I've been slacking a little on checking in with myself since around the start of spring - after kick-starting my year focused on goals, making time for yoga and meditation, and being mindful, by April life had taken over again. With a new job, a holiday and plenty of plans for the weekends, everything else seemed to fall by the wayside. But just like with all the things we do to keep ourselves healthy - when you don't keep on top of your shit, you notice. So I'm making a promise to myself to make time for this stuff, and have a very mindful summer. Here's how I make time, even when it seems like I haven't got any.

1) Calmversation - Sometimes, muting WhatsApp can be necessary. I've talked before about putting your phone on flight mode, even deleting your Facebook and Twitter apps to quieten the 'noise' of your smart phone. But if you can't quite cut off completely, try to keep as many of your interactions with friends and family face to face or to voice/Skype calls. There's something I find really anxiety inducing from time to time about doing lots of back and forth texting or getting into long group WhatsApps - it almost feels like a pace-setting exercise. Keeping conversations where you can see and hear the intention behind what someone is saying, as well as taking the time to focus solely on them, just helps to press pause on the excess noise.

2) Stop, breathe and think - I'm not going to lie, I am a bit of a sucker for an app to solve my problems. Having said that, I really think this one is a goodie. You check in with how you're feeling that day, both physically and emotionally, and based on your answers the app recommends guided meditations for you to follow. I'm still relatively new to this so I don't know how extensive the library of free meditations are, but thus far - VERY impressed.

3) Have a conversation with your intuition - Yep, we're going woo-woo, but this amazing trick from The Lively Show really changed my life. I wrote a whole blog post about it last year, but long story short, this is a great way to check in with yourself and get insight into what you're really feeling beyond the day to day grumbles.

4) Sketch it out - there's a reason the adult colouring book market was the fastest growing in publishing last year - in our ever quickening world, people got wise to the joy of single-task focusing and getting creative with colour. I'd recommend this beautiful colouring book of Penguin book covers which my girl Jaye got for me for Christmas. 

5) Try active meditation - I totally get how you might not feel like you have time to sit down and meditate, or perhaps you think it isn't for you, but why not give this a shot - the next time you're doing something which requires some time dedicated to it - cooking or cleaning are good ones to start with - try observing your surroundings. What can you hear? What can you smell? What objects surround you? The art of noticing without judging is a great gateway into meditation and can really help bring you into the present moment and ground you. Give it a try!

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