Most people know that self-reflection and meditation can do wonders for reducing burnout and chronic stress. However, when we're dealing with an epidemic of busyness, making time for mindfulness practice may feel unrealistic. But it's not impossible.
That's according to Giselle La Pompe-Moore, a trauma-sensitive meditation teacher, speaker and author of Take It In, who advises throwing out the rules for what these practices should be. ‘Give yourself permission to slow down in a world that benefits from you moving quickly. A more balanced way of living doesn't take endless time and energy,’ she says.
Giselle shares three practical ideas that can easily slot into your day.
1. Be present.
‘When you're feeling distracted and overwhelmed, get into the habit of asking yourself the question: where am I right now? It's a quick way to mindfully interrupt [yourself] as you get lost in the inbox abyss or when you're hustling around town – to get out of your head and into your body and surroundings. Use it to remind you to slow down, check in with yourself, pause and notice what you can see, smell, hear or touch around you.’
2. Take two.
‘If the idea of being still for 20 minutes is causing internal hives, then start small. See how it feels to just be with yourself for two minutes a day. You can set a timer and focus on your breathing by repeating the word “in” to yourself as you breathe in and “out” as you breathe out, until the timer rings. Alternatively, you can place a hand on your chest or stomach and focus on how that feels, or repeat some soothing words to yourself like “I am here”. You can do this in between tasks, whether you're waiting for the kettle to boil or at the end of an exercise session.’
3. Dump it out.
‘It's often our sprawling to-do lists and questioning if we actually scheduled that email that keeps our minds occupied. It's unhelpfully also the stuff that plagues us the moment we try to rest or meditate, too. If so, dump it all out into the notes app on your phone or in a journal. Treat the page like a therapist and write down everything that's doing laps in your brain. This can be done at any point in the day, when it all feels a bit too heavy to carry.’