Trying to ‘have it all’ is a common aspiration and a constant struggle. Work-life balance sounds so simple in principle, but it’s not an easy feat. How are we expected to live a balanced life when there are so many competing priorities in and outside of work? We’re all busily trying to live a happy life, but there’s no one solution to achieving contentment. We need to be more conscious, present and mindful so we can appreciate the simple things. Practicing mindfulness also helps us manage stress and cope when life gets tough.
Here are 10 ways to help you be more mindful:
1. Escape the screens
Advancements in technology have made performing daily tasks a lot easier. We can connect with anyone, at any time, from any location. But going from your TV, to your phone, to your computer screen can result in becoming disconnected from what’s happening around you. Take time away from your devices to appreciate your surroundings.
2. Clear your mind
Meditation is a popular topic. This is because there are many benefits – 76 according to this article from Live and Dare. Meditation can reduce stress, alleviate pain, clear your mind and make you more aware of your body. Best of all, anyone can do it at any time. To meditate, focus on something simple – your breath, a word or a number – and push all other thoughts aside.
3. Connect with others
Social media exposes us to the daily happenings of all our friends and families without physical interaction. While this is awesome for keeping in contact with those far away, we can use it as an excuse to not meet up in person. Regular time spent with friends and family can fend off depression, and nothing compares to sharing experiences together.
4. Be creative
Everyone is creative. We use our creativity to solve problems and interpret meaning on a daily basis. If you’re questioning your creativity, watch this TED Talk, You’re a Lot More Creative Than You Think, by renowned fine artist John Paul Caponigro. Some simple ways to harness your creativity are to write a diary, explore a different route to work, start a hobby, visit an art gallery or play an instrument.
5. Get back to nature
With the majority of us working in Urban environments, it’s important for us to get out of the city and absorb the sights and sounds of nature. Being in nature helps us experience a different kind of living – one that is organic and peaceful. Spend time in your garden, unwind by the beach, climb a mountain or wander through one of Australia’s 500 National Parks. Being in nature allows your mind to wander with your body.
6. Pamper yourself
Some of us feel guilty about pampering ourselves. But it doesn’t have to involve a lot of time or money. For example, massages and facials are beneficial for your physical and mental health. Massage eases pain and can help manage depression and anxiety, while facials can relieve tension headaches and increase blood circulation.
7. Eat well
Diet has a huge impact on our mood and energy levels. Good nutrition also reduces risk of chronic diseases and promotes good overall health. To brush up on the five food groups recommended for daily consumption, check out the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. Find delicious and nutritious produce at one of Australia’s best food markets in your state.
8. Laugh out loud
Researchers have proven that laughter lowers stress and increases memory. It can also enhance your learning ability and general quality of life. According to a 2016 study conducted in Norway, laughter may even make you live longer! So get together with your funniest friends, see a comedy show or trawl YouTube for the most hilarious cat videos.
9. Give back to the community
Being part of a community provides us with a sense of belonging. Try making a new friend in your apartment block, contributing to a local event or putting your hand up for volunteer work. Being an active participant of a community group benefits your mental health and helps others. Find people with similar interests or a support a cause that you care about.
10. Study for progression or passion
Invest in yourself and embrace life-long learning. There’s no need to quit your day job to make time for study. Through online learning you can study for career progression or purely for passion. Open Universities Australia has over 150 degrees from 10 leading Australian universities on offer. You can find the right degree from you and study online while working. After graduation, the qualification you receive is exactly the same as if you’d studied at a bricks and mortar university.