“Those who face that which is actually before them, unburdened by the past, undistracted by the future, these are they who live, who make the best use of their lives; these are those who have found the secret of contentment.”—Alban Goodier
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept is as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.”— Eckhart Tolle
Sometimes on Monday morning you can still barely make out the whiff of weekend relaxation. You know, that sense you had on Friday afternoon of possibility and time. The sense of peace that came from an afternoon spent reading your new book on the porch or weeding your garden. But there are ways to bring moments of peace into your everyday life that don’t require totally checking out for two days. Here are eighteen little ways to bring instant peace and quiet into your day.
Wake up naturally. Get the Sleep Cycle app for your iPhone to help you wake up in the lightest stage of sleep.
Lay awake. Before jumping into your day when you wake up, take a moment to stretch and take a few deep breaths.
Eat breakfast at a table. Sit down with your partner before you both head out to the office.
Make a gratitude list in your head. As you’re walking to the subway or sitting in traffic, make a mental list of everything you’re grateful for.
Check something off your to-do list before checking email. Whether you spend 5 minutes or 50, devote some dedicated time to accomplishing something in your day before email sends you running off reactively.
Do one thing at a time. Instead of shifting from one activity to another during the workday, focus on one task at a time.
Pause before eating. You don’t have to say full out grace, but sometimes in our rush to grab food and scarf it down before a meeting, we don’t bring any attention to the moment. Before you dig in, take a slow, deep breath.
Use your nose. When you take that deep breath, notice the smells of your meal: coffee, fresh bread, the zing of vinegar in your salad.
Go outside during lunch. Take a walk around the block or sit on a park bench for 15 minutes.
Really listen. So often when people talk to us we’re anticipating the next thing: what we want to say, or what we think they want us to say. Try just listening, absolutely focusing on what someone is telling you.
Send a postcard. Jot down a note to a friend to tell them your geraniums are in bloom and you were thinking of them.
Take a deep breath. Between activities, or when you find yourself getting swept up in the day, take the biggest breath you can, filling your lungs up with air, and slowly exhaling.
Physically connect. When you hug, kiss, or shake hands, really bring attention to the connection with someone else.
If you think something nice, say it. So often we don’t tell someone how much we admire their haircut or that we love their handwriting. And why not? People love to be complimented and you’ll feel good, too, for spreading some joy.
Have dinner by candlelight. You set a slower mood, your skin glows, and maybe you even start to feel a little romantic (wink, wink).
Drift off to dreamland. Instead of cataloging the next day’s to-dos, start at your tip-toes and work up to the top of your head, relaxing each part of your body. You’ll likely be having sweet dreams before you get to your hips…
— I try to do some of these things already, but all of these seem like such small simple ways to get through the day. This is something I really need to practice right now, because its kind of the calm before the storm, with having nathaniel gone after summer ends. It will be really hard to stay connected, and I can already feel myself feeling so lost and withdrawn, and the summer hasnt even started. I am therefore making a commitment to live for each moment and not take anyone or any one moment for granted.