This post is sponsored by Metamucil.
We've still been traveling and working a ton. As awesome as it is to have a steady stream of projects that we enjoy, it's easy to get overcommitted and exhausted. I'm sure everyone does it: we get caught up in the MORE MORE MORE mentality and catch ourselves striving. For some reason we're compelled to prove that we're capable, good, efficient, successful, worthy. As creative people in a competitive industry, Nate and I need to constantly check in on our mindset and energy level. We've learned to give ourselves the flexibility to hit the reset button and weave more mindful habits into our lives.
The first time we took one of these intentional steps back (a “mini sabbatical,” as I like to think of it) we were honestly overwhelmed by the stillness. Without schedules to juggle, TVs to tune into, noise whirring around us, we weren't even sure what to DO.
So we made a list. A list of things that actually matter. Not to anybody else, but to us – to our souls. A list of 14 mindful habits that can be put into practice over 14 days. One new thing added every day, with just a few minutes spent on each, until you've dedicated at least a good hour to yourself by the last day. If you can keep at least a few of these practices up indefinitely, you'll be a better person for it.
Here are our tried-and-true ways to take a breather, focus on what matters, and come back to your life with renewed energy and joy.
Developing Mindful Habits One New Practice at a Time
DAY ONE: Mind your health with psyllium fiber. Our sponsor Metamucil invited us to join their Two-Week Challenge designed to “remove the waste that weighs you down,” to start to feel lighter*. This is obviously in-line with our mindset right now, so we decided to give it a go and get more fiber in our lives as long as we were tweaking everything else. They even have a small jar that fits right in my purse, so it's basically impossible to make up excuses about forgetting to include this habit. The company's building a whole community around the movement to generate awareness of psyllium fiber. We started with 1-2 servings with 8 ounces of liquid each day before breakfast, slowly increasing until it was part of our routine 3 times per day. We both felt a little bloaty at first, but after a few days there was definitely more of a spring in our step and this is one habit that'll be sticking around indefinitely!
DAY TWO: Take a photo. Unleashing a little creativity helps refresh the mind. Just a couple minutes looking through a lens can serve as a reminder that this is all fleeting.
DAY THREE: Read. Instead of turning on the TV at the end of a long day, crack open a novel. Your life will be better if you incorporate mindful habits like quiet reading into the routine.
DAY FOUR: Soak in a bubble bath. Let the stress wash away.
DAY FIVE: Have a dance party. Turn up the 80's music and do the Electric Slide in your living room. You'll be smiling in no time!
DAY SIX: Hydrate. If you're not great about drinking enough water, see the point above. A little flavor can go a long way in making you actually want to drink eight glasses a day.
DAY SEVEN: Practice yoga. It can release tension and help you stretch muscles you didn't even know were knotted. It's also one of the most reliable mindful habits to help you develop self-awareness. If you don't know where to start, let YouTube be your guide.
DAY EIGHT: Put on some makeup. Even if you have nowhere fancy to go, getting dolled up once in awhile can lift your mood. Taking a couple extra minutes to change out of yoga pants and blow dry your hair can really alter your outlook.
DAY NINE: Take a nap. One of the best pieces of advice I've ever received was from Nate's grandma, Nana. “Twenty minutes. No more, no less. Set a timer and power nap,” she instructed after I had my first son. A tiny breather can reset the pace and help you focus more on mindful habits throughout the whole day.
DAY ELEVEN: Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Ideally bought from a farm stand or a farmer's market. Seeing an incredible, vibrant community of people devoted to their craft is inspiring.
DAY TWELVE: Call a friend. When's the last time you spoke with your old college buddies, or your favorite aunt? Pick up the phone and catch up.
DAY THIRTEEN: Go for a walk. Fresh air does the body good. You don't need any fancy equipment – just get outside and get moving!
DAY FOURTEEN: Name three things you're thankful for. We've done this for years in our family, and the boys automatically know to go around the dinner table every night now and name their “three nice things.”
You can incorporate any of these mindful habits into your life right now. While it's great to carve out a dedicated period of rest and relaxation, for us that's mostly just a way of dedicating time to these things so they become second nature. What are you waiting for? Pick up some Metamucil to care for your health, grab a good book to tend to your mind and run a bubble bath to ease your body's aches. Life will make more sense after you've stepped away for a few moments.
How do you incorporate mindful habits into your life?
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.