We’ve all heard of mindfulness, about being in the moment and paying attention to what you are doing. Notice the sights, sounds, touch, smells and taste. But it doesn’t need to be something you invest your whole day in (one day perhaps we will), so if you are starting out or trying to make more of a habit of it, try the below. It will help you be more mindful in ways that don’t require you to sit still and meditate or focus on your breathing. We can build up to that!
- Showering. When you are in the shower in the morning, pay attention to the how the water feels on your skin, is it hot or cold? What does you shampoo/shower gel/soap smell like, does it make you feel awake and energised or relaxed. Notice the different textures of your skin, from the soles of your feet to your face. When washing your hair, give your head a massage, how does it feel? Can you feel the tension in your head lifting? If thoughts of what you have to do in your day, pop into your head, then notice then and let them pass, then return your mind back to how the water is feeling. Give yourself a blast of cold water at the end of your shower as it’s great for waking you up and improving your circulation.
- Making your cuppa! When you take your mug, notice the colours or pattern on it, what does it say? Does it make you smile? Whether coffee or tea, put it in your mug, what do they smell like, are your taste buds reacting? Listen to the kettle boiling, notice how the noise changes throughout the process, once ready, listen to the water as you pour it into you mug. How does it smell now? Is it the same, more intense, different? If you take sugar or milk, add them in, notice the way the coffee or tea moves around, watch the colour change when you add in the milk.
- Brushing your teeth – it may seem odd, but what flavour of toothpaste are you using? Is it one colour or stripey? How strong is the smell? Run your tongue around your mouth before your clean your teeth and notice how it feels? How does the toothpaste and brush feel against your teeth? Are you using an electric toothbrush, does it make different sounds or count down? Once you finish brushing, rinse your mouth out. How does your teeth and mouth feel now? Fresh and clean? Is your breath all minty?
- Making lunch or dinner – grab the ingredients, smell them, notice how their textures differ. Whilst you chop up the veg, are they easy to chop, or hard? When you cut into them what sound does it make – how does this change for each item? What about when you start cooking, what noises come from the pan? How does the food change whilst cooking, are they going increasingly darker? Do they get softer? When it all starts coming together, is it bubbling away or simmering? Is it making your mouth water? Taste it, is it spicy or savoury, maybe it’s a dessert so it’s nice and sweet. Enjoy the process of cooking by observing and noticing all these things.
- Cleaning – ok so this is rather a boring one, however, it might make it a bit more interesting. What products are you using? What containers are they in – are they a spray or pour, are they a liquid or a gel? Do they smell heavily of chemicals or are they a fresh citrus fragrance? How do they leave your furniture or surfaces – shiny and clean? Do you have to scrub heavily or just spray and then wipe? Perhaps you wear rubber gloves to protect your hands, how does that make things feel? Squidgy? Whatever you are cleaning, notice how it looks before and after, observe the change. Maybe you can see the products working their magic.
- Gardening. Not something I am very good at or know what to do. But being outdoors, in the fresh air, why wouldn’t you want to be more mindful! Back to nature. As you dig and turn the soil, notice the way the dry soil feels with your spade. Has it recently rained – is your soil damp and clumpy? When it comes to planting, are you putting seeds in the ground or in a pot? Maybe you’ve got some bedding plants to put into your garden, what are the colours of the flowers? Notice the smells that come from the ground and from the plants and flowers. What about the shades of green? How many do you notice? Maybe you have birds in your garden, notice the different types and colours of them. Have you got pets that like to join you in the garden?
As you can see there are a lot of ways to be mindful, that you can slot into your day quite easily. You don’t have to find time in your day to be mindful, slowly start with small things, like making a cuppa. Pay attention to what you see, the textures, the sounds, the tastes and smells. You can apply this to anything you do and before you know it, you will help train your brain to focus on the moment you are in.
Give it a go and let me know how you get on. Start small. Have a lovely week, take care and look after you!
Love Emma xx