How To Be An Adult: 10 Mindfulness Exercises For Adults
You know you’ve grown up when you’ve replaced wild nights out with spending your Friday night in bed watching Netflix and ordering takeout. But let’s face it, adulthood is hard. From dealing with money worries, to trying to maintain relationships, to figuring out what on Earth you’re supposed to make dinner for every night. It can be… overwhelming. Fortunately, there are ways to cope with all that adulting without having to schedule an appointment with a therapist.
Here’s a list of mindfulness exercises for adults that will help you slow down and bring some peace into your everyday life. They may sound simple, but trust me, they work. So, try them out and be the adulting pro you know you can be!
1. Don’t check your email
Even if it means that you don’t read my monthly newsletter that I put my heart into first thing in the morning – don’t wake up to emails.
Checking your email is a habit we’ve all developed to stay on top of our work and social lives, but it can also be an enormous source of stress. We often start the day by checking our emails, resulting in a flurry of anxiety and frustration. But is it really worth it?
I carried out a survey on Instagram asking “What is the first thing you do when you wake up?“, and of 196 people that responded:
- 47% said they checked their social media
- 38% said they checked their emails
- 15% said other things
And this is an audience that is following me for mindfulness and meditation tips (Say hi to me on Instagram here.) Checking emails first thing is said to hijack your attention and actually reduce how productive you are.
Instead of letting emails take over your life, set aside a specific time each day to check them and spend the rest of the day living in the moment. This will help you focus and be more productive without feeling like you’re constantly missing out.
Ultimately, if it’s that important, the sender would most likely message you.
2. Unplug from technology
We’re surrounded by technology, but that doesn’t mean we have to be plugged into it all the time.
A great way to practice mindfulness is by taking a break from all the screens in your life. Set aside a few hours each week to unplug and focus on something else. Whether it’s reading a book, playing board games, going for a walk, or cooking dinner with friends—it doesn’t really matter what you do. The point is to do it without being constantly connected to your devices.
Not only will this give you some much-needed time away from the stress of emails, notifications, and news alerts, but it will also help you appreciate the little things in life.
I made it a practice to take at least 30 minutes during my breaks to go for a walk, but it was only when I stopped checking my phone (or leaving it at home) and practicing mindful walking, that I started to see the benefits.
3. Listen to music
Music is an incredible way to relax and reconnect with our emotions.
Whether you’re feeling stressed out or just need some time to yourself, put on your favorite tunes and let them take you away for a little while. Spend some time listening to music that resonates with your mood. If you’re feeling down, choose something calming and soothing. If you’re feeling energized, choose something upbeat and invigorating.
It doesn’t matter which genre of music you prefer — the point is to find something that makes you feel something. Bonus points if it makes you want to get up and dance!
A staple habit in our home is to have music on while we cook which will often include belting out some power ballad choruses (Don’t Stop Believing is currently number one in our charts).
4. Focus on your breath
This one is the most classic mindfulness exercise out there.
Simply take a few minutes to focus on your breath. Close your eyes, take slow and deep breaths, and pay attention to how the air feels as it enters and leaves your body. If you find yourself getting distracted by thoughts or worries, acknowledge them and bring your attention back to your breathing.
This is a great exercise to do first thing in the morning or before you go to bed. It helps you stay present and can even lower your heart rate and blood pressure!
5. Take time to reflect
We live in a world that’s always on the go, and it can be difficult to slow down and reflect on our lives.
Spend some time alone each day to ponder the bigger questions of life. What are your goals? What do you want out of life? What are you grateful for? What do you need to work on? It can also be helpful to reflect on your day and think about what went well and what could have been better.
This practice can be incredibly helpful in understanding and managing your emotions and enabling you to grow and make the most out of each day.
6. Take a walk
Fresh air and movement can be incredibly calming for both your body and mind, and it’s also a great way to stay active.
Put on your walking shoes and try some mindful walking meditation. Take in the sights and sounds and be present in the moment. It doesn’t matter if you’re walking around your neighborhood or a nearby park — the point is to escape the noise and chaos of everyday life, even if only for a little while.
Taking a break from your regular routine is just the mindful moment you need to start feeling like an adult again.
7. Have a drink
No, not that kind of drink! More like the herbal, chocolatey, or highly caffeinated variety.
Being mindful while making a hot drink can be a great way to relax and unwind. Choose your favorite flavor and make it with intention — pay attention to the temperature of the water and the way that your cup feels in your hands. Notice the nuances of taste, smell, and texture as you sip slowly. Really savor the experience and take in all your senses have to offer.
It’s a simple but effective way to practice mindfulness in everyday life. And who knows — you might even discover a new favorite flavor along the way!
I hope you expected to see this one on this list.
Meditation is one of the most powerful mindfulness exercises for adults and can be a great way to relax and stay in the present moment. Start by sitting comfortably with your eyes closed and focus on your breath. Notice how it feels as it enters and leaves your body, without trying to change or control it.
Meditation can help you gain clarity, reduce stress and anxiety, and even increase focus. Plus, it’s an awesome way to show yourself some love and compassion.
Journaling isn’t just for teenage girls. Blue-collar old fashioned business executives are now sharing that part of their productivity and well-being routines involve some form of journaling. They’ve become one of the most wanted gifts for Christmas and New Years,
Writing things down can be a great way to process and make sense of our feelings. Spend some time each day writing down your thoughts, dreams, goals, and anything else that comes to mind. Don’t worry too much about grammar or spelling — just write whatever comes to you.
Don’t worry about whether or not it makes sense — just write whatever comes naturally, and don’t censor yourself. You’ll be surprised at how much clarity journalling can give you and how easily it can help to make sense of your life.
10. Practice self-care
Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do as an adult.
This includes getting enough sleep, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and taking time for yourself. Don’t be afraid to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and do something special for yourself. Self-care is about paying attention to your mental, emotional, and physical needs. So, get creative and make time for yourself — go to a spa, have dinner with friends, watch your favorite movie, or take a yoga class.
Self-care is essential for cultivating self-love, inner peace, and balance – so remember to make time for it.
Adulthood doesn’t have to be hard. With a little mindfulness, you can make the most of each day and stay centered in the present moment. Try some of these mindfulness exercises to start living an adult life with intention and ease. Remember — life is about balance. So take the time to slow down and enjoy the journey.
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