The first week returning from a Wellness Week in Costa Rica and immersed into the chaos of work, the transportation of kids to their activities and the cleaning up of twelve downed trees from the recent Nor’easter storm made it challenging to find time to practice meditation and mindfulness. In Costa Rica, we lived in a lush rainforest where each meal was prepared for us. We did not have the trappings of TV, internet or radio, and work or chores to distract us. We connected with nature each day and were in awe of the bird, plant and animal life. And, there was someone leading the meditation/mindfulness sessions so we showed up for class. The experience offered our minds and bodies a chance to rebalance and heal. One of our many challenges is to develop a balance in our daily lives which will enable us to become resilient and practice equanimity.
During the last couple of days on our trip, individuals offered suggestions to implement into our daily life. These are simple changes that can make a world of difference. Some ideas to try:
Avoid starting the day with TV, radio, or computer news.
Wake up early enough in the morning so that you don't rush into the day. Appreciate the sunrise and the birds singing.
Avoid overscheduling activities.
Watch TV less. Practice yoga instead of watching TV.
Detach yourself from electronics and work activities one hour before bedtime.
Incorporate minutes (1-5 minutes) throughout your day for short meditations. Perhaps, meditate while riding the subway, stopped at red light or waiting for someone.
Add indoor plants into your home.
Create a special place in your home where you practice meditation/mindfulness.
Prepare and eat nutritious meals. Slow down your eating and enjoy each bite.
Write five things that you are grateful for each day in a journal.
Avoid judgement of yourself and others.
It takes approximately forty days for a new change in behavior to become a habit. Refrain from harsh self criticism if you miss a day or two in meditation. The awareness that you didn't meditate is mindfulness in itself. Slow down and experience each moment as it unfolds.