We all know the benefits of personal practice. However, it remains challenging for most of us to prioritize it in our full and busy lives. Here are a few tips that might help:
Consider how your mindfulness practice supports your vision of the best version of yourself you can imagine in the future. You might spend some time journaling about this or perhaps speaking about it with someone to further develop it for yourself.
Reflect on the values you honor when you make time for personal practice on a regular basis. How are you living in a way that is aligned with what is most important to you?
Experiment with setting aside time each weekend to put together a practice plan for the week. Decide each of the upcoming days when you will practice, where you will practice, what type of mindfulness practice you will do, and how long you will do it. Record your mindfulness practice appointments in your calendar just as you would any other important appointment.
Consider in advance what you will do if something interferes with the time you had planned for practice. Come up with an alternative level of practice that you can feel good about. You can even come up with a backup to your backup plan. For example, if all else fails, you will sit at the end of your bed and practice awareness of breathing for 5 minutes before lying down to go to sleep.
Give it as a gift to yourself, remembering the positive impact that you have experienced as well as what the neuroscience is able to demonstrate in a concrete way that is happening functionally and structurally within the brain.
Julie Kosey serves as an instructor for the Duke Health & Well-Being Mentoring Mindfulness for Professionals program. If you would like to learn more about the Mentoring Mindfulness for Professionals program, visit the Duke Health & Well-Being programs website. Register by the early registration deadline to receive a 10% early registration discount.
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