Check out Just Bee Yoga + Well-being’s virtual studio with yoga and mindfulness activities you can do at home.

This winter, Kay Epple and Cathy Fitzgerald welcomed two grandchildren to their families—bringing their total to 29 grandchildren combined! For Kay, she was first attracted to the concept of mindfulness when she started having grandchildren.

“I realized that I had flown through my parenting years in a blur,” Kay says. “Busy schedules, homework and commitments led to skating through days barely remembering what end was up. When I had grandchildren, I was able to step back from the busyness and could see how important it is to be fully present.”

This concept of being present is something Kay and Cathy emphasize in their business, Just Bee Yoga + Well-being. The Traverse City-based registered yoga teachers specialize in yoga for children, teens and families, and are passionate about providing lifestyle tools that not only reduce anxiety but also lead to more mindful lives.

“The term mindfulness can sound like something big, but it’s really very simple,” explains Cathy. “Instead of ‘mindlessly’ going through your day, it’s consciously bringing your awareness back so you can ‘mindfully’ go through your day. It’s just a practice of being aware of yourself and your senses.”

Cathy and Kay share a few tips on incorporating mindfulness into your everyday life, no matter your age.

Give your brain new experiences to keep it healthy

Instead of doing daily activities like brushing your teeth or taking a shower on autopilot, notice the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and what you feel during all of these activities. Little tricks like brushing your teeth with your eyes closed can exercise the brain and help with cognitive abilities.

Spend time in nature

Take a walk outside. Think about what the ground feels like under your feet. What do you smell? What do you hear? Connecting with nature can be very powerful.

Keep a gratitude journal

Take time each morning or night to write down three things you are grateful for.

Notice your breathing

Sometimes we don’t notice the stress building in our bodies until we listen to our breathing. It it’s shallow, try taking deeper breaths to calm your nervous system. We have the power to activate our parasympathetic nervous system with our breathing and bring ourselves back to a calmer state of mind.

Eat slowly

Take time to notice the textures, smells and tastes of your meals.

Put away technology

With all the technology and noise in this busy world, it can feel amazing to be quiet and still. Give yourself permission to just be.

Photo(s) by Josh Hartman