For quite some time, I’ve wanted to build a more mindful practice into my life, finding myself often rushing through the day with my mind multi-tasking even in conversations. And then of course, there have been the added stresses that have arisen over the last year from a global pandemic. With all of that, over the last few months, I’ve found some ways of incorporating mindfulness within my daily routines, rather than seeing it as something to add on top of existing tasks.
The first thing I started thinking about was how to establish what could be a regular meditation practice into my day. Now admittedly, I’ve been known to say to myself that I don’t have time – or I wished I had more time – to establish such a practice. But I started to think about what I was already doing as time that might be available. And a time that kept coming back to me was while my morning coffee brews.
Mornings have long been a time that I enjoy feeling “in the moment.” I’ll enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee and read a book, making sure my mornings are a transition time before the “busy-ness” of the day. Using the time it takes to brew my coffee has fit in quite well with that routine. Early mornings I hit “brew” on my coffee maker, settle onto the couch in a comfortable seat and scroll through for a guided meditation track on a phone app.
Another way I’ve tried to be more mindful is to take a walk without listening to music or a podcast. At first, honestly, I missed having something to listen to, but now I take advantage of noticing what’s around me: the way a crow settles onto a street sign, how high the sliver of the moon may be, the slight pink tinge of the sunrise that seems more vibrantly pink than other mornings. And it’s not just mornings. In the spring when the daytime weather was cooler – and even earlier in the summer – I would slip out for a lunchtime walk and notice how green the trees were after days of rain or listen for birds’ songs.
There is a lot going on these days, but I’ve found these moments are something that I look forward to each day. And sure, there are days that I may fall out of practice, and that’s okay too. I notice it, and know that it happens, and then feel great the next morning when I pull up that meditation app.
And what’s an added luxury? Taking a meditation at The Mat Yoga Studio. My walks may be on the longer side, but my morning meditations are currently around 5-10 minutes. So to schedule a class – either a 30 minute meditation after Sunday’s Gentle Flow or a longer Thursday evening Yin and Nidra – feels kind of like an indulgence in the best possible way. It’s an amazing way to incorporate self-care.
What are some moments throughout your day that you look forward to quieting the noise and enjoy just being in that moment?
This is the part of a series of posts for The Mat Yoga Studio, sharing my thoughts and observations as a student only. The views and opinions are my own experience.