Mindful me-time moments
Hear how Intrinsic's very own Lizzi (who weaves magic in our marketing team) had a recent 'aha moment' to realise how to really be mindful with your me-time moments.
How to have quality me-time
I used to think that taking time for myself was listening to a podcast on the way to work while doing my online grocery order, or eating lunch in the park while listening to music and walking barefoot on the grass, or watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy at night while making a quilt.
While all these things are still versions of ‘me-time’, and I enjoy doing each one, I recently had an ‘aha moment’ when I realised that taking time for myself can be even more sacred and fulfilling.
You can’t multi-task your me-time
My previous version of ‘me-time’ entailed doing multiple things at once. I used to fill my cup in one big hit until I was overflowing with all the good stuff, thinking that would zen me for a week or two.
So if I had one hour spare, I would try to treat myself to a new podcast, a chapter of my book, a walk in nature, a hit of meditation, a few pages of journaling AND coffee in the sun - all in the one session.
I was multi-tasking, trying to fit in a bunch of mindful activities in the one go, because if you can tick off all of your fave things at once, you’ll be super centred and aligned, right?
Wrong. You can’t multi-task your me-time.
Because I was doing too much, I wasn’t 100% present in the moment. So I wasn't filling my cup in a way that truly sustained a calm and blissed-out mind. I was reaching burn-out quicker, because one big hit of good vibes isn’t enough to keep my engine going. I need smaller, bite-size snippets of quality me-time.
Actually being in the moment
It has only been when life slowed down due to covid, that I realised how to actually BE in the moment.
After dropping my son to school one morning, I felt energised and decided to take a longer route walking home. I had 1/2 hour before I needed to log on to work, so I listened to my body’s energy levels and kept walking. I found a small park with a bench overlooking a mass of pretty greenery. Instead of continuing to walk, I listened to my intuition whispering “Ooo that’s a nice bench, sit down and immerse yourself in this gorgeous setting” - and so I sat down.
For ten minutes, I sat and did nothing; I listened to the morning birds, I admired the branches on the huge tree above me, I watched the shrubs move in the breeze, I felt the warm sun on my back.
I was truly BEING in that moment, doing the one activity with my full presence, my complete attention, and without any distractions. I didn’t have anything else to do, except to enjoy that experience with all my senses. No podcast to half-listen to, no phone to quickly check my socials, no music to hum along to, nothing to take away my focus.
I was single-tasking my me-time. And I felt so present and connected with what I was doing then and there, that I filled my cup for the day.
Mindfulness, my way
I now know that my mindfulness practice isn’t just another task on my to-do list. It isn’t something that I can multi-task and tie into another to-do, like reading a book on my train ride to work. Yes, that’s a great way to maximise your commute time, but for me, I need my me-time to be time JUST for me.
I need a chunk of time with nothing else to do. No other distractions, no other activities, no multi-tasking. Focusing on the one thing and putting all my attention on that. Being completely mindful in that moment.
For me, that’s quality me-time; smaller doses of single-tasking mindfulness. And that’s how I’ll keep my cup full and my soul happy - doing the one thing!
3 steps for being in the moment with your me-time:
Put aside a chunk of time just for you. It doesn’t matter if it’s 15 minutes or one hour. Set an alarm if you need it, but don’t keep looking at a phone or watch.
Choose one activity that lights you up and turn off all tech - unless you’re podcasting, listening to music, or doing something that needs it, in which case, turn off all notifications so you don’t get distracted by texts or social media alerts!
Completely immerse yourself in that activity and give it your full attention. Don’t think of what you need to do afterwards, don’t ‘squeeze in’ something else, just get lost in that one thing.
4 me-time ideas:
1. Go for a walk around your suburb and just enjoy your stroll; discover new streets, notice pretty gardens, and let your mind relax with nothing else to focus on.
2. Find a pretty patch of nature and sit under a tree, by a lake or on the grass. Now just be. Listen to the sounds, look around, gaze at the sky - just be in the moment and enjoy the sounds of nature.
3. Do an activity to let your creative juices flow, like drawing, cooking or gardening, and put all your attention into being present with what you’re creating.
4. Put away the screens, toys and books, to play and talk with your children away from any distractions. Make up silly stories or ask them deep questions, and watch their faces and body as they get beautifully caught up in the moment.
We hope you enjoyed reading Lizzi's tips for turning your multi-tasking me-time into a single-tasking snippet of sacred time! If you need something to fully absorb your mind, we have a gorgeous array of colouring-in pages you can download and print out for your next me-time moment.
We'd love to know your own mindfulness tips, let us know on Intrinsic's Facebook or @theintrinsicway on Instagram.