicting the future, how often are you in the moment? Just here, in the now. It may sound cliché when we talk about the present being a gift, but it really is. Don't waste it. Being present can improve our confidence, our wellbeing, our relationships, our work, our confidence, our levels of productivity and just the way we think, speak and behave. So today, even if for a moment, give yourself the gift of the now.