Finding peace in everyday routines has never been more important. Here, Dr. Barbara Winter, a Boca Raton–based psychologist, whose specialties include advanced training in mindfulness, shares techniques for self-soothing.
PBI: What does mindfulness mean today?
Winter: Meditation is a large part of mindfulness, [and that is] focused concentration. There is also the practice of loving kindness that extends our compassion and love to ourselves. These are phrases we can say, preferably with our awareness of breath, such as “may I be safe,” “may I be happy,” and “may I live with ease.” We then can extend the phrases to others who have been afflicted with pain. But mindfulness today extends to everything. There is “everything mindful”—mindful eating, mindful brushing of the teeth, and now we can practice mindful handwashing. It is about being in the present moment.
How can people find peace in routines and everyday activities?
Routines ground us. Rituals stay in our memory, of our bodies and our minds, and we define ourselves by them. Meditation, mindfulness, and loving kindness practices can be done daily. We can find the space in our day to stay present, experience gratitude and loving kindness, and be free not from pain but from suffering. A daily practice builds consistency and resilience and opens your heart.
What are some simple exercises or techniques to try?
Try mindful eating. It provides a space to be present in our day. Take that pause and use all of your senses to focus your attention on that activity.