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Even when you don’t have time to meditate

17 things you can do to be more mindful on an average day

For most of us, it feels like our lives only get busier. We’re constantly running and chasing to cross off the items on our to-do lists. And during those rare moments that we do get to relax, we just want to zone out and watch TV or squeeze in an hour of extra sleep. This makes it increasingly difficult to find some quiet time and meditate. However, you don’t necessarily need more time to tune into the present.

be more mindful on an average day
Leestijd: 3 minuten |

Below, we’ve listed some very easy things you can do to go about your day in a more mindful way – without actually needing to reserve time for them.

What you can do to be more mindful on an average day

#1. When you make your first coffee in the morning, take a few seconds to smell that freshly brewed cuppa.

#2. Do you always take a look in the mirror before you leave the house? Pick one of these five phrase to tell yourself in the mirror.

#3. As soon as you step outside, stop for a second and inhale the fresh air.

#4. Look at the sky. Is it a cloudy day? Give a name to that shade of grey. It might be a different shade of grey than yesterday or tomorrow. If there’s a clear sky, name that specific hue of blue.

#5. Pick a stranger you pass on the street. If you manage to make eye contact, smile (just… not in a creepy way). Maybe you can even say a friendly hi.

#6. If you walk past a bakery, stop for a moment and take in the scent of freshly baked bread. 

#7. Every time you have to climb stairs, slow down and pay attention. Can you feel which muscles have to do the most work? Is there a banister, and if so, are you using it to support yourself? How are the soles of your feet making contact with the steps? Are you out of breath when you get upstairs?

#8. When you feel the urge to snack, check in with yourself first. Why do you want something to eat right now? Are you actually hungry? Low on energy? Stress-eating? Or could it be that you’re just bored?

#9. Remind yourself at least once today to drop your shoulders and relax your jaw. These are the two parts of your bodies that tend to hold most tension when we get anxious or stressed.

#10. Take at least one moment during the day to be alone, even if it’s just for a bathroom break. Use that moment of solitude to check in with yourself.

#11. In the afternoon, observe the weather. What’s it like now compared to this morning, when you gave a name to the colour of the sky? Try to use more of your senses than just your eyes. Can you estimate the temperature?

#12. When doing the dishes, focus on your senses. The sound of the running water, the sensation of your warm and wet hands, the scent of the dishwashing soap.

#13. When you sit down to eat, remind yourself to eat mindfully. Slow down. Take the time to chew your food and pay attention to tastes, textures and smells before you swallow.

#14. When brushing your teeth before you go to bed, don’t let your thoughts drift like you always do. Focus on the taste of your toothpaste, the feeling of foam in your mouth, the movements of your hand. Are you getting to those teeth in the back your dentist said deserve more attention?

#15. Light a candle. Take a couple of seconds to watch the flickering of the flame.

#16. When getting undressed before bed, try to be mindful about it. What are you taking off first? How do the materials of your clothes feel against your skin? Does the smell your clothes remind you of what you did that day? Where are you leaving your socks?

#17. Once you’re in bed, take a couple of deep breaths. Every time you exhale, imagine breathing out all the things that affected you negatively during the day. Chances are you’ll drift off in no time.

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