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Community & Behavioral Health | Recovery | Social Change


Changing the Conversation

3 Tips for Bringing Mindfulness to Everyday Experiences

As more of us explore ways to manage and respond to the stresses of everyday living, it can be helpful to look at approaches others have taken. One approach I have found helpful is mindfulness. Mindfulness can improve one’s physical, mental, emotional, and social health and well-being.

What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the act of purposefully paying attention to what is happening in the present moment without judgment. I have read many articles about self-care and mindfulness and very few offer examples of how to incorporate mindfulness-oriented activities into everyday living, besides doing yoga – which isn’t something I, personally, enjoy. After thinking about how I try to be more mindful in my daily life, I have come up with three personal tips I find helpful:

Coloring: A Path to Mindfulness

When I posted this drawing on Twitter just before New Year’s Eve, it was almost too much for me to bear. Should I really post this silly scan for all 900 of my Twitter geeks to see? Many people were sharing what 2015 meant to them, including resolutions that they will likely drop by March and superlatives about the previous year’s experiences. For me, I had to post this tweet because it was true. Coloring saved my life.

I thought I had lost my creativity and fluidity at moments during 2015—that somehow things had gotten crushed inside. Working in the recovery field as a survivor of a parent struggling with addiction has called attention to my own trauma history. It has also meant that work has come home with me and barged through my office door. I have struggled with self-worth constantly, even well into my 30s and well into my career. Adjusting to my family’s ups and downs, I was uprooted physically from my support network when I moved to the Pacific Northwest six months ago. The unfamiliarity helped to dislodge me.