Life leaving you a little high-strung? Read on to discover our practical guide to slowing down and finding your inner calm with mindfulness tips for the digital nomad.
We all know about the perks of the digital nomad lifestyle. You choose your own hours, you aren’t tied down to one place, and you make connections all over the world. Amazing, right?
While all that is true, you might still find yourself a little more on edge than you’d like. And that’s understandable – after all, you’re working abroad, not holidaying! That’s where mindfulness comes in.
Mindfulness is all about slowing down and focussing on the here and now – something we can all benefit from. It’s been proven that people who practice mindfulness are calmer, happier, and more creative 😇. It can even have physical health benefits!
And the good news is, incorporating mindfulness into your routine is easy and super effective. Even when you’re on the move.
A practical guide to mindfulness for digital nomads: Four exercises you can try right now
Okay, mindfulness has amazing benefits. But how do you get started? Read on for our guide to mindfulness with the digital nomad in mind.
The body scan
Total newbie when it comes to mindfulness? Don’t worry – this super simple exercise can be done anytime, anywhere.
First off, get comfy. This can be in your chair, lying down in bed, anywhere!
Once you’ve taken a few moments to settle, bring your attention to the tips of your toes. Focus your attention there, noticing any sensations you feel. Try and hold that attention for 30 seconds.
Then, move your attention up to your ankles. Repeat the process, focussing on that area for 30 seconds.
Keep slowly moving up your body, focussing on each area for 30 seconds, until you reach your head. And voila! You’ve just completed your first mindfulness activity 💪
This exercise is great for those of us who are new to mindfulness and find the whole thing a bit daunting. Even on the busiest days, you can be mindful without even leaving your desk. If you’re wondering where to even begin incorporating mindfulness into your day, this is the exercise for you.
In our busy modern lives, we all struggle with keeping on top of our responsibilities. But it can be particularly hard when you’re not working a standard 9-5. We have to create our own structure, and that can be a little overwhelming at times!
It’s easy to have your to-do list whizzing away in your head at all times. You’re working on one task, but you’re actually thinking about the next job (or what you’re going to have for dinner 😋). Sound familiar?
Pick any task you have on the agenda that day. When you’re getting that job done, really focus on each step. That can be as simple as telling yourself “I am typing right now”. Staying present and focussing on the task takes you out of your head and into the moment, which helps with anxiety – and makes you more productive. Win-win!
Mindful breathing is probably the most popular type of mindfulness exercise. Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest!
This is similar to the body scan exercise, but here we are focussing on breathing.
Once you’re comfy, bring your attention to your breath. Don’t try to change how you’re breathing, just focus on the sensations you feel on the inhale and the exhale.
Sounds easy right? You’d be surprised! Pretty quickly your attention will drift off – and that’s fine! When you notice your mind has wandered, just bring your focus back to your breath.
The beauty of breathing exercises is that they can be done anywhere, at any time, for as long (or as short!) as you like. Once you’ve got to grips with the basics, try practicing this technique in short bursts throughout the day – you’ll feel better for it 😌
Turn your everyday habit into a mindful moment
Practicing mindfulness doesn’t mean you have to follow others’ exercises. In fact, one of the best ways to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday is to use a habit you already have as a trigger for mindfulness.
So, every time you go to do that task, you make it mindful.
Think about one small thing (non-work!) you do every day. It could be your 11am coffee break, for example.
Most of us rush through everyday activities like this, stuck on auto-pilot. You might be having a “break”, but you’re still in work mode. And this = stress.
Instead of just going through the motions, try focusing on the sound of the tap running, or the weight of the kettle as it fills up with water. Shifting your focus away from wandering thoughts and onto the present moment is really all mindfulness is.
And don’t worry about whether you’re doing it right! Remember, just trying to be more present is mindfulness.
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