Rebalance with mindfulness

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Every day we face various life stressors — from work and challenging commutes, to family and home responsibilities. At times, just one small change to our schedule can leave us feeling overwhelmed. As such, being more mindful and fully present in our lives can help us regain a better sense of balance.

Start by making a clean break: Your body and mind need a break from the day’s effort, so try to mentally remove yourself from work before you get home. When you get home, you might go outside and take a deep breath, put on your favorite music, or change out of your work clothes. Be fully present with loved ones by setting your smart devices out of sight, especially if you know you tend to look at work-related email when you are home.

Pursue balance daily: Accept that some days will be work-heavy or hectic and plan ahead for some “me time” to help keep you in balance. For example, taking a midday time-out with some stretching to ease your mind or going for a 15-minute walk to restore a sense of control. At home, put the day to rest, literally, and go to bed 15 minutes early, when possible.

Focus on the present: Stay grounded by stopping to truly experience whatever is going on at the present moment. Value everyday living by taking notice of simple pleasures such as the physical sensations of the way the sun feels on your skin or the taste and texture of what you are eating. If you find yourself in the middle of chaos, stop for a moment to identify what you are feeling, and ask yourself if you can take a break, even for five minutes.

Develop a positive mindset: Find ways to cultivate a positive attitude. For example, focus on what others do right instead of wrong, extend small courtesies to others and see what you get back, and remember the big picture when you are stuck in a challenging situation. Learning what makes you happy may be trial and error. Take some time to prioritize what you value and create a plan to gradually change some things in order to enjoy life more.

Talk to someone: Oftentimes, a trusted friend, family member, or someone in your community can listen and offer support when you are struggling. Sometimes, however, you might need someone from the outside, someone objective to help. If you or any of your family members are having trouble with priorities, balance, or feeling overwhelmed, contact your Peterson Air Force Base Helping Agencies at (719) 552-HELP or your unit Resilience Trainer.

Civilian employees and their families can also contact their Employee Assistance Program by calling 1 (800) 222-0364 or visit www.FOH4You.com.