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Living with purpose is one of the best ways to pave your path to a joyous life. Seizing the moment, however, can also feel like one of the hardest things to do. The constant onslaught of things to do, social media and being marketed to—do this to feel, look, be better—and sheer overwhelm of it all can be, well, overwhelming, and cause us to miss out on the important stuff. The seeming insignificant “little” stuff. But isn’t it the accumulation of all the moments, hours, days, weeks, and months that make up a whole life? As the song goes, “In five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes/how do you measure a year in the life?”

How being mindful lays the groundwork

So it’s in those small moments, the morning cup of coffee, daily walk, weekly meeting with a cherished friend, that we create a path to happiness. But it’s not the end of the path we’re searching for, it’s in each brick we lay. Acknowledging each of those moments for what they are, good or bad, and how they shape us as a whole. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion or the best day ever to be a best day ever! It’s simply in how we approach each task, engagement, meal, or outing. What will we make of it, in the end?

Mindfulness Tip:Breathing is the very foundation of life, and it is the thing that will be foundational in being most present in the moment. If you feel yourself going off course emotionally, or simply unable to connect with the moment at hand: Breathe. In, out, in out. As you bring your focus to your breath, you become immediately more settled in the very here and now. Engaging with this practice regularly is immensely beneficial for the mind and body. This sort of meditation helps focus, calm the mind, and can slow heart rate, lower blood pressure, and help with muscle relaxation.

Do what makes you happy

No, really. You might either think you’re already doing those things or conversely feel guilty about taking time for yourself—but if not now, when? Five minutes of “indulging” in a favourite pastime (reading, knitting, walking in the garden, enjoying a cup of tea) is a wonderful way to make the most out of your life. It’s amazing how those five minutes can stretch, or multiple “self-care breaks” can add up to something amazing. Always wanted to write a novel or paint with watercolours like Monet? Set a timer, pick up a pen or paintbrush, and just go—don’t think. While you’re having fun, you’ll also be boosting your immunity and brain function, enhancing cognition, and reducing anxiety and stress.

Let’s get back to that if not now, when?

Do it now

Making lists and using calendars can be immensely helpful when organizing our daily lives. This dedication to organization can also prevent us from the actual doing. Pick just one thing on your list, just one. It’ll probably end up being the most important, if you really think about it later. But for now, pick one, and just do it. Cross it off the list. Tomorrow, repeat. Don’t overwhelm yourself with all the things that could be done—cleaning your home, visiting with the grandkids, exercise: ALL of that will undoubtedly bring joy. But it’s not about bringing balance to every single day. That goal can feel way out of reach. It’s about seasons of balance: some areas of our lives will receive more attention than others depending on the day, week, month. For now, what is it that you absolutely must do today to be happy? Seize that feeling, and make the most out of the moment by doing it mindfully. Then, repeat.

At Verve Senior Living, we are passionate about bringing purpose to our residents and have a dedicated Life Enrichment program for inspiring those in our care to pave their way to a joyous life. Discover all we have to offer, here.

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