Practicing Mindfulness. Again.

Katharine Chestnut
7 min readDec 29, 2023

Oh, mindfulness! It’s that magical practice we all know can help us feel more at ease and centered in our lives, but sometimes it just slips through the cracks, doesn’t it? Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. One minute, we’re cruising along on our mindfulness journey, taking deep breaths and fully experiencing every moment, and the next thing we know, life gets hectic, and being more mindful is a distant memory.

Fear not, fellow seekers of inner peace! I’m here to tell you that it’s entirely possible to get back on the mindfulness wagon after falling off. The beauty of mindfulness is that it is always there, patiently waiting for you to return. All you need to do is find the motivation to take those first few steps — or mindful breaths — and embrace a regular practice once more. The great news is that your brain is quick to remember, and it’ll feel like you’ve never left the tranquil shores of mindfulness paradise. Muscle memory is a handy thing.

So, where do you start? It’s pretty simple. The practice of mindfulness is all about being in the present moment and attentive to your experience. As you embark on your journey, remember to go easy on yourself and take it one mindful moment at a time. You’ll soon be well on your way to re-establishing our mindfulness practice and reaping its many benefits.

Oops! Falling off the Mindfulness Wagon

First, Forgive Yourself

We’ve all been there. We started practicing mindfulness, feeling great, and then bam!, life happened. It’s important to recognize that it’s okay to stumble. We’re human, after all. One day you’re in the zone with your mindfulness exercises; the next day, you couldn’t find our way back if you had a mindfulness GPS!

Cut yourself some slack. Take a deep breath and remember that forgiveness is not only a fundamental aspect of mindfulness but also key to getting back on track.

Why Do Mindfulness?

Now that you’ve forgiven yourself, take a moment to reminisce about your mindfulness journey.

  • What was the reason you started practicing mindfulness in the first place? Reduce stress? Reduce anxiety? Lessen depression?
  • What benefits did you experience?
  • How did it make you feel?

Revisiting those reasons can reignite your motivation and provide a gentle nudge as you climb back on that mindfulness wagon. Don’t worry — it didn’t wander too far without us!

Rediscovering Ways to Practice Mindfulness

You know that mindfulness is like going to the gym: you commit to a routine, see progress, and then, well, suddenly, it has slipped through your fingers.

Mindfulness is all about being present and focusing on your senses without judgment. Where do you begin? Try starting with something basic like deep breathing or mindfulness meditation. These activities clear away the cobwebs, help you find your Zen, and get back on track.

In fact, mindfulness for beginners offers plenty of insights and tips for all of us “re-beginners” who may need a little refresher. Consider a simple body scan, a loving-kindness meditation, or simply observe your thoughts. Sometimes all I manage to squeeze in during the day is a one-minute meditation. Something is better than nothing!

Sticking to a meditation routine might feel tricky, and consistency is key. Life will throw distractions your way, but instead of constantly saying, “I’ll get back to it tomorrow,” try setting aside just 5–30 minutes daily for your mindfulness practice. Even if it is listening to a sleep meditation at the end of the day. Remember, small steps lead to giant leaps.

Even a sleep meditation counts in my book!

Get creative with your mindfulness exercises. You can try a variety of activities, like the raisin exercise, box breathing, or a sound meditation (this is one of my favorite sound meditations to listen to). Variety is the spice of life, and the ways you practice being mindful shouldn’t be any different.

Integrate your mindful moments into daily activities like washing dishes, cleaning the house, or even brushing teeth. By paying attention to the present moment, you’ll find inner peace in unexpected places (plus, clean dishes are a bonus).

Lastly, remember not to take yourself too seriously. Practicing mindfulness isn’t about being perfect or turning into a Zen master. It’s okay to laugh when your thoughts run wild or when you can’t stop squirming during meditation. Embrace the quirks, and get back to tickling your inner Zen.

From Couch Potato to Mindful Maven: Adopting New Habits

Establish Routines

As I mentioned above, consistency is key. And don’t you love creating new habits that stick? Establishing routines is a crucial first step in getting back on the mindfulness wagon. But keep it real; you’re not aiming for perfection here. Start by choosing specific times during your day to practice mindfulness, like a 5-minute breathing exercise before breakfast or a nightly gratitude journal entry. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your mindfulness practice.

Commitment Is Key

Commitment can be as scary as that monster under the bed when you were a kid. But fear not! In the world of mindfulness, commitment is actually your BFF. The secret sauce to sticking to your routine is committing to your practice, even when life gets hectic or you feel like binge-watching the latest show. How about making a pact with yourself to practice mindfulness no matter what comes your way? Trust me, future you will thank you for it.

Track Your Progress

Tracking your progress can be a major game-changer. Think of it like a fitness tracker, but for your minds. By jotting down your daily mindfulness activities and collecting them in one place, you can see how far you’ve come and ensure that you stay on our newly formed wagon. I really love the Journal section in Insight Timer, not to mention seeing how I’m doing with the meditation milestones. And I don’t know about you, but I LOVE crossing things off a list. It’s like giving myself a mini pat on the back for staying committed to my mindfulness practice.

Embrace the mindful maven within you. Taking these steps will bring you closer to rediscovering your mindfulness practice. Here’s to establishing routines, committing to our practice, and tracking progress!

Get ongoing support for your mindfulness journey with the Mindful Life membership.

Nurturing Your Mindful Community: Group Activities and Classes

As I’ve said many times; progress not perfection. Let’s talk about how you can reboot your mindfulness habits by nurturing your mindful community.

How about some group activities? There’s a certain kind of magic that happens when you practice mindfulness with others. Trying out new fun mindfulness activities can lighten the mood and remind us that mindfulness doesn’t need to be so serious. I like the live online group journaling session that I start each with on Insight Timer. It gets me ready for the week in a delightful and productive way.

There’s nothing like finding a good mindfulness class to jumpstart your practice. Classes help you learn new techniques and refine your skills under the guidance of experienced teachers. Explore local yoga studios or meditation centers (I’m lucky to have one just a couple blocks from my home).

You can also cultivate your mindful community by joining clubs or checking out Meetup. This provides an opportunity to get to know like-minded individuals who are also working on their mindfulness practice. It can be incredibly inspiring and help you stay motivated in the long run.

Being a part of a group can keep you accountable; after all, you’re not the only one trying to get back in the groove. Humans are social creatures, so use that to your advantage. If you make mindfulness a shared experience, you’ll be more motivated to stick with it.

It’s Never Too Late

You might think that you’ve fallen so far off the wagon that it’s impossible to get back on. But that’s simply not true. The beauty with mindfulness is that it’s never too late to start again.

I stopped my mindful journaling practice for almost 10 years (although I did THINK about it). When I made the decision to return to it, it was easy. I just picked up a journal and started writing.

You’ll be surprised how quickly it all comes back to you, like riding a bicycle — only this time, your vehicle is a cushion, and your destination is inner peace. It’s time to find a cozy spot or dust off your trusty yoga mat. Take a deep breath, and let the adventure begin. Again.

Unlock the transformative power of mindfulness and meditation with The Mindful Life membership. Start your journey towards a more balanced, harmonious existence today. Learn more here →

Originally published at on December 29, 2023.



Katharine Chestnut

From the world of marketing and sm biz, to self-care and wellness practices. She is committed to help others discover their wisdom.