How to Change Daily Routines into Mindfulness Moments

January 21, 2017

“Lost time is never found again.”  —Benjamin Franklin

On a scale from busy to insane, how’s your schedule? These days, working long hours and scrambling between activities is the norm for most of us (and even a status symbol for some people). At SIYLI, we try to be conscious about not filling every moment with actions and obligations, but time moves at a brisk pace for everyone—sometimes despite the best intentions to slow down.

With so much to do and only so many hours in a day, we like to look for what we call “mindfulness moments,” opportunities to check out of the madness and check in with ourselves.

Mindful moments don’t require setting aside extra time. Instead, identify existing occasions that come along regularly and then form a mindfulness practice around these activities. Here are a few examples:

Morning

  • Drinking your first cup of tea or coffee in the morning (smell it; taste it; feel it)
  • Making the bed (notice your movements and focus only on the task)
  • Taking a shower (be aware of the physical sensations and your actions)
  • Noticing the first breath of fresh air you take when you step outside

Throughout the Day

  • Standing in line (instead of checking your phone)
  • Walking (notice the actual physical sensations of taking steps)
  • Washing your hands (notice the sensation of the water as it cascades over your skin)

At the Office

  • Sending an email (take a moment before you hit send, especially if the topic has some tension)
  • Before a meeting (note the transition from one meeting to the next, from topic to topic and to a new group of people)
  • Arriving or leaving the office (note the transition and let go of what you were doing previously)

Nighttime

  • Brushing your teeth (be aware of the sensations and how you go about the process)
  • Noticing the first breath you take after the lights go out (give full attention to a breath to end the day)
  • ]Focusing your attention on your body after you get into bed (scanning each part of your body from head to toe)

Once you decide which moments you want to adopt, you can develop a habit of turning simply routines into mindfulness moments. Eventually, the more of these mindfulness moments you string together, the more mindful your days become.