Living in the Present

Hey, pretty girl!

It’s no secret that our world fixates on the future.

What are your weekend plans? What do you plan to do after high school/college? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

We often spend so much time thinking and planning for our futures that we forget that we are living moments now.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I am the prime example of an obsessive planner. I live through a calendar and a schedule down to the exact minute. I take every action with the mindset that it’ll impact my future career/grad school options. I fill my schedule to the max for a resume. I fixate on my next move to get to my “dream life.” However, thinking like this causes me (and I’m sure many others of you) to lose control of my anxiety. And this causes me to forget to enjoy the present moment I am living in.

Recently, I have been more aware of this social behavior I have been taking a part in. Whenever I catch myself thinking about the next move, I now try to use the new tips I have obtained and focus on the moment I am in. For example, when Jack visited me this weekend I found myself counting down how many hours I had left with him, instead of enjoying the hours I had with him. For this reason, I’ve decided to come up with a few methods to help you live in the present moment and enjoy your life as it is now.

Tip #1: Grounding

Grounding is defined by Healthline as “a therapeutic technique that involves doing activities that “ground” or electrically reconnect you to the earth.” This can come in many different forms and techniques will not work the same for everyone. I have found what helps ground me best is admiring the outdoors and focusing on the senses I feel. This is where my Instagram photo comes in. On the way home from Wisconsin, I rolled down my windows and enjoyed the breeze of a perfect fall day. I focused on the scenery around me instead of how many miles back to my apartment. When I saw this grassy patch with hay bails and the fall colors just starting to peak through, I had to pull over to capture the moment and soak it in. There is something about easy 70 degree weather, being high on love, dirt gravel under your shoes and looking out on an ever-changing scenery. This is where I find myself most present. I recommend experimenting to help find what helps you reconnect to the present moment.

Tip #2: “Scheduling” Free Time

This is a BIG one for me. I had a terrible habit in high school of overworking myself and spending every moment I was “done” with homework, working ahead on what was due in the future. I’ve found that what works best for me is working incredibly hard during the week and giving myself the weekends to have 100% free time away from work and school. While responsibilities are still important, it is also important to make time that can be just about living and being present.

Tip #3: Dream about the future, but don’t obsess over it.

Finally, don’t over obsess about the future. For example, when you’re a freshman in high school, you wish to be old enough to drive. When you’re old enough to drive, you wish to be old enough to be on your own. When you’re “on your own,” you wish to find your person and start a life. Instead of wishing away those precious years, enjoy the time you’re in. This one is important for my single girlies. One day, you’ll meet someone that’ll make sure you’re never single again. Enjoy your time by yourself because you won’t get that time forever. Same goes for anything else. Remind yourself when you begin obsessing over the future that your future is built on the memories you are making in the present.

How do you make sure you’re in the present moment?

With Love, Marin

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