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Minute motivation: practice mindfulness in the daily routine

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Improve your day by adding mindfulness even to mundane tasks and routines.

WASHINGTON, DC, USA Have you ever zoomed in on your day and arrived at bedtime wondering what happened to your time? It’s easy for us to have our meals rushing from meeting to meeting or to do all of our daily routines on autopilot. We forget to check in with ourselves in the present moment to see how we’re doing.

Adding mindfulness to the little things in your life will make a big difference.

When you hear mindfulness for the first time, people may tense up and think, “Woah, woah, woah… I don’t have time to put anything else on my schedule. But being there doesn’t mean adding more to your calendar. It’s about doing the things you already do in life and being keenly aware of them.

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Every morning I follow the exact same routine. Part of this routine involves applying lotion to my legs and arms. For a long time, I rushed through the whole process, only seeing it as a chance that kept me from going out and working.

One day I decided to practice mindfulness with my morning routine. As I leaned down to lotion my legs, I exaggerated the movement like a forward yoga fold and enjoyed the stretch it provided to my back. Then I stretched up and checked all my muscles and joints, paying close attention to what my body was feeling at the time as I added lotion to my arms.

It doesn’t take extra time to add these yoga moves to my morning routine, but I just feel better having stepped into the present to check in with my body.

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Mindfulness doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be lying on a pillow for 30 minutes every day during a meditation. Some days you may need to take a few deep breaths while you wait for your food while driving. Mealtime is a great place to add mindfulness and it’s something we can easily forget. Taking a break to chew and taste your food can be forgotten when inhaling fries and salsa while watching TV. We have to remember to slow down.

Becoming present and aware at all times does not take extra time, it only improves the quality.

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