Mindfulness is one of those things that sounds so easy.
Just pay attention? Simple.
Live in the moment? Done!
Breathe? Of course.
Mindfulness is often described as simple, but not easy.
Just the other day my daughter came out of school with rosemary baked potatoes (yum!) from her school garden. She asked me to hold the potatoes and specifically said "don't eat them". As I got to talking to another parent, I began eating the potatoes.
All. Of. Them.
I was so caught up in the conversation, my mind had no idea I was even eating the potatoes.
Many of us do that a lot. Not necessarily eating baked potatoes - that's a whole other conversation! But, we get so caught up in our thoughts or actions that we don't notice what's right in front of us.
For early childhood educators, feeling overwhelmed is not uncommon. With mountains of paperwork, children who receive your constant love and attention, rooms to clean and documentation to complete, you can often feel like you've never caught up.
It's these times when feelings of anxiety can increase, and mindfuless can be so valuable.
There's nothing complicated about mindfulness methods. Quite simply, the more you practice it, the more natural it will become.
However, when you first start to practice mindfulness, you may have to remember to be mindful.
One way we can do this is to create reminders or triggers.
Just as you would write yourself a note to remember to buy milk, or set an alarm to wake up, there are simple ways to remind yourself to be completely aware of what it is your are doing.
Imagine if every email ding, Facebook notification, and retweet alert called us to mindfulness!
Here's 3 simple but very effective ways to include mindfulness reminders in your day as an early childhood educator.