We’re hearing more and more about mindfulness. Life is getting more complicated, with and without the use of technology. Lots of people spend time living online. I’m looking forward to hearing Dr Tamara Russell chat about mindfulness at the next Lucky Things Meet Up at the end of January. So I thought I’d share a few tips on how you can use mindfulness in everyday life and weave it into your daily routine.
So what is mindfulness again? Well, my definition is about taking a moment to stop and feel, hear and see what’s going on in your mind. Right now as you’re reading this blog, what are you thinking about? What can you hear? What do you feel like? Mindfulness is about using all of our senses. Something we forget to do. Some of these senses we take for granted when we’re busy. Mindfulness isn’t about zoning out and ignoring feelings; it’s about acknowledging them so you can move onto the next thing with a fresh outlook. You also don’t have to carve out a chunk of your day to focus on mindfulness. You can be mindful whilst you have a few minutes or whilst you do something that needs some concentration. Here are some daily routine moments where you can practice a bit of mindfulness…
- Waking up…When we wake up, the first thing we do is start our day! If you can, take a few minutes to wake up slowly. So don’t jump out of bed, rush to get ready or reach for the phone. As you’re lying down, look around you and take in what you can see. Any corners of your bedroom you didn’t notice before? Any shadows or patterns from the morning light (or darkness if it’s winter). If you need to get out of bed to see the kids, take a few moments together and be mindful when you’re with them.
- Brushing our hair…This is a fab one as we might also be in front of the mirror. It’s a chance to reflect on you (literally) as well as enjoying the relaxing movement of the brush. What do you usually think about when brushing your hair? Are you more likely to think of your to do lists or other everyday worries. I also love being a bit mindful when brushing my daughter’s hair.
- Brushing teeth…This is a great one, as I was reminded by @This_Mama_Works on Instagram today. You can also practice mindfulness standing up. It’s handy incorporating it into our daily routine. Maybe I should pop a post-it on my bathroom mirror saying “Be mindful whilst cleaning your teeth!”.
- When you’re giving children a cuddle…This is one way for me to practice a bit of mindfulness. Cuddles are to be treasured as the next thing we know, our kids are too big and don’t wish to be cuddled as much. When I cuddle Big Munch or Toddler Munch I always do three things: listen to their breathing, feel their little heartbeat vibrations and smell their hair. So practising mindfulness shouldn’t feel like a task, it can be incorporated into some of your favourite things.
- Folding the washing…This used to be one of the last chores on my list but now I see it differently. I actually love folding the girls’ clothes. Looking at the colours brightens up my day and the outfits remind me of different outings together. It’s nice feeling the different textures. It’s nice seeing how small their clothes are as again it’s about enjoying the moments whilst they’re little. Folding clothes also reminds me that I’m lucky to be their mama.
- Putting on lipstick…Now that I’ve committed to wearing more lipstick colours and more often, I also think about the process of applying lipstick. There are lots of things I love about lipstick. It takes less than a minute but it’s quality mindfulness time. A friend Alicia reminded me that lipsticks have a certain texture as well as their own smell. Doing things where you have to concentrate are perfect moments to try out a little mindful time.
- Eating…We all have to eat right? But how mindful are we when we eat? Being mindful can actually encourage us to enjoy our food more. The ladies from Supercharged Club reminded me that you don’t have to exclude all treats to be healthy. If we want to have a treat, then have it. But make you your really enjoy it. That means being mindful and thinking about how nice it tastes, thinking about the texture, smells and how it looks. It’s also a chance to think about what it means; for me it’s a little reward.
Do you practice any mindfulness? If so, what do you like about it? When do you find it easier to be mindful? Anything that makes is difficult to practice mindfulness? Leave a comment below as it would be cool to hear what you think about being mindful.
x Sunita (right off to try a bit of mindfulness whilst I eat my cake…)
P.S. If you’d like to read more about Dr Tamara Russell and her thoughts on mindfulness and jump-starting creativity, check out her interview on Run Riot.