Finding time for mindfulness can be really tricky when juggling a busy life full of work and social engagements and even trying to get around to food shopping.
We all know life can get quite hectic and with all stations constantly a’ go-go it’s really settling to know that you have a few quick and simple practices handy in your toolkit .
These five short, informal practices, are a great way to introduce mindfulness to your day. They are really easy to do and can be done from anywhere without too much extra scheduling.
Note: I wanted to put the practices alongside a ‘how-to’ in the same post but to avoid it being overwhelmingly mega I’ve separated the them so the ‘how-to’s’ are clickable if you’ve been inspired to try them out.
1. My Hero – The 3 Step Breathing Space (3 minutes )
I often start my day with the 3 Step Breathing Space on my commute with everyone around none-the-wiser. Hurrah for a zenned-out Northern Line ride!
The 3 Step Breathing Space is a really simple mindful punctuation that can help you break away from anxious emotions, negative thought patterns and shift a downright rotten mood.
When used regularly this space can allow you to spot dark clouds and dissolve them before they gain control of your life – perhaps even before you’re aware of their even being there!
The 3 Step Breathing Space gives us a chance to step out of ‘autopilot’ and see what’s really going on. It gives us a moment to pause when thoughts are threatening to spiral and provides room for a little reminder that every moment – good or bad- will pass.
The best thing about this is it can be done sitting down, standing up, jogging…wherever and whenever you like!
2. ‘Me Time’ – Start a Daily Mindful Habit (2-5 minutes)
This has been a real eye opener and has helped me to realise satisfaction and pleasure in even the smallest, most mundane everyday things.
My evening getting ready for bed routine is something I really enjoy however never actually pay that much focused attention to doing it.
The method can be applied to whichever habit or task you like. I chose to moisturise my face mindfully for a lovely settling effect to prepare me ahead of snoozing – Why not try brushing your teeth mindfully or try taking a mindful shower?
3. Walk Mindfully (1 minute > infinity!)
Going on a mindful walk is a great chance to grab a mindful fix without having to set aside huge chunks of your day. Whether its going from your desk to the coffee machine, pacing up and down the kitchen or you have time for something longer you can turn the simple act of walking into a meditative practice.
4. Eat Mindfully (5-20 minutes)
This practice takes the same form as the mindful daily habit however instead of brushing your teeth, moisturising etc. focus on your food.
Pick up a fork and explore your plate, savour each mouthful and be aware of what you’re actually eating.
Becoming more in-tune with the foods we eat and being present has great effects on helping us eat more healthily and prevents over-indulging. When we notice what we eat we tend to eat less and enjoy our food more. This can be a great tool for a health diet and is even used as a tool for weight loss!
STEP 5. Make a Mindful Cup Of Tea
A cup of tea solves everything! In fact the ritual of tea making is so good that the Japanese have created a whole ceremony dedicated to celebrating it.
Next time instead of hurrying to boil the kettle, throwing in a tea bag and sloshing in the milk how about taking this moment to bring your awareness to the present and to re-focus. When you need a break choose your best cup and use a tea pot for added ritual feel.
Tip: Loose leaf tea is great to use as it releases far more aromas and creates a far more sensory (and delicious) experience than the average tea bag.
How about also mixing it up and having a selection of different teas to suit your mood. My favourites are Oolong tea, chamomile, Jasmine and a cheeky mix of Earl Grey and English Breakfast (go on…try it!)
I hope the above practices have inspired you to get stuck in and start incorporating some mindfulness into your day. Being mindful doesn’t have to steal hours away, you don’t need bagfuls of props and nobody even needs know what you’re up to at your desk!
Have you got any tips to share for simple mindful practices? I’d love to hear how you get on in the comments below!