Sometimes it can feel like life is one never-ending checklist of things to do. From our busy to-do lists and trying to keep a balance between work, family, and our personal lives, for many it can seem as if we blink and weeks, even months have just passed us by. Where did all of that time go? You had so many plans for the year, but you don’t know where the time went.
The key to slowing down time? Mindfulness. When we really sink into the present moment, our perception and appreciation for time changes. Now, of course, we can’t actually slow down time – but we can make it mean something more.
A helpful tip is to try to remember that the only moment that matters is right now. When we live in the past, we are prisoners to the events and stories of past us, and when our minds jump into the future, we miss the beautiful moments that are happening right in front of us.
Try these five mindfulness practices to help you live in the moment and slow down time…
1. Create a mindful morning routine. The way we start our day sets up the energy and mood for the rest of the day, therefore, our lives, so cultivate a morning routine that makes you happy, sets intentions, and settles your mind into the moment of now. While some people may swear by sunrise yoga and their celery juice, try to think about what will make you come alive and feel your best. That might be taking ten minutes in the morning before the kids wake up to sip on your favourite cup of tea and read a new book, or it could be taking the dogs for a long walk so you can connect to nature first thing in the morning – the important thing is that you start to tune in with yourself on a deeper level and really find the joy in the present moment.
2. Savour meal time. I firmly believe that moments shared in the kitchen and around the table are some of the most beautiful in life. Try to start to think about cooking as a ritual almost. Make it an experience, even if you’re simply preparing a salad for yourself for lunch. Put on some music you love, light a candle maybe, and really think about the ingredients you’re using, appreciating everything our earth and the farmers have given us. When it comes to eating, if you’re dining solo, try to put away screens and if you’re with family or friends, I must say, I think there is no greater beauty in life than gathering around the table with people you love, so try to remember how special this moment is, and that at the end of the day, it’s moments like these that matter – the little precious moments with the people who we love most – that add value, happiness and define our whole experience of life.
3. Meditate. Meditation is something that works wonders, even if you only have five minutes a day. There are lots of great apps like Headspace that will help you get into an easy routine, plus great YouTube content. Meditating can even come in the form of moving meditation, from mindful jogs and hikes to yoga flows. Remember, the goal of meditation isn’t to have no thoughts, it’s to sit with yourself, let your thoughts come up, and then let them go…
4. Journal. Taking some time to journal can really help you live in the present moment. You can just use a normal notebook, or get one of the prompted ones to help you get started. Here is a little example of a 2-minute practice you can do at the start of the day:
Use this template every day:
Word of the day: I am worthy
Grateful for: Fresh, clean water
Sending love to: My mother
Mindful movement: Yoga
Self-care of the day: Reading
Wellness of the day: Cooking a nourishing meal
Free your mind: a section to just write whatever is flowing through your head.
5. Laugh more. As simple as it may sound, laughing is truly the best medicine. When we laugh and find the joy in the everyday, life becomes a little more sparkly and light and less heavy and mundane. From watching clips of your favourite comedians or booking a comedy show, to just finding the humour in life and the moments that don’t always go to plan, laughing brings a lightheartedness that will shine through the rest of our days and make a world of difference in how we see the world.