When you open your eyes, before jumping straight out of bed, take the time to slowly stretch your body. Wake each part of it, spread your toes, shake your fingers, stretch your back like a cat would do. Become conscious of your body. You are here, for another beautiful day. Be grateful for this gift.
Don't run ahead of yourself by thinking of what your day will be like. Stay present. Enjoy every mouthful of your healthy brekky and every sip of your tea, coffee or juice. You do not need to think about your working day just yet, enjoy this moment.
Whether you like running, going to the gym or doing yoga, focus all your attention on the activity you are doing. Connect with the sensations in your body while you move. Pay attention to your breathing and notice when your start holding your breath so you can correct it. If your mind starts wandering, just bring it back to the physical sensations of the body.
4. At work
Many activities take us away from the present moment: planning, organising, emailing, etc. Our work is often oriented towards a future goal. Regularly try to detach yourself from the computer screen or the activity you are doing and look around you. Notice what and who is present in the room, the office, the workplace. Engage your senses, what is happening right now? What can you see, hear, smell? Bring yourself into the NOW.
5. Lunch break
Take the time to eat your lunch. Don't rush or eat while working. Don`t rush towards your phone to check email or social media. Just take the time to savour your food. Pay attention to what it really tastes like. Enjoy this pause. And maybe if you have time, why not fit in a little meditation after you finished your meal.
6. Socialising and family time
Let go of your concerns and make the most of the time spent with the people you love. Nothing is more important than these shared precious moments. Be completely present with them, as if you needed to capture each instant for a photograph album.
Take the time to relax and unwind from your busy day. Maybe do a bit of yoga, take a bath, open a book or go for a gentle walk in nature. Do something that makes you feel good, that makes you happy. Let go of all the problems you encounter today, you don't need to think about them anymore. This time is your time. Pamper your body and your soul.
Avoid anything that would stimulate your mind before going to bed. Incorporating a mindfulness meditation for 10 to 20 minutes before bedtime will calm the mind and facilitate a fast and deep sleep. Again, while lying in bed don't think of the problems you had today or the things that will need to be done tomorrow. Instead you can make a list of 10 good things that happened today that you are grateful for. Then focus your attention on your breath, on the air entering your nose and your chest slowly rising and falling. Just watch your breathing until you fall into deep sleep.
Mindfulness is the ability to bring ourselves back to the present. Our minds always tend to carry us away from our present experience into the past or the future, but mindfulness reminds us to simply be, to simply live, right here and right now.
Karen Wilson teaches yoga and meditation and runs mindfulness retreats at Byron Bay