Part two of our Tips for Mindfulness in Everyday Life series also comes from our latest creative weekend. This week’s featured writer is Clear Sky resident and Treasurer Dean Nicholson.
Mindfulness tips – by Dean Nicholson
1. Mindfulness doing laundry
A simple meditative activity, or a chore you love to hate? Laundry offers a great opportunity to slow down and pay attention to your senses and body, and the detail.
- When folding or putting away laundry, take time to really be aware of the feel of the fabric. Notice the scents and sounds of the laundry. This is one kind of mindfulness you can practice, mindfulness of the senses.
- Then focus on how you fold the towels or sheets, really paying attention to having the edges match and the folds be even and symmetrical. This kind of detail focus is another mindfulness exercise.
- This next tip focuses on the whole body. Pay attention to the small body motions as you fold a sheet or towel just by holding and rotating it in the air rather than laying it on a table. Take the time to notice the physical pleasure of how your arms and hands move in synchronization.
Personally, I love the feel of towels or sheets right out of the drier, how warm and soft and soothing they are. I try to let that comforting feeling soak in – it’s a little oxytocin hit in the middle of a potentially mundane activity.
2. Sweeping the floor mindfully
Mindfully sweeping leads to a cleaner floor, and I always experience a real moment of satisfaction when I gather all the dust and sand and crumbs into the dustpan. And of course the wider benefit is that you just turned cleaning a floor into a meditation session!
- Sweep slowly, being mindful of the broom getting into all the areas and noticing all the little bits of debris that you collect.
- Be mindful about the little nooks and crannies the dust and debris can hide in. If you have an Oscar broom with the pointed edge, observe how you can really get into corners and along the edges.
- Notice your attitude/ feelings. Are you obsessive about getting every grain of dust, or are you “going through the motions” and missing things? Are you tight, or loose? Blissful, or wishing you were elsewhere? Just note what’s coming up, and your own patterns.
3. Mindfulness in the morning – making the bed and more
You’ve probably read that “successful people” make their beds first thing in the morning. Well, it’s a good opportunity for mindfulness, too.
It can be so easy in the morning to get out of bed and rush into the day. Instead, take time to mindfully arrange your bedroom. Then, after a potentially busy day you can come into a room and be greeted by an attractive and tidy space which automatically helps you to decompress.
If you already keep your room tidy and make your bed each day, these exercises will be easy for you! Focus on the senses, the body, and the breath as you go about your morning routine.
- Take 30 seconds to mindfully make your bed each morning. Ensure the sheets and duvet are smoothed and flat, and that the pillows are nicely arranged.
- Take away any cups, glasses, or dishes from the day before. Wash them if you have time. Put clothes away and close any doors or drawers.
- Take a moment, and look around your room. Is there anything you’ve ignored for a time, that can be put away or thrown out? Just do one or two things if your room isn’t the tidiest, it will make a difference for when you next come into your room.
Edited by Andrew Rogers
Looking for some next steps?
Make your mindfulness practice more sustainable with our online course Ignite Your Spiritual Life.