November Letter from the Editor: Mindfulness

In one of our editorial brainstorm meetings, the CF editorial fellows were beginning to discuss what November’s theme should be. After thoughtful conversation and artful consideration, our team felt that mindfulness would be a great way to embody the eleventh month of the year. I am excited by this theme for November because it seems atypical. In the midst of oranges, reds, yellows, and the brightness of fall, the imagery of turkeys, and the general idea of being thankful, the theme of mindfulness feels…mindful.

When we settled on a theme, my mind immediately rushed to a memory in the fall of my fifth grade. As my English teacher instructed us to all lie on the floor, we fifth graders couldn’t help but giggle over lying on the floor. Why would we do this in class? She explained to us that before we began our lessons for the day, we would engage in an action called mindfulness. We closed our eyes as she hit a small chime. Then focused on the ring and our breathing until the residual sound faded away.

At first, I truly hated this. I couldn’t focus, and I couldn’t stop squirming. I couldn’t help but think that I was lying on the floor of my fifth grade English classroom. How was I supposed to relax? Why should I take time out of my busy fifth grade schedule to listen to a chime?

As I grew up, I learned that it wasn’t about this exact exercise, but instead understanding the act of mindfulness itself.

Mindful, a publication completely dedicated to living a mindful lifestyle, defines this action as “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”

On the cusp of Thanksgiving and the holiday season, Hallmark cards and social media posts encourage everyone to be thankful. And although it is important to be thankful and grateful for what you have in your life, you can’t do that without being mindful of yourself, your actions, your words, and how they impact those around you.

This is why, CF community, I ask you in November to backtrack a bit. Before you reflect about what you feel grateful to have, be mindful. And, in being mindful, allow yourself to be active in thought.

  • Ask yourself what you can do to better yourself and your community during this new season.
  • Think about the ways in which you can incorporate the act of mindfulness to take care of your mental health.
  • Be mindful in how your words and actions can impact your relationships with others.
  • Encourage yourself to explore how you improve relationships and how can you spread love and positive energy.

Engaging in mindfulness isn’t easy at first. It requires focus, personal attention, and removing any unnecessary distractions that can cloud your mind (I’m looking at you, Instagram). You can do it in a way that works best for you. I know you can. And, you’ll find that you don’t need the Thanksgiving season to exude mindfulness. Gratitude will always come right back to you.

Our letters from the editor are written by College Fashionista editorial fellows to help us define and welcome in the theme of the month. How do you define mindfulness? Share your thoughts with us on social media @cfashionista!