Do you remember as a child waking up on a Saturday morning and the only thing on your agenda was playing all day?

As a working parent, how nice would it be to truly enjoy the weekend?

Back to school is here and the ongoing to-do list is in full swing.

At a yoga studio recently, a profound message was written on the board: “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu.

Living in the future or the past deprives you of genuine happiness. I challenge you to live in the present.

Below are some suggestions, with the help of wellness author Angela Liddon.

  1. Breaths. Is your breathing shallow? Take three long deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  2. Be a minimalist. Physical clutter turns into mind clutter, and removing everything but the essentials restores a feeling of tranquility and reminds us what is truly important in life.
  3. Do something for yourself. Restore your mind, soul and body.
  4. Forgive the past. Grudges will take your energy away and prevent you from having future opportunities. Let it go!
  5. Dream big, but work hard today. Planning is motivating, but it’s important to focus on what we can do in the moment and not get too caught up in what we have not done.
  6. Do one thing at a time. Multi-tasking can promote a panicked state.
  7. Do less. Do not feel obligated to fill the calendar. Are you involved in too many activities?
  8. Add space. Don’t schedule things close together.
  9. Spread the love. Hug someone, smile or share your gratitude.

The next time I am headed to the beach and my daughter is mesmerized by the beauty of a morning glory, I will stop and notice whole-heartedly. My 6-year-old daughter sees the value in life and the beauty that surrounds it.

Isn’t this what we all want?

Jodi Watts, MA is a licensed professional counselor, certified addiction counselor, and associate with Psychological and Counseling Associates of the Lowcountry, LLC in Bluffton.