Mindfulness can be described as the practice of being aware and present in the moment without judgment. There are many different kinds of mindfulness exercises, such as body scan, walking meditation, sitting meditation, lovingkindness, and even simple guided breathing exercises.
Having spent some time in Orlando these past few years, I've made a list of some of my favorite places to practice mindfulness. As a therapist, it is important to manage burnout and maintain a solid self-care routine. Orlando provides ample opportunity to get out of my office and enjoy life.
1. Kelly Park
Kelly Park was one of the first springs that I visited in Central Florida, and it was such a nice surprise. I used to think I had to travel far to get to something like this, but little did I know it was so close. Kelly Park has such pristine waters that I would consider a walking meditation as I made my way throughout the park.
I used to love going to this beach. Tucked away, down US-1 near New Smyrna Beach, is this gorgeous, quiet beach (it's not Orlando, but close enough). It gives such a beautiful feeling of being one with nature and being able to enjoy it, without dealing with huge crowds. I would definitely consider doing a body scan or lovingkindness exercise here. The peace and sound of the waves give a perfect backdrop.
3. City Walk
Universal in general has been one of my favorite places to go in Orlando. Whether it's Mel's Diner during high-school trips or City Walk for any occasion, I like trying to be mindful in a place that you'd wouldn't typically expect it. Why? Because it gives me a gauge for how much I can be present. If I find myself not being able to enjoy what's around me, then I know I can be doing something differently.
I love the variety and creativity of the restaurants here! I recently visited Tako Cheena and fell in love with their fish tacos. I can easily practice mindful eating here! Eating takes up a regular part of our day, and if we're just on autopilot it can be really hard to enjoy the little things in our day. This area also allows me to practice being open to new things! Can't wait to check out Dochi's full shop next time I'm nearby.
5. Lake Eola
I know this one might be expected, but I really want to include it. I love taking a walk around the lake (walking meditation opportunity if you can avoid all of the droppings!) and enjoying the opportunity to be close to the wildlife. It does feel like a little oasis in the middle of the city.
Do you have any places like this where you can go and be mindful?