Presence of Mind

According to Statistics Canada, 2018 was a stressed out year for Canadians - 73% of all working adults aged 20 to 64 report at least some level of stress.

This probably isn't that shocking considering our busy day-to-day lives. Our minds are constantly being pulled from pillar to post. The world many of us live in is quite hectic and can leave us feeling stressed and at times quite anxious.

It's said people who meditate are happier, but for most of us we don't have five minutes to sit down and relax, let alone 30 minutes or more for a session of meditation. The trouble is that it's essential for our well-being to take a few minutes each day to give our minds some space — to achieve some sense of balance with our thoughts.

Over the next couple of issue of the balance, we'll share some simple mindfulness exercises to help you clear your mind and find some calm amidst the franticness of your hectic day. These exercises will take very little effort and can be done pretty much anywhere at any time.

Mindful Breathing
Our first exercise is the best place to start. It's one of the things we do subconsciously, but can be a fundamental key to maximizing our mindfulness. It can be done standing up or sitting down, and pretty much anywhere at any time. All you have to do is be still and focus on your breath for just one minute.

  1. Start by breathing in and out slowly. One breath cycle should last for approximately 6 seconds.
  2. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Let your breath flow effortlessly in and out of your body.
  3. Let go of your thoughts. Let go of things you have to do later today or pending projects that need your attention. Simply let thoughts rise and fall of their own accord and be at one with your breath.
  4. Purposefully watch your breath, focusing your sense of awareness on its pathway as it enters your body and fills you with life.
  5. Then watch with your awareness as it works its way up and out of your mouth and its energy dissipates into the world.

If you enjoyed one minute of mindful breathing exercise, why not try two or three? In following issues we'll share with you other exercises for practicing mindful observation, awareness and listening.

Health & Wellness

Smoothies are such a great way to get a load of nutrition, and you can make them with just about anything you have on hand. For example, oranges are full of vitamin C, folate and potassium. Raspberries are packed full of flavour and loads of vitamin C. They're also a great source of anti-inflammatory power. Pack in even more power with a banana for energy, and cashews for healthy fat and protein.

Spring into Summer Smoothie Recipe

What you'll need:

  • 1 banana - peeled
  • 1 navel orange - peeled
  • 2 oz frozen raspberries
  • 3 tbsp cashews
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup ice

Add all ingredients to your blender and blend on medium speed until smooth. Serve chilled and enjoy

Quick Tip

We could all save a little more money each month. The challenge is in making the adjustments to our routines. Here's one of the top tips, and if you can give it 30 days, it can prove to be very rewarding. Skip the drive-through.

By investing in a travel mug and brewing your coffee in the morning you can easily save around $50/month if you just skipped the drive-through on the way to work each day.

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