Hello and welcome to the fourth edition of my mindfulness blog in this series. Last week we looked at mindfulness and time off – today we are looking at mindfulness and how it relates to being present with friends and family.

 

So if you read my last two blogs, you would have now cracked how to organise your time and how to be assertive in scheduling in your free time! But even if you’ve done this, you might still find it challenging to be present and fully enjoy your time with the people that you love.

 

How can we add more value to these experiences then? Like I have mentioned previously, it is very important to ensure that you plan your week so that your free time is limited from distraction. Following this, if you are still struggling to enjoy your free time and to be present with your friends and family, I suggest a culmination of the below:

 

Mix it up: we can all fall into habits and patterns of behaviour which can ultimately leave life feeling mundane. When things become mundane, we are less likely to appreciate the activity. For instance, if you and your partner go to the same restaurant every time you go out, then things can get boring. You might think that you’re still enjoying going to the same restaurant however, until you try something new, you might not know what you’re missing out on! When you try something new, you’re probably likely to pay more attention to it. That is, you have a heightened sense of feeling present and mindful!

 

But I like my routine: if you’re adamant about not mixing things up and sticking to your routine, then that’s okay too. What I would say is to try and notice the little things. The more we take note of the little positive things in our lives, the more likely we are going to appreciate the situation that we are in and the people that we are with. For example, if you always eat a full English breakfast every Sunday morning, then why not try to eat more mindfully? I bet it will be one of the best breakfasts you’ll ever eat!

 

Be thankful and pay compliments: this is very important as it makes you, as well as others, feel good! For instance, if you know that there is a pile of dishes that needed to be washed and you come downstairs to find that your flatmate has already washed them, then make them aware of how much you appreciate their thoughtfulness and what that means to you. This is going to heighten your awareness and their awareness of positive actions, which can only be a good thing right?

 

Focus on abundance and not scarcity: it can be very easy for us to notice what people don’t do rather than appreciating them for what they do. This can make us and others feel quite anxious – not a good feeling! So if you get annoyed that your friend is always five minutes late to the cinema, no matter how many times you have explained how annoying this is for you, focus on the positives. Maybe your friend offered you a lift or maybe they’re going to buy dinner. Maybe they are just really loyal despite being late to things all the time! Once we start focusing on the good, the negative things can seem really petty and may even become a thing of the past!

 

These are only a few ideas as to how you can be more present with friends and family. If you do try any of these and they work for you, be sure to let us know and spread the word!

 

Until next time,

R

 

(p.s. have you checked out Leo’s blog? It’s brilliant)

 

(p.p.s. make sure you join YOUR network for exclusive access to materials and webinars)