It is easy to have one's mind on all the things one has to achieve this week and on the things one messed up yesterday or some other time in the past. This means one isn't concentrating on doing what needs to be done right now. It also means one often misses enjoying the moment or truly living this day.
Here are ten tips I try to use to help me live one day at a time and I hope some will be useful to others-
Plan it and stop thinking about it I often find myself thinking about things in my diary for the rest of the week. While I do need to be aware of upcoming appointments and when I can get specific tasks done, thinking about the future too much is a waste of energy. It also tends to lead me to worry about things that could go wrong. Once I have planned out the week and written reminders in my diary it is better for me to concentrate on the here and now.
Don't try to do too much Sometimes I try to fit too much into each day. Some of the things I want to do don't really need to be done. They aren't going to bring me pleasure either so I am making an effort to limit how many things I expect myself to do. I try to delegate where practical.
Look for shortcuts I am always interested in shortcuts to get housework and other tasks done more quickly and more efficiently. There are some useful articles full of practical advice here on Hub Garden.
Take time for regular meal breaks Even when I am really busy I stop to eat regularly. I enjoy breakfast and can't imagine starting the day without refueling. Yes, when I was in the paid workforce I was sometimes guilty of eating lunch at my desk. However, I did find it was better to take a break to eat lunch because I worked more efficiently afterwards. If I am in a hurry at tea time I will heat something from the freezer but make sure I sit down to eat.
Remember to take deep breaths I have read about the benefit of taking a few slow deep breaths from time to time. It really does help me slow down and live in the moment. It also helps reduce stress if I am getting tense.
Take time to stroke our cat Our family cat loves being stroked but it is easy to think I am too busy to stop and pay him some attention. Stroking a cat is beneficial and research shows it has many health benefits. It has to be one of the most pleasurable ways of giving one's health a boost.
My cat Max waiting for me to stroke him. Image by Marie Vonow
Walk the dog Regular exercise benefits both me and my little dog. We get to meet other people and their dogs and enjoy the smell of the gum leaves. Walking helps me be aware of the changing seasons. I have noticed some leaves turning to yellow, orange and red now we are in the middle of autumn. These are things I am not aware of if I am inside.
Feel gratitude There is an increasing amount of research showing the benefit of feeling gratitude. When I stop and look around I see a great deal to be grateful for. It is often the little things like watching the blackbird splashing around in the bird bath this morning that bring me joy. If I don't stop and take notice of the great things each day I can miss them.
Do things I enjoy each day Some of the things I enjoy doing are free or low cost. Some don't take much time. I make sure I take time to do activities that make me happy each day rather than waiting for the weekend or a holiday away.
Concentrate on the moment If I am absorbed in thinking about a holiday I want to take, I could miss enjoying the gentle breeze that is blowing right now. When my concentration is on a movie I want to see I don't hear the music that is playing now. Worrying about the past or future prevents me from enjoying the little blessings each day brings.
Sometimes I find myself preoccupied with worrying about the future or regrets about the past. However, when I follow the tips in this article I am less stressed, enjoy my day more and can live one day at a time.