Slow Down and Make the Most of Things
If important moments seem to get lost in the hustle and bustle of life, it’s time to slow down and be present. Learning how to enjoy life is not some hidden mystery, but a series of choices that keep you in the here and now.
Becoming more mindful of where you’re focusing your attention will not only give you greater joy, but make you more productive as well. As you consciously make an effort to just be and go with the flow, you may find yourself in a constant state of gratitude, seeing the world once again with child-like wonder.
Focus on the Task at Hand
As a parent, it’s easy to get swept up by your endless to-do list. Your mind constantly wanders to the next thing and how you can possibly get it all done.
But, if you’re always looking ahead, you’ll never truly be able to see what’s right in front of you.
Instead, focus on one thing at a time and give that task your full attention. Whether it’s mopping the floors or changing your daughter’s diaper, be present in the moment and open yourself up to its unique experience.
Soon you’ll find yourself remembering details you may never have noticed before, which you can fondly call upon later: how the shininess of the floors make you giddy, how your daughter wrinkles her nose when she cries. When you are present and truly focus on something, it makes you feel grateful for every moment of enjoyment, no matter how small.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Remember that old saying your mother used to tell you? Don’t cry over spilled milk? In other words, don’t sweat the small stuff.
So there are grass stains on your kids’ clothing or there are toys all over the floor. It’s not the end of the world! Instead of stressing because things aren’t what you want them to be, accept the way things are.
Life isn’t always going to go how you planned it and children certainly aren’t always going to act like you expect them to. Instead of reacting with frustration or anger, take a deep breath and just let it go.
Look past the small annoyances and you’ll find it will be easier to enjoy the good stuff.
Less Is More
Are you a yes-woman, aiming to please, but constantly overwhelmed? It may be time to admit there’s too much on your plate.
Take the time to evaluate what’s important to you and only agree to things that fall into those categories.
Obviously your kids are important to you, but you don’t have to agree to every play date, after school class, or fun event that comes your way. Slow down and space out items on your calendar.
Don’t over-schedule your family (thus over-scheduling yourself) and remember to take time just for you.
It’s important to take a breather and enjoy the things you’re doing. If you’re always rushing to get somewhere, you’ll never enjoy where you’ve already been.
Ask for Help
Women are experts at multi-tasking, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Aside from doing less during your day to cut back on burn out, you can always call on family and friends for help.
Prioritize tasks and see what you can outsource to others or get an extra set of hands on board. If someone offers help, even if you didn’t ask for it, take it and show your gratitude.
With another set of eyes to watch the pot roast or boiling pasta, you can give your child your full attention.
Although some might say asking for help is a sign of weakness, in reality it shows strength. You are not only asking for assistance in order to accomplish something you want, but you’re also telling yourself you deserve that help and generosity from another person.
Receiving help is an uplifting experience and one that will allow you to both enjoy the help and the freedom it allows.
Put Away Your Phone
While cellphones haven’t been around that long in the grand scheme of things, we sure do make them seem like a priority in our lives. Sure you might be waiting for a call from work, or a text back from a friend about dinner plans, but does the phone really need to be glued to your hand at all hours of the day?
Put away your phone, especially when you are spending time with the kids. They don’t see Mommy checking her voicemail, they see the phone as something competing for your attention and something that is possibly more important than them, because you can’t look away from it.
Your email, Candy Crush and coupon apps can wait. Give whoever you’re with or wherever you are your full attention and you might be amazed at how much better the real world is than its digital counterpart.
A Fine Parent (How to Be Present and Really Enjoy Kids)
Psychology Today (The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment)