“Not another new age thing” I hear you say. Another thing to add to your agenda. How’s that going to help you when already you have a thousand things to do?
The good news is that based on many people’s experiences, mindfulness has been proven to work. It alters the way you interact with others or the way you accomplish your work. It does not require you to spend a considerable amount of time to grasp or implement into your daily routine. By thinking about the concept of mindfulness, you have just practised mindfulness. You can turn up your daily mindfulness volume as much as you want and when you want. Whether you give it 1% or 100%, there is a benefit. Start small. 1% is a great start. The rest will follow.
Give meditation a try
I’m sure you’re already doing some form of walking, even if it’s just a 10-minute walk to and from your local station. You don’t have to get fancy or join a group. Download an app for guided meditations and use it while you walk. Even 5 minutes count. By the time you get to your destination, you’ll feel more at ease and your spirits will be higher than when you left the crowded train or traffic jam. Do it every day for a week and see the difference. If you can only dedicate a few minutes every day, that’s still better than nothing. If you only have five minutes, then that’s all you have. Start today.
Once you’re convinced of the benefits, wake up a little earlier and commit 20 minutes daily to the task. Continue using a tool such as an app or a piece of slow music. Guided meditations are excellent for beginners as they keep the mind focused from wandering away. Like with anything that’s worth doing, this too needs patience, practice and daily effort. It’s easier to establish and keep up a routine if you set a reasonable amount of time you’re prepared to spend on it.
No. Not the kind you do when you quickly go to the fridge for a snack between two calls.
I mean gentle stretching exercises. Try desk yoga! Some fantastic websites will teach you the basics. Stretch your legs, arms, shoulders, and neck at your desk. When your body is less weighed down by stress, your mind follows. Do it when you have 5 minutes to spare or if you feel your eyes are tired and they need a break from the screen. Or finish your lunch break with a round of stretching.
Have a mini-wellness week - at work
Designate a week in your calendars and each day introduce an element of wellness, meditation, mindfulness, gentle exercise or focus on health. Start the day by watching a 10-minute video on mindfulness techniques. Pick a different approach each day and try to reach everyone. We all like different things. What lights up someone’s day may leave the other bored and uninspired. During the day, send reminders for people to remember to drink water, stop for a short break, stretch at their desks or eat a healthy snack. Even better, provide a healthy snack for your employees that week. It could be as simple as a fruit basket left on the kitchen table. Encourage mindfulness and caring behaviour at the workplace and it will trickle down to your employees’ personal lives too. Take care of their mental health by acknowledging the long working hours they may be putting in or stressful situations that they may find themselves dealing with. People flourish in a positive and supportive environment and feel more appreciated. Put a different lens on during this wellness week and see how a little thoughtfulness goes a long way.
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