written by Savannah Small-Swaby
If there’s one thing the digital age has taught us, it’s that tech breaks are necessary, self-care can be taught by Lizzo and Ariana Grande (Alexa, play Good as Hell Remix) and yoga as a way of unwinding is still a thing. But through all of this, many of us still struggle to find a way to stay present.
It may only be the month of April but now more than ever, these 6 ways to stay present in 2020 might be just the kickstart your year was looking for.
Pilates (and/or Yoga)
Okay, so while I may have joked that yoga is still a thing, it’s a thing for a reason. We’re a burnt-out generation and yoga is the perfect way to escape, bend and namaste our stresses away. And while yoga can help us de-stress, Pilates is another form of exercise that forces you to stay present. Built on connecting and engaging with your core, you have no choice but to focus on your every move and stretch.
Take a Tech Break
Self-isolating or not, we all need a tech break. Why? Because consuming ourselves in Chrissy Teigen’s tweets, reading ever-changing news articles and socialising on (House)party may be important parts of our daily lives, but we all need a break from our phones. Take a tech break, even if it’s just for 15 minutes, your mind will thank you.
Put Spotify on Pause
Hear me out. Music is a great way to ease anxiety and change your moods at the tap of a playlist but it also has a way of distracting from the sounds and scenery around us. So why not challenge yourself to mix up your daily run or brisk walk by letting nature be your soundtrack. Zoning in on where you are and your surroundings can instantly help you stay present, allowing those wandering minds to chill for a minute, or two.
Ticket For One
When all the chaos of self-isolation is over, we will be able to wander into museums again and when we do, we should make sure we take time to enjoy it not only with friends, but with ourselves as well. For those who are use to seeing exhibitions, plays and even taking a day trip out of the city with a friend, why not do it on your own? Understanding how to be present on your own is an easier first step to being present with those close to you because once you understand how to focus on yourself, you can adapt that practice to those around you.
Use an App
If you’re new to meditating but good with your phone, an app could be a great start. You should still be mindful of those tech breaks, but apps such as Calm has something to make you feel present for any situation, be it getting ready for a meeting, dealing with stress in a relationship or if you’re having problems sleeping. Meditating and breathing exercises can really help centre yourself and bring you back to the present, instead of worrying about the past or future.
Creating a journal isn’t just for your confused teenage years. As we get older we’re almost too stressed or too busy to take the time to reflect on our day. Writing a journal doesn’t mean you’ve stopped adulting. In fact, writing down and reflecting on the day will allow you to be present. And it doesn’t have to be your Carrie Bradshaw debut — although an ‘and just like that’ moment can wrap up your day nicely. For those that don’t know where to start, why not open your notes app and type how you’re feeling, limiting it to three bullet points to start and build on your journal from there. Investing in a journal specifically for you and your thoughts can also help, spending the morning or evenings to reflect by physically writing things down and process your day.
The beauty about this list? It doesn’t matter if you decide to fill your day up with every point, or you pick and choose what feels right for you on the day. Being present takes time. Like all of us, it’s a work in progress, so be kind to yourself and become your own soulmate this year, with or without playing Lizzo on full blast.