What does “mindfulness” look like?

For the tagline to this blog, I wrote: “A journey of health, fitness, and mindfulness after the age of 70.” So far I’ve written a lot about health via all my WW posts. However, I haven’t written much at all about fitness and mindfulness. So today I will talk about mindfulness.

With all that’s going on in the world today, it is easy to have one’s mind full to bursting with all the news about riots, diseases, unrest, quarantines, etc.  “Experts” weigh in with opposing views on just about everything. That makes it all the more important to deliberately be mindful and to foster mindful practices in everyday life.

Mindfulness can be defined as the nurturing practice of being aware of one’s environment, thoughts, emotions, and experiences “in the moment” while remaining kind and nonjudgmental to oneself and others.

Being mindful is no small accomplishment! How am I kind to myself?  How do I nurture positive behaviors in order to take care of myself?  First – back to the other posts I’ve made in this blog – I am being nurturing and kind to myself by taking better care of my body via eating well and following the WW plan.

Mindful eating is really what WWs is all about.  One unhealthy habit I have is that I quickly eat most of my meals sitting in my recliner either watching TV or scrolling through my phone or laptop. I would like to replace that habit with a more nurturing one – sitting at a table with soft music playing – slowing down and being mindful of taste and texture – drinking plenty of water along with the meal.  TODAY I will start with dinner each day – at the dining room table, music from my iPhone, talking with my husband.

What does mindfulness look like right now in my life?

  1. I’ve recently started a skin care regimen. I’m fortunate in having a good inheritance when it comes to my skin. I’ve never had to do much to have good skin. However, now that I’m in my 70s, the wrinkles are more apparent. Rather than going to bed without removing my makeup first (something I’ve always done!), I’ve started washing my face with a good skin care product (Rodan + Fields), using a toner, and then a face cream.  In the mornings, I apply a sunscreen before applying makeup. I consider it a soothing and relaxing way to prepare for bed.
  2. In the mornings, I’ve started back having my quiet time. I did this for year before, but in the past couple years, I’ve let it slide.  During my quiet time, I read the Bible, keep a prayer journal, and read a devotional – all while enjoying my morning coffee. It is delightful way to start the day, and it’s a “centering” practice.
  3. I make my own healing skin cream. I am a “picker” – meaning if there is any blemish on my skin, I tend to pick at it. It is a habit that is SO hard to break! There’s something about the lack of smoothness that makes me feel compelled to try to make it smooth by scratching at it. So I made my own healing cream that I put on any blemish to help it heal quickly.   I mix it in a bowl and put it in small 2-oz. cosmetic jars. And I’m making a concerted effort to stop the picking! I have made my own regular skin cream for the past year, too. I prefer both the skin cream and the healing cream over any commercial cream I’ve found. It’s not only a self-care practice, it helps to foster my creativity.
  4. I do mindfulness walks around our yard. That was something I started at the beginning of the Covid-19 quarantine in March 2020.  We are fortunate to have some acreage where I can walk. I try to get outside in the sun on a daily basis and just walk around, breathing deeply, for a few minutes each day.
  5. I’m working on more regularly keeping my home clean and neat because a clean and organized environment fosters calm and peace. Yesterday I cleaned out my closet (again!). The pantry is next. Then my art studio. The rest of the house stays fairly clean and neat.
  6. With SO much discord in the world right now, I have avoided the news as much as possible for a long time. I get most news via the internet – but I can select news outlets that don’t have obvious biases. I want to form my own opinions rather than be told what to believe – which is what most news outlet do. That way I can be informed without being manipulated into getting upset or angry.
  7. My Apple watch is set to regularly remind me to breathe deeply throughout the day. Sometimes just taking a deep breathe is calming.

Balance is another aspect of mindfulness, and I think I do a pretty good job of that. I work around the house or paint or cook or whatever, but I also take breaks, I write, and I visit family and friends.

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