Transform your daily routine
Mindfulness is the practice of being present. With a clear intention and focus, mindfulness can be developed through techniques which help us balance our attention between our inner world of thoughts and feelings and the outer world around us. With a little practice and effort, mindfulness can help bring better awareness, joy and focus to our lives.
We’ve teamed up with mindfulness expert Patrick Groneman, whose tips show how you can be mindful even during these nine everyday tasks. Pair them with daily mindful breathing exercises for the best results.
When you are getting ready in the morning, set a clear time-frame for your tasks. This is your time to prepare for the day ahead, so leave your phone off, or set it to ‘do not disturb’.
When showering, place your focus on the feeling of the water droplets splashing on your skin.
Notice the fragrances of soap and shampoo as you scrub and rinse.
Before you brush your teeth, take a few moments to appreciate the toothpaste on your brush, notice its colours and smell, and how it interacts with the light.
As you brush, consider your teeth like you would a beautiful statue. Be gentle as your brush and clean.
Leaving the house and heading to work can be an excellent time to practice mindfulness. Whether it’s a short walk, long drive, or train journey, the way we spend our time and energy during our commute has a big impact on the rest of our day.
Being mindful at work can sometimes be a challenge. With so many tasks, relationships and deadlines to manage, order can quickly turn to chaos. Here are a few tips for being mindful while working in an office.
Whether you are shopping for yourself or entertaining friends and family, it is an excellent opportunity to practice mindfulness. Create your list and methodically work through it as you make your way around the store.
Give yourself the freedom to investigate, hold, admire, or smell something that draws your attention.
When you find something on your list, use the same gentleness and care you’d use for a crate of eggs to gently place it into your basket, trolley, or bag at the tills.
When eating, take time to enjoy every bite, indulging yourself in the tastes and textures. Be grateful for the food on your plate, whether it’s a meal you’ve cooked yourself or a meal a friend or family member has prepared for you.
Before washing up, gather all the dirty dishes into one place beside the sink. Empty the drying rack to allow room for the new dishes to dry.
Place the first plate or dish into the soapy water. Keep your focus with the feeling of your hands and the sponge as you wash the plate. Gently rinse, placing neatly into the dish rack.
Repeat for each dirty dish. If your mind wanders, gently return to the task of cleaning and rinsing, before arranging in the drying rack.
Exercising is time where you should focus your attention solely on your own wellbeing. Be mindful of your actions, whether you are using gym equipment or are in the great outdoors. Breathe easily and feel the rewarding sensations as your body benefits from the exertion.
Don’t overlook the time you spend doing laundry as a time to practice mindfulness. Be calm. Take it slowly from the moment you load the washer, to when you’ve finished ironing that last crisp, warm item of clothing.
Cleaning is an ideal way to increase mindful feelings and, as you organise your living space, you’ll be decluttering your mind too. It doesn’t have to be daunting. Consider your plan of action and admire your home as you move carefully from room to room.
Mindful gardening is a beautiful opportunity to connect with nature. Begin with a clear vision. Think like a painter who begins a painting or a chef who is preparing a feast. A garden is a place where creativity, nature and mindfulness all come together. Choose plants that will grow well together in the environment, and decide where the colours of flowers and foliage will fit best in.
Take a few mindful breaths and begin weeding by gently pulling away at the large, loose weeds in the work area. Then, work your way down to the smaller, lower plants.
Notice the range of aromas in the garden. If you notice your mind drifting away from the work, gently use your sense of smell to return to the presence around you.
When using a tool like a rake, try to keep the same sense of focus and connection with the garden as when weeding by hand.
When cleaning leaves, begin by planning out your path of sweeping or raking first, and then move into mindfully moving through the work.
When you’ve finished, notice the smells and colours in the garden around you. Appreciate all the effort you’ve put into making a beautiful garden.
A guide to everyday mindfulness, by Flymo UK
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