CONSCIOUS THROUGH EVERYDAY LIFE AND WORK
Early in the morning the alarm clock rings and still half asleep we already have our smartphone in our hands. A proper work-life-balance is not possible with this morning ritual. But this is over now! The new trend of Mindfulness is already established in everyday working life in America and is slowly beginning to catch on with us. But what is it about this conscious mindfulness? I face up to the self-experiment to find it out.
WHO IS HAPPY BECOMES SUCCESSFUL
This is the approach taken by the Mindfulness trend. In this sense, being successful also means having a good work-life balance and not forgetting about oneself because of stress. To this end, American nutritionists, yoga trainers and life coaches are preaching to take time out, especially during stressful times. The focus here is on the process of actively perceiving new things. In doing so, the environment and the inner self should be observed without being distracted by one’s own streams of thoughts, emotions and fantasies. And it is exactly this conscious awareness that I have tried to integrate into my everyday life for one week.
THE MORNING IS RESERVED FOR ME-TIME
The times of waking up and immediate social media consumption or mail checking are over. This is one of the main rules I had to get used to and follow during my self-experiment. Instead of the quick coffee between the door and the fishing rod, the Mindfulness approach says to enjoy the morning as a time for yourself.
In order to include mindfulness in my morning routine, I had to follow these rules:
- No cell phone until I leave the house.
- a 10-minute meditation session right after getting up.
- A short stretching work-out to get my body going.
- A balanced breakfast to start the day full of energy.
MINDFUL THROUGH THE DAY
Instead of caffeine intoxication, my working week had the following routine: Mindfulness with meditation. That means, even during work, we should pay attention to ourselves and listen to our body. But that is easier said than done. Basically, breaks are the best time to switch off and meditate. This should recharge our batteries and at the same time give the mind a break.
So one of my Mindfulness goals was to have a 2-3 minute meditation at my workplace every day. In addition, I was able to relax and simply take a deep breath with soothing music and conscious breaks during work. This allowed me to actively listen to the needs of my body and not to drown in work stress.
In the same sense, it was also crucial to balance all the sitting in the office with some physical exercises and sports.
Mindfulness has already established itself in many American companies. Some companies offer sports programs and classes for their employees. During my self-experiment, however, it was not possible to integrate sports into my daily routine. But, two visits to the gym, a yoga class and a work-out at home were possible. After work, my evening was also supposed to revolve around the Mindfulness trend. Very quickly a good book, a cozy spot on my couch and a cup of warm tea became a routine before going to bed.
Or in our case, sleep yourself happy. Because if you want to integrate Mindfulness into your everyday life, you also have to pay attention to your sleep routine. Arianna Huffington, for example, writes in her guidebook “Thrive” that 8 hours of sleep can work true wonders. This can help us get out of bed easier in the morning, but also actively prevent burn-outs.
So it was clear to me that I have to start implementing fixed bedtimes during my self-experiment. So first of all, I tried to get 8 hours of sleep each day. In order for this to fit in well with my morning routine, the lights had to be off by 11 pm at the latest. Then again, I faced the challenge of keeping these fixed bedtimes throughout the week. Yes, even on weekends. Because that way our body stays in the same rhythm and we can fall asleep and get up more easily.
MY WEEK OF MINDFULNESS
My conclusion after a whole week of balance and conscious awareness: It is not that easy. We, humans, are creatures of habit and integrating mindfulness into our own routine can often create additional stress. However, I believe that this is only a question of time. If I would continue my mindfulness routine, I am sure that it will soon become a natural habit. And this is exactly what I am aiming for now.
During my self-experiment, I was able to take some personal realizations that are good for me and my body. Although I could do without the meditation in the office, I was more relaxed at the end of the working day. The short stretching routine after getting up helped me start the day with more physical energy. This definitely made it easier for me to get up and start the day. The same happened to me with my digital detox in the morning. Not having to reach for my mobile phone immediately after waking up made me start the day less stressed and was a relief for my tired eyes. So here is my conclusion for all interested people: Mindfulness is definitely worth a try!
Anyone who wants to integrate the Mindfulness trend into their everyday life should follow the motto “less is more”. Especially at the beginning of the week, all these modifications in my daily routine were an extreme change for me and my body. Therefore I would rather try different ways of mindfulness and awareness and slowly integrate them into my own routine. In doing so you can ensure that you will soon achieve great and small mindfulness successes.
My tip on the side: It’s best to start your mindfulness program with a well-deserved weekend of relaxation, like at the Falkensteiner Hotel & Asia Spa Leoben. You can use the weekend as a kick-off for your mindfulness journey, listen to your body and completely recharge your batteries. Ideally, you combine this with a digital detox. A weekend without smartphone and work stress, but also without obligations. Even if the Mindfulness trend is not for you, a relaxing weekend can work wonders.