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Mindfulness

It’s A Woman Thing: What Keeps You Vibrant?

Stop and Smell the Roses

In today’s fast paced, dialed-in world, it is very easy to get caught up in the rat race. We are doing more, at a faster pace, trying to squeeze it all in: work, family, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.  Not to mention all of the little projects and commitments! We often forget to “stop and smell the roses!”  I am guilty of this as well. Finding the balance in life takes time and commitment. For me, it is enjoying the little things in life.

The first step is to become aware; take an inventory of what a “day in the life” looks like.  Ask yourself, “is this what I want?”  Some of it you can’t give up, but you can make adjustments. For example, most of us have to work. However, I make a conscious decision not to bring work home with me.  By making this conscious decision, I am able to focus on my children without the distraction of work. Another way to stay in the moment is to simply put down the electronic devices during dinner!  Mealtime is a great way to connect and by focusing on those around you, you also set a good example.

Many people, like myself, struggle to find the time to exercise, especially now that the days have gotten shorter!  Our commitments can change with the season – and that’s OK. What I commit to now is walking the dog in the morning.  I may get up 15-20 minutes earlier and take a little longer walk. It’s a great way to get my steps in and I love to look at the morning sky.  So I am taking care of my body and my soul at the same time and it is a great way to start the day.

For some of us, we may need to schedule those little things that are important. Date night, book club, a girl’s night out, a pedicure, or even just finding time to get a cup of coffee or a glass of wine with a friend!  These little things are so important for our sense of wellbeing.  Make it a priority and don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Enlist your tribe to help you find these moments when you can put yourself first.

I also find the balance in little rituals.  Rituals are good for us and good for the soul.  Some of my favorites are that cup of coffee in the morning while the kids are still asleep, or that glass of wine at the end of the day. Even just holding the glass is very symbolic to me.  It reminds me that the end of the day is near, and I can turn-off all of my responsibilities.  I went to a women’s health event recently, and one of the speakers was discussing the importance of meditation.  I, like many people, have this idea that meditation is hard work.  Really, it is just finding a few moments in the day to breathe…

She taught us to take three deep breaths and really let it out loudly!  What I have learned is that when you take a deep breath, you are forced to be in the moment.  All you can do in that moment is breathe. That focus of taking the breath distracts you from everything else that is happening.  You really connect to the moment.  For some of us, that is all we can do.  Just think how less stressed we would feel just being in the moment.  No worries about five minutes from now, two days from now or weeks from now. You cannot worry about something that hasn’t even happened yet.  It is impossible to have that worry when you just stop and take a deep breath.  It is such a powerful tool that you can use anywhere, anytime, and it’s free.

It really is all we have, this moment, right here, right now.  Just breathe…

Bridget Buckaloo

Bridget Buckaloo

Bridget Buckaloo, MSN, is Executive Director of Women's Health Services at Beebe Healthcare.