More recently, I have been trying to live more mindfully and intentionally. I had always been that crazy, busy girl who had her mind on a million things at once, took care of everything, kept up in school, and was always the one people counted on to help them “fix” their own life’s issues and drama. Throughout all of this, I was told I am capable of handling it all and able to do it all simultaneously, and therefore I felt responsible for taking care of everything – doing it all. But the thing is, I wasn’t capable of carrying it all – taking care of everyone’s requests all the time. I couldn’t “fix” everyone else’s lives when my own life needed fixing. I was getting warn out by all the expectations. I felt used up by all my efforts. I was stretched so thin, I was ready to break. I went to bed exhausted and woke up exhausted. Something needed to change.
That is when I decided to start living out each day more purposefully and mindfully, and it changed everything.
What does mindfully living look like?
Be all in. Be there. Be present.
Intentionally choose how you spend your time each day and be invested. Keep a clear mind so you’re not fragmented with people.
Have you ever been out with friends and everyone is on their phone? It can be pretty frustrating, because everyone seems preoccupied and wasting what opportunity they have right in front of them with the people they love because they simply didn’t make the choice to be present and truly show up. They had a fragmented mindset because of all the things they decided to give attention to simultaneously, and because of that, meaningful quality time took a hit. Conversations became meaningless distracted banter and sometimes even seemed to stall completely.
Don’t waste a minute.
Are you going to feel as though it was a fruitful day if you just laid around on the couch bored all day? Chances are probably not. Take opportunities to get out and do stuff. Even the little stuff. Anything. Knock off a chore on your to-do list. Get invested in accomplishing your latest goal. Take up a new hobby – or an old one! Just do something. Trust me, you will feel much more content at the end of the day if you don’t waste away your whole day; however, this leads to the next very important concept…
Be “productive” on what gives you peace.
Sometimes that is completing those tasks on your to-do list that have been making you feel overwhelmed lately, but more often than not, it means giving yourself a break from “being productive.” It means more than just the hurried knocking off of items on a list. It means doing the things you love. It means doing the things that make everything else in life seem okay. It means investing your time in the things that truly matter to you.
Slow down the pace of life.
For some of us, that means saying no to taking on more and more. Instead, be mindful of which opportunities you feel you are meant to take, and which will only lead to more stress and clutter in your life. In order to slow down the pace of life, sometimes it means being more intentional with which tasks you decide to take on. Sometimes it means taking little breathers or days off in between the seemingly stressful must-do chores of life. Whatever it means for you, just slow things down every now and then, and I promise you will notice the difference.
Let go of the expectations of who others think you are, and just be who God made you to be.
Don’t automatically take on the impression you’ve been given of who you are based on what others say. Claim your true God-given identity with confidence and authority.
Just because everyone tells you that you’re responsible and expected to be the problem-solver of the group doesn’t mean you actually were meant to help evvvveryone with their problems. Not everyone is emotionally capable of taking on everyone else’s stress along with their own simultaneously. God didn’t make everyone therapists for a reason, but He did place certain people in our life to support us and also allow us to exercise our own special gifts to support them as well.
Just because everyone in your family expects straight A’s from you in school doesn’t mean you were meant to bend over backwards and put your physical, mental, and emotional health in jeopardy just to keep it up.
Let go of all the expectations of who others think you are and find God’s expectations for who you are meant to be.
Make the most of every single moment.
This just makes me think of the time I was running errands with my boyfriend when all of a sudden a kind of funny slow song came on the speakers and we just laughed and pretended to slow dance in the middle of the craft store. We weren’t on some fancy dance floor, we were simply running errands, but that split moment where we decided to enjoy ourselves and not care what others think has stuck with me still to this day. Something as simple and silly as that has become a fond memory of mine. The situation wasn’t perfect, but at the same time it was just exactly that! Just being in the moment and enjoying ourselves while doing a fairly boring task made it all that much better. It didn’t matter that we weren’t someplace meant for dancing. It didn’t matter that we weren’t dressed up nice or dancing all that well. It didn’t even matter that we were in the middle of a craft store! Everything else just seemed nonexistent. The unimportant minor details didn’t matter to the overall value of the moment.
Besides, if you were to always wait for the perfect moment to do everything, you would be waiting until eternity! Just make whatever moment you’re given, the best one yet.
Lastly, work on being a better you.
Ultimately, I can’t give you advice on how to do this, because frankly, only you know what you need to do to become a better you. Make goals and make things happen!