Embrace these 9 ways to transform your daily routine and be more present, courtesy of Patrick Groneman
Mindfulness is the practice of being present. With a clear intention and focus, mindfulness can be developed through techniques which help us balance our attention between our inner world of thoughts and feelings and the outer world around us. With a little practice and effort, this way of living can help bring better awareness, joy and focus to our lives. We’ve teamed up with mindfulness expert Patrick Groneman, whose tips show how you can be mindful even during these nine everyday tasks. Pair them with daily mindful breathing exercises for the best results!
While getting ready
When you are getting ready in the morning, set a clear time frame for your tasks. This is your time to prepare for the day ahead, so leave your phone off, or set it to ‘do not disturb’. If possible, select and lay out your clothes the evening before, so that you can focus solely on setting yourself up for the day ahead. If you listen to music to help you wake up, avoid songs with words, as they tend to pull the mind away from the present moment. As you shower, place your focus on the feeling of the water droplets splashing on your skin. Notice the fragrances of soap and shampoo as you scrub and rinse. Inhale deeply. Then, Before you brush your teeth, take a few moments to appreciate the toothpaste on your brush, notice its colours and smell, and how it interacts with the light. As you brush, consider your teeth like you would a beautiful statue. Be gentle as you brush and clean.
Have a mindful commute
Leaving the house and heading to work can be an excellent time to practice mindfulness. Whether it’s a short walk, long drive or train journey – the way we spend our time and energy during our commute has a big impact on the rest of our day. Avoid reading the news while commuting and cherish the personal time you have before arriving at your workplace. Reading a book or listening to a podcast may be more nourishing for the soul. If you listen to the radio or music on your way in, choose songs that will leave you feeling good when you arrive at work.
Take a break at work
Being mindful at work can sometimes be a challenge. With so many tasks, relationships and deadlines to manage, order can quickly turn to chaos. Here are a few tips for being mindful while working in an office. Schedule a few minutes each hour to move around or stretch. Take a break and gaze out the window, or at a far-away wall so your eyes can relax. Also be sure to find time and space at work to practice mindful walking, especially during your lunch break. Finally, find time to socialise and connect with co-workers. Getting along with colleagues goes a long way to reducing stress.
Be present while food shopping
Whether you are shopping for yourself or entertaining friends and family, it is an excellent opportunity to practice mindfulness. Create your list and methodically work through it as you make your way around the store. Give yourself the freedom to investigate, hold, admire or smell something that draws your attention. When you find something on your list, use the same gentleness and care you’d use for a crate of eggs to gently place it into your basket, trolley, or bag at the tills. Before you go shopping, eat a meal or snack to curb cravings and avoid feeling faint or scattered. Set aside a clear budget and shopping list and use it to create a map for your route through the shop. Know ahead of time if you have any spare money to spend on a treat that you can exercise gratitude for!
Want to read more? Turn to page 53 of our May issue of Soul & Spirit!