Easier said than done, right? Be present. Be in the moment. Enjoy the moment. It all sounds real good until is time to put into practice and then is like… wait a minute, let me finish this first and then you forget and boom, moment is gone! But it is extremely critical that we prevent this from happening all the time. Now I am not an expert in mindfulness but I am sure an enthusiast and here are some things I want to share with you that will hopefully help you enjoy each moment to its fullest!
- Put down that damn phone! I get it. We are now in a world that feels capturing every single moment is crucial. And let me tell you, it is BUT that doesn’t mean taking a video of everything or a gazillion pictures. Now, I am a mom and I feel you, I wanna be able to go back later and watch the videos, especially of my kids because they are growing hella fast, so it is important to capture those moments. But it is important to know the difference between capturing something for lasting purposes, capturing something for bragging purposes, and mentally capturing stuff. And what scares me the most is when this becomes the new reality: I am not looking forward to this. I mean assume this was really happening. Rather than taking a picture of something that truly has no meaning because hello the world is ending, why not spend those few last minutes hugging and kissing your loved ones one last time? I am telling you that would be so much more worth it. If putting down the phone is a challenge for you, here are some tips to get you there… eventually, ha!
- Don’t put the phone near your bed. In fact, if you’re not like me and your phone is also your morning alarm, leave it in your bathroom or somewhere where you can’t just extend your arm and grab it. The majority of people jump on work emails and/or social media first thing in their day if they have their phone handy. Make a promise to yourself that if you need, for say alarm purposes like me, you turn off the alarm and don’t get on it until after you’re fully awake, have taken a shower and are enjoying your morning coffee or tea. If you can push it to even later in the day to get on it, even better!
- Don’t allow phones during meal times. I sure hope you are able to enjoy your meals with your family at the table. Most importantly, make a commitment with your family that meal time is a sacred time. No interruptions will be allowed. If there is an emergency, trust me, people will call, not text, IM, or Snapchat you stuff. If the phone rings and you need to pick up, then go for it. Otherwise, don’t allow those germy bastards on the table during meal time.
- Turn off app notifications. When someone sees a notification that their picture has been liked, or someone left a comment, or someone sent a private message, they are more likely to get on their phone right away. If you turn off these notifications, and block specific times during your day to review or catch up with your social media, you will make more time to focus on other important things like YOU, your family, fully enjoy a movie or finish a project at work without distractions, and stop checking your phone every 10 seconds. Yay!
- Have a phone schedule. I know you are thinking this might be an itty bitty too much, but this might be necessary for some people. Why? Because some people are better with boundaries, or plans. It is easier for them to stick to something when they have specifics. For instance, plan to be on your phone from only 8:30-9:00 pm in the evenings and only if you have already completed your evening tasks. Why do I mean? Well, say you have dinner at 7:00 pm, clean up at 7:45 pm, prepare for the next day at 8:00 pm, have social media or whatever phone time at 8:30 pm, and wind down at 9:00 so by 10:00 pm you’re counting sheep. Looking at something on your phone, other than maybe confirming your alarm for the next day is on, should be avoided for at least one hour but preferably two hours before you hit the pillow. You need to give your brain time to shut down from stimulation from the screen and reach a peaceful state to have a good night rest. Please, please, please avoid using your phone for at least one hour before bedtime!
- Don’t stress about the little things that go wrong. Most of the time you are the only one noticing something is missing or went wrong at say a birthday party you planned. None of your guests would notice because they don’t know about it. So there is no reason to stress about stuff like lollipops missing in the goody-bags or how the center pieces are missing lilies or you are wearing a different jacket to that important meeting because you failed to stop at the dry cleaners earlier in the week. I mean, Janet Jackson’s boob popped out and she is fineeeeee. Trust me, it is fine. I don’t say go flashing on people but you can recover from anything that goes wrong. Patience and humor are a great way to get over things like so:
- Make time for your family and friends. We are not islands; we weren’t meant to be islands. We are born into a family, into a society. Sometimes, life will have it that we might not fully agree with our family or our society. Hey, we are individuals so it is perfectly normal and reasonable to have our own opinions BUT that is no reason to just take off on a boat and become an island. Life, family and most certainly our society can be complicated but there is good at the roots. We just need to dig dipper if there is need for it to find that. And if you’re a lucky person who has a great family and friends, then do not allow excuses to get in the way. You don’t want to miss special moments and only catch up through those few posts on IG or FB or find out about it too late. Make the time to be present for them. Memories are priceless and the only way to create these is to be present when you have the time with your family and friends.
Ok, peeps. Hopefully you find something good in this post and realize that it is worth it to make the effort to be present. It takes practice, but I know you can do it.