Reflecting on Guest Conversations: Mindful Monday with Dr. Jennifer Byrnes
When I had my conversation with Dr. Jennifer Byrnes on February 23, 2020 (Meet Mediocrity Podcast Episode 4), she and I focused our conversation on how to be mindful, and apply mindful meditation to our everyday lives. Jennifer spoke about “mindful moments” – stopping and focusing on that first sip of coffee every morning. The smell, the taste, the view outside your window… and, tapping into your breath to kick off those mindful moments. Jennifer reminded us that mindful moments build on themselves, leading to increased mindfulness and increased ability to refocus ourselves on what’s right in front of us rather than being anxious or depressed about matters beyond our control.
Since that conversation, I have increased my focus on meditation and I’ve now started taking a dedicated 10 minutes a day, almost every morning, to have a meditation session – especially now during COVID-19! Personally, I have found meditation as a helpful way to start my day, and it reminds me that mindful moments are available to me when I need them.
I have been using the Peloton cycling app – which, by the way, is currently available for “free” for 90 days. So, if you don’t have a Peloton bike or treadmill, you can still use the app for free for the first 90 days. Peloton has meditation, strength training, stretching, meditation and other classes available on its app. It’s not just cycling and running! I’ve been choosing a different 10 minute meditation class to do every morning. There are a number of meditation apps out there – I’ve tried Headspace and CALM in the past. You can also find led meditations on YouTube and Spotify at no added charge.
And, although I’m enjoying listening to 10 minute meditations on the Peloton app, you really don’t need an app of any kind to meditate. As Jennifer said on our podcast episode “your breath is always with you, so the opportunity to mindfully meditate is always with you too!”
Here’s the bottom line – I am a pretty busy person and my days have been very busy, even while sheltering-in-place during the COVID pandemic. I also feel as if my anxiety levels are low and my positivity levels are generally high. Nonetheless, meditation is becoming a bigger part of my morning routine, it’s playing a bigger role in my overall wellness and it’s becoming a more readily accessible tool for me to draw on during the day.
Give it a try for a short period of time. I’m thinking 5-10 minutes every day for 10 days. That’s a very small investment of time in yourself and those 50-100 minutes will begin to create a habit that provides you with benefits. You will thank yourself for making it a habit!