So after reading our last blog, you’ve committed to incorporate “necessary-care” into your daily life. Good for you! Commitment is the first step in making any lasting change. Now you just have to figure out how to do it, what to do, and when? Fortunately, there are plenty of quick and easy ways to incorporate self-care into your daily routine. And even just 20-30 minutes a day of “me-time” can drastically improve your overall well-being. But instead of making self-care just another one-time “task” that you check off your to-do list every day, what if you could enjoy self-care throughout your day while still getting everything else you need to do, done? Even better, right? Well, by “living with intention,” you can do just that!
What is living with intention?
Living with intention. We hear the sentiment often, but what does it mean? Intent is “the state of mind with which an act is done.” And intentional living is living with awareness of what brings you joy and setting out each day to engage in those activities, that serve a good purpose and will have a positive influence on your life.
Setting intention for our everyday living means you are committing to a purposeful state of mind while you proactively participate in the act of living, instead of reacting to others’ plans and doing things only out of necessity.
Biologically, it’s impossible not to be influenced by our surroundings. But our environment does not always support our best interests. Our lives, culture, and society are full of things competing for our attention. Living with intention helps us live with authenticity and agency. Being intentional about where we give our attention helps us to break out of the cycle of things that don’t serve us. But, how do we get there?
How to live with intention
Living intentionally means taking care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. Sometimes we aren’t always clear on what we want out of life or who we want to be while doing it. We may not know our purpose or passion. We may not even know what feels good or true anymore. This is where Mindset MAPPING helps generate intentional clarity to create intentional living. MAPPING helps establish a daily routine that allots time to take care of daily tasks while focusing on your overall well-being throughout the day.
MAPPING your Mindset
Divide your day into three parts: Morning, afternoon, and night. Depending on your responsibilities and your preference, incorporate the following elements into the three sections of your day.
M – Movement
Moving your body improves mood, combats anxiety and depression, detoxifies your body, helps with better sleep, and increases your energy. Move your body! Put on your favorite pump-up music and dance, do a 20-minute workout, or go on a 20-minute walk.
A – Alignment
Align your time and your energy. Stress + rest = growth. You’re not going to get better at whatever it is you are trying to get better at unless you really work at it, so some stress is natural. But too much stress is detrimental to your health. Make to-do lists to keep you focused. Prioritize your list starting with the things that absolutely need to be done that day. Be honest with yourself when determining which items are a true necessity, to ensure you’re being productive, not exhaustive. And schedule in things that help to recharge you like walking to your corner coffee shop for your favorite latte or taking a quick break to read or watch something funny.
P – Passion
Spend 30-60 minutes on a passion. Pursuing passions fulfills your purpose. A passion is an activity or topic you enjoy, comes naturally, or puts you in a flow so time flies. Doing something you enjoy, every day, helps to make you more productive. It energizes you, and when you have something to look forward to every day, your workload will feel lighter, and you will be more motivated to complete your tasks and deadlines on time.
P – Positivity
Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. Additionally, when your state of mind is generally optimistic, you’re better able to handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. Make it a point to laugh every day and don’t gossip or indulge in drama. If something goes wrong, ask yourself “what can I learn from this?” and move on. And, make it a point to give 5 sincere compliments per day. This element should be carried with you throughout your entire day, but if you know you will be around the most people in the middle of the day, then make it a point to really focus on the ‘positivity’ element during your afternoon block.
I – Intention
Set daily or weekly intentions like, “I want to feel more energized” or “I want to stay focused.” Anytime you’re faced with a decision ask yourself, “Does this align with my intention?” Setting intentions keeps you on track and helps you achieve goals.
N – New
Try new things! Avoid just “vegging out” after work every night. We all know the importance of exercise and movement for our bodies and the brain is no exception. In order to keep our brains healthy and functioning, it’s important to develop new brain cells, and studies have shown that the act of learning new things, and the act of experiencing something new can generate new brain cells and new pathways. Try a new recipe, take a new class, try a new activity or hobby, or research and learn about a new topic you’re interested in. It doesn’t have to take up too much time. Making a new food recipe can be as quick as 15-20 minutes!
G – Gratitude
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Expressing gratitude reduces stress and anxiety, helps you deal with adversity and build strong relationships. Write down or say aloud five things you’re grateful for every day. This a great exercise for your ‘morning’ block, to help energize you for the day, or your ‘night’ block for a good nights sleep. Whichever works best for you!
Sample map for easy reference:
Blank Page to print and use:
Incorporating these small elements into your daily routine will help you live mindfully throughout your day, resulting in a more healthy and fulfilling life overall. You can even create a new map every week and experiment with the flow until you find the one that works best for you! If you decide to give this a try, visit us on Facebook or Instagram and let us know how it goes!
Written by Destiny Van Rooy
Destiny is our Client Experience Coordinator. She has extensive experience with much of our behind-the-scenes legal work and knowledge of the criminal case process. Her background helps our business and client service continue to grow simultaneously, by making sure that the human element of the legal experience is not lost on the good people we represent. Destiny moved to the Northwest from Arizona, promising to never look back. She’s fully embraced her new life in Oregon and loves riding her bike around Portland. She also loves meeting new people, dancing, crafting and catching live music shows with her husband, London.