Have you the time – 5 ways to fit mindfulness into your daily routine
Often, we think that mindfulness would be interesting and a good idea to start doing but on top of all our current commitments it can sometimes seem like adding to our load rather than helping us become more relaxed and positive. It doesn’t need to be like this!
Just consider, mindfulness is all about reconnecting with our bodies and sensations. So, feeling, seeing, hearing, tasting… Being aware of our thoughts and whether we are noticing them and their patterns objectively or if these thoughts are going into bad-habit, takeover control mode.
So, what can we do to fit mindfulness into our day easily? Without it taking up the precious time we have left in our overly full days!
- Your morning shower – everyone takes a shower when they get up and, usually, alone 😉. Perfect opportunity for mindfulness! Explore and enjoy the feel of the water on your skin, savour the smell of the shower gel you use, feel the sensation of your muscles moving as you squeeze the shampoo out of the bottle, listen to the sound the water makes streaming from the outlet, landing on your body and flowing off to the floor, feel the rubbing of the towel energising your body and blood as you dry yourself. There, you already have 10 minutes of mindfulness without losing a single second of your day…
- Breakfast – what do you eat? By the way, if you don’t eat anything you are totally crazy. From a health point of view and energy/performance/brain function you MUST eat a decent breakfast. So back to mindfulness – Savour the taste of the bread, in fact why not buy a variety of special breads just so you can enjoy the different tastes more. Enjoy the feel (and sound) of crunching the toast or cereal. You see? Not so difficult to fit these two in with no stealing of time from your other commitments.
- Commute – Good time to be ‘mindful’ of your thoughts, particularly on public transport or if walking to work. You can just ‘notice’ what is flowing through your head and see if there is any pattern to these thoughts. Catch any negative ones and see if you can find the trigger. Then be aware of what your follow-on reaction usually is and ‘choose’ not to enter this negative cycle but instead congratulate yourself for recognising the pattern so that for the future you can avoid falling into it again.
- At lunchtime – Change your usual habit. Whether you normally eat in the canteen/kitchen, sandwich at your desk, go to a restaurant… Change what you do, change what you eat and really notice the differences. You can notice the new surroundings, new people, new tastes. These are all full of experiences and sensations. Just focus on them in the present moment as they are happening. It helps you see the world in a new way.
- Keep it regular – It is easy to become distracted and forget to be mindful so if you are under pressure or very busy, or just easily distracted, choose when you want to be mindful each day and put a note where you will see it – for example bathroom mirror or fridge if you like the idea of shower or breakfast – or set a reminder on your phone for whichever other choice you decide on.
When we build a habit, it becomes so much easier to keep to. It becomes a quality moment, a time of pleasure, a time of freedom. We really start looking forward to these moments of calm and peace during our day.
Be mindful and enjoy the calm!
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