Military spouses are pros at organizing and creating happy lives for the ones closest to us, but we don’t always spend time giving ourselves the same love and attention. Read on to discover five simple mindfulness hacks you can practice to make sure you’re placing yourself on your priority list. Simple steps equal big results.
To cultivate a happy, thriving military family, you need high levels of energy. To sustain this energy, you must invest in your wellness: mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional. Without a holistic way to rejuvenate, the military life path can be exhausting and detrimental to your health. You have a lot to do taking care of household responsibilities, and the to-do list expands when you have children and/or work outside of the home.
No, Not One More Thing To Do
The thought of adding one more item to your plate can be overwhelming, placing wellness in the category of chore and burden. However, mindfulness is worth the investment. The benefits include: decreased stress; increased immune function; greater self-kindness; improved production, productivity, and cognition; reduced anxiety; and stimulation of overall good health.
If these benefits don’t cause you to leap into a consistent wellness practice, knowing these benefits will filter through to your family should encourage you. Your loved ones will also experience the beneficial fruit of your efforts.
A Secret about Military Spouse Wellness
While military spouses have unique circumstances and experiences, the truth is, in the world of mindfulness, military spouse self-care doesn’t reside on an island of its own. Military spouse wellness is universal wellness.
Though distinctive pressures face military spouses, the path to mindfulness doesn’t require the use of special tools or protocols. This is encouraging, as the mindfulness path boasts documented benefits backed by scientific findings.
5 Simple Mindfulness Hacks
1. Be Aware
The first step toward mindful living is awareness. Start to pay more attention to your behavior, your habits, your beliefs, and your self-talk. Ask yourself why you are thinking those thoughts or taking a particular action. Your answers may surprise you. To create positive change, you must know what area need adjustment. Awareness will help you identify these areas.
2. Choose Empowering Words
Words have meaning. Often the words, “spending time,” are used to describe self-care activities. What emotions do you feel when you use the words spend or spent? For most, it is like you lost something. It has a negative connotation. The definition of spent is, “having been used and unable to use again.”
A more empowering word is invest. Invest introduces a new perspective. It provides positive energy that supports mindfulness as part of your self-care regimen.
It may appear that changing your speech has nothing to do with mindfulness. But, mindfulness is about being aware of your state of being in each moment. Your words filter your emotions and beliefs and influence your actions.
3. Quiet Time
You may say this tip is impossible. I hear you thinking, “You try getting some quiet time with a two-year old-running around the house.”
Five minutes daily of focused, conscious, quiet time, like meditation or prayer, is all you need to reap the benefits of mindfulness. If you can’t allocate five minutes, start with one—quality over quantity.
4. Measure and Track
You may have resistance to tracking and logging, as it seems like one more task to add to your busy schedule. Measuring and tracking will give you information to determine how effective your mindfulness practice is.
Make it easy by journaling and writing simple sentences. You can even use stick figures and drawings if it makes sense to you. Audio logs also work.
Tracking will help you build a habit and allow you to reflect on your actions with honesty.
5. Pay Attention to Your Thought Patterns
A significant element of self-care is your thoughts. Body scrubs, massages, vacations, and spa time are all quite gratifying, but if the majority of your thoughts linger in the negative zone, these physical activities will not bring you the peace you desire. Use awareness and empowering words to create positive thought patterns.
You Can Live a More Mindful Life
In each moment, you have a choice. Create a personal environment for yourself to make better choices. Choose to be more mindful in each moment, one decision at a time.
Mindfulness is a creative way to navigate this world. The steps outlined to live a mindful life are not painful. However, they must become a priority in your life along with the dedication to follow through. Your commitment will yield more peace, patience, mental clarity, and overall feelings of positive wellbeing.
Nyaima Smith-Taylor is the Co-Creator of Art & Alchemy. She is an InDependent military spouse on a mission to stomp out mass feelings of unworthiness and replace them with self-love and appreciation. She writes insanely useful guides on personal and spiritual development because she is devoted to sharing love, light, and wellness to people attracted to it.
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