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15 Day Challenge: Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and aware of where we are and what we’re doing. One important aspect of mindfulness is to not be overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us or in our mind. It is important to just observe without judgment. Mindfulness is a quality that we can all tap into,  we simply just need to learn to access it. The following prompts are designed to help you begin becoming more mindful in just 15 days!!

1. Write a Gratitude Letter

This is one of my favorite personal practices. Write this letter as if you are writing it to a friend. Write everything you are grateful for as well as everything you are grateful to be working towards. After you do this, read it aloud. I like to do this practice daily. 

2. Meditate

Meditation is a difficult one and can be difficult for people, often we believe that the brain should turn off during meditation. However it is quite the opposite, often our mind will start racing, the buddhist call this monkey brain. It is important during this practice to notice whatever may be coming up for you without engaging or giving the thought energy. After bringing your attention back to your breathing. If this practice is hard for you start small. Start with five minutes and then slowly increase the more you practice. There are also a ton of videos online and apps that can help support you through your meditation.

3. Draw Your Backyard

Take this time to really connect with yourself and your garden. Notice the smells, what you feel in your body. Maybe how your skin feels in the sun etc. Mindfulness is all about giving ourselves a moment to pause and appreciate everything, the good, bad and everything in between. Allow yourself to express without judgment.(If you don’t have a yard pick somewhere in nature) 

4. Mindful Eating

Really make your food an experience here. Just like meditation, focus on every sensation. How does it taste, how does it feel etc. Be present. Thank yourself for the nutrition!

5. Some Areas of My Life I’d Like to Improve Are:

Here is a simple Practice, set your intentions. Setting goals will help us be more mindful of actually making them happen. If you want to add an artistic flare to this exercise, turn this list into a vision board. This is a super fun activity for date night, girls night or just a little self care for you!

6. Declutter Your Space

When decluttering the mind it can be helpful to have our living spaces match this energy. Get rid of all the things making energy shifts in your space, I promise you don’t need those pants that are too small on you that you keep as motivation.  Focus on the now.

7. Some Thoughts and Beliefs I Repeat In My Head Constantly Are:

Good and bad, this is about bringing attention to our critical voice. Be honest with yourself. Remember NO JUDGMENT. 

8. In What Ways Do I Impact Others Around Me Each Day?

Notice your value: if this is hard examine that. Start small if you can only think of two things that’s okay. Continue to revisit this exercise as you move through the practice. I like to make positivity jars for myself where I put little notes of wins I had over a whole year and read them at the end of the year. Sometimes we let the good we do go unnoticed, this time is for you.

9. Create Your Own Mandala

Mandala’s have been known for their meditative properties, they have been recognized by psychologists like Carl Jung for their therapeutic benefits. While creating your mandala again notice what maybe coming up for you.

10. What Are My Biggest Fears and How Do They Hold Me Back?

Again, full transparency here. Want to go even deeper with this exercise? Follow this question up with why do I have these fears? Where did they start?

11. How Can I Better Take Care of Myself?

SELF CARE!!! Do I even need to explain? Not only should you write what you can do for yourself here but also examine what you can do in order to start integrating these things into your day to day.

12. Dance Around in the Mirror

Spirituality states that our hips hold a ton of our trauma. Moving these parts of yourself will help you release some of those big feelings. Pay attention to whatever comes up for you. You may feel awkward or may even feel uncomfortable with seeing your body moving through the mirror. Pay attention to this, bring awareness to it. Meet it with the question why as well as some compassion.

13. Take a Rest Day

Everything needs rest, even you! It is scientifically proven that we are more productive when we rest, this helps us avoid burnout. There is an awesome book called “How to Do Nothing” by Jenny Odell that further explains this.

14. Do Some Yoga

Yoga is a wonderful practice for mindfulness, if its not your thing though do something else to get that blood pumping.This can be walking around your neighborhood or HIIT, whatever makes you feel good! Examine how your body feels before and after your workout.

15. I Feel Fulfilled and Truly Alive When:

Cultivating happiness. Abraham Hicks has a ton of videos speaking of the importance of following our happiness. Happiness is our driving force so lets bring our awareness to it.

Jillian Martino, CAT-LP