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SUGGESTIONS TO SUPPORT YOUR PRACTICE


Aim to engage in a period of formal practice every day – even if you are having a “bad” day or very busy day.


What ever is your primary mindfulness practice, aim to practice for at least 20 min- utes, and preferably for 30 or 40 minutes every day.


If the day is running away from you, try to sit for three minutes, or even for one minute. Allow that minute to be a concentrated period of non-doing, using the breath for calmness and stability.


Try to set a time and place to practice regularly. If possible, try to sit in the morn- ing, even setting the alarm clock a little earlier before everyone else in the house has got up. Alternatively, try sitting when you come in from work, before lunch at home or in the office, last thing at night before you go to bed, or at any time at all.You can use Insight Timer to time and record your practice.


Practice some form of mindful movement a few times each week, taking care that you are practicing with awareness and resting between postures. If this is your primary practice of mindfulness, aim to practice for at least 30 minutes at a time.


MINDFULNESS AT WORK


1.Take 5-30 minutes in the morning to be quiet and meditate: sit or lie down and be with yourself, gaze out of the window, listen to the sounds of nature or take a slow quiet walk.


2.While your car is warming up, take a minute to quietly pay attention to breath- ing.


3.While driving, become aware of body tension, e.g. hands wrapped tightly around the steering wheel, shoulders raised, stomach tight, etc. consciously work- ing at releasing and dissolving that tension. Does being tense help you to drive better? What does it feel like to relax and drive?


4.Decide not to play the radio and be with yourself. 5.Experiment with driving a little slower than you might usually.


6.Pay attention to your breathing, to the sky and trees or the quality of your mind when you stop at the traffic lights.


7.Take a moment to orient yourself to your workday once you park your car. Use the walk across the car park to step into your life: to know where you are and where you are going.


8.While sitting at your desk, computer, etc., pay attention to bodily sensations, consciously attempting to relax and rid yourself of excess tension.


9.Use your breaks to truly relax rather than simply “pausing”. For instance, in- stead of having coffee, a cigarette or reading, try taking a short walk.


10.At lunch, changing your environment can be helpful.


11.Try closing your door (if you have one) and take some time to consciously re- lax.


12.Decide to “STOP” for 1-3 minutes every hour during the workday. Become aware of your breathing and bodily sensations, allowing the mind to settle.


13.Use the everyday cues in your environment as reminders to “centre” yourself, e.g. the telephone ringing, sitting at the computer, etc.


14.Take some time at lunchtime or other moments in the day to speak with close associates. Try choosing topics that are not necessarily work related.


15.Choose to eat one or two lunches per week in silence. Use this time to eat slowly and be with yourself.


16.At the end of the workday, try retracing today’s activities acknowledging and congratulating yourself for what you’ve accomplished and then make a list for to- morrow. You’ve done enough for today!


17.Pay attention to your walk back to the car – breath in the air, feel the cold or warmth of your body. Can you open to and accept these environmental condi- tions and body sensations rather than resisting them? Listen to the sounds. Can you walk without feeling rushed? What happens when you slow down?


18.While your car is warming up, sit quietly and consciously make the transition from work to home – take a moment to simply be – enjoy it for a moment.


19.While driving, notice if you are rushing. What does it feel like? What could you do about it? Remember you’ve got more control than you might imagine.


20.When you pull into the driveway of your home, take a minute to orient yourself to being with your family and entering your home.


21.When you get home, change out of work clothes, and say hello to each of your family members or to the people you live with. Take a moment to look into their eyes. If possible, make the time to take 5-10 minutes to be quiet and still. If you live alone, feel what it is like to enter the quietness of your environment.


Adapted from Saki Santorelli “Mindfulness and Mastery in the Workplace: 21 Ways to Reduce Stress During the Workday”


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