The world feels uncertain right now—with quarantines and social distancing from the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re all feeling a bit untethered. All in need of a few deep breaths and a practice that keeps us rooted in ourselves. Enter: mindfulness.
Mindfulness is presence, embodied awareness, and connection to our experiences of the world around us. It doesn’t require hours of meditation each day; it does, however, require constant and conscious decisions to remain present in each moment.
Practicing mindfulness isn’t just for the privileged, either. It’s not always prescriptive, and your mindfulness might look different than someone else’s. Let’s hold space for each other as we all focus on connecting more deeply to ourselves and those around us.
We’ve pulled together 20 moments that offer themselves up to our awareness, and allow us to practice a little mindfulness no matter where we’re at. If you have practices that make you feel grounded, please share in the comments below!
Mindfulness During Your Morning
1. When you wake up in the morning, do a body scan. Identify any sensations, comfortable, or uncomfortable. Wiggle your toes. Lick your lips. Practice being present in your body.
2. Make your bed and mist it with water and eucalyptus essential oil. (At night, use lavender essential oil instead.)
3. Make french press coffee. Grind whole beans with a non-electric grinder for a tactile experience. If you prefer tea, steep loose-leaf in a teapot.
4. Do small favors for your after-work self; in the morning, unload the dishwasher, take out the trash, turn on a diffuser.
5. Stick affirmations on your mirror or write them on labels of products you regularly use, like lotion or chapstick. Recite them aloud, and update them when it feels right.
Mindfulness In Your Routine
6. Eat without media distractions.
7. Practice mindful eating; pay attention to how food tastes and feels on your tongue. Experience how a warm mug curves gracefully in your palms.
8. As you move about your home, ask yourself, “Am I using everything in this drawer?” Set yourself up for flow by seasonally rearranging your rooms to match your lifestyle. If there’s a kitchen tool that’s always in your way, move it to a lower drawer or pantry, so you only see the daily essentials.
9. Visit the library and borrow a book. Stay awhile and browse the shelves. Turn over the books in your hands, read a few pages. Allow yourself space for curiosity.
10. When reaching for another cup of coffee or a glass of wine, fill your cup with water instead. Drink it down with a reminder to care for yourself.
11. Replace your usual screentime with a different craft or screen-free hobby.
Mindfulness At Work Or Out In The World
12. Commute in silence. Don’t try to fill the quiet with noise to avoid discomfort; find peace in the stillness of your car or in noise-canceling headphones.
13. If you sit at a desk, check-in with your posture to make sure you haven’t absentmindedly started hunching over. Keep your wrists in a neutral position when possible. Maybe it’s whenever you hit “send” on an email or whenever you notice the hot pink sticky note on your computer.
14. Go for a walk on your lunch break and breathe in the fresh air.
15. Schedule out time to view your emails and Slack messages. Remove any popups or notifications on your desktop to prevent distractions.
Mindfulness With Others
16. Pause to leave a thoughtful, positive comment on a friend’s Instagram share. Direct messaging works, too.
17. Say “no” when your schedule is hectic or when you’re feeling close to burnout. Respect your calendar and take an evening for yourself every once in a while. Don’t be afraid to make plans weeks out in advance.
18. Tell your co-workers or team that you are thankful for their work. Thank your barista for making you a delightful cup of coffee and your mail carrier for delivering your package. Just thank someone.
19. When you are prompted to pass judgment on someone, especially in conversation with others, ask yourself if there’s another perspective to consider. Think twice before engaging in gossip.
20. Pause for something silly—text a gif to a friend, tell your partner a joke, or dance it out in your kitchen. Embrace lightheartedness, even if just for a moment.
What are some ways you practice mindfulness in your daily life? Share in the comments below!