Could one day of mindfulness shift your entire life?
A deceptively simple challenge. Take one day and exist as mindfully as possible.
Yes, you’ll forget almost all of it once you go back into the minutia. However, each and every time I or any of my clients have taken an intentional day of mindfulness, insight has emerged. From insight, a decision came naturally. Life shifted.
Even a tiny shift in trajectory can land you light years away from where you are headed.
Worst case scenario? You take a restorative break away from busy-ness, and start to rewire the brain to be a bit more present and aware.
1. Disconnect. Put your phone and Apple Watch in airplane mode. Hide your laptop. Good idea: do this the night before and wake up naturally without the temptation of bings.
2. Stretch. Simply move your body in ways that feel yummy.
3. Meditate. Obvious, yes. Sitting still with just your breath and non-judgment is a classic go-to that can set the tone for your entire mindful.
4. Journal. Free associate. Let whatever comes to mind be what it is: just a thought. No need to get on the train, just notice with curiosity.
5. Shower like you mean it. Experience the sensations of the water, the feel and fragrance of your shampoo. Massage your scalp like you’re a stylist and your tip depends on it. There’s a reason we have all our good ideas in the shower.
6. Listen to music. Choose something that invites you into the experience, like Yo Yo Ma. Good idea: Download a playlist the night before so you don’t accidentally invite in those aforementioned bings.
7. Dance. You’re alone, so go wild. Turn up the music and just move in any way that feels good to you. No one’s watching.
8. Sip a cup of happiness. Whether you’re a coffee or tea lover, brew a favorite cup and sip it slowly, noticing every sensation from the flavors to the heat.
9. Make a gratitude list (instead of a to do list). Mindfully write down everything that is going well for you, and also those things that are challenging you to grow.
10. Take a walk. Go outside. It can be as easy as a meandering walk around your neighborhood, or you could head out on a solo hike in nature.
11. Cook or bake. Prepare something from scratch. Choose a new or favorite recipe. Taste as you go.
12. Enjoy a silent meal. In yoga, we often practice mindful eating by (1) blessing the food with gratitude; (2) practicing silence; (3) eating one bite at a time with utensils down while we slowly chew, noticing the flavor, texture, and joy of each bite.
13. Clean dishes by hand. Notice the temperature of the water, the feel of it on your skin, the slipperiness of the soap, the smell of the bubbles, the ritual of cleaning and beginning again. In this way, every little chore can become a grounding ritual.
14. Write a love letter. Tell someone you love why you appreciate them on paper. No agenda. Just take the opportunity to give someone your attention.
15. Practice yoga. I’m biased. A great yoga class is mindfulness in motion.
16. Read. I swear reading is becoming extinct simply because we cannot possibly do it well while multitasking. Hence: audiobooks. Pick up a real book. Just read.
17. Create. You don’t need to be an artist to pick up a pencil, paintbrush or mound of clay and create something. Good idea: remember non-judgment here. You’re flying solo – you can always hide your creation away from the world until it’s ready to be appreciated.
18. Rearrange something. Perhaps shift the furniture in your bedroom, or zen-up your pantry. As without, so within. There’s something magical about how creating order outside ourselves creates order within.
19. Garden. Plant, harvest, trim, dig, or weed…doesn’t matter. Just get your hands dirty.
20. Do…nothing. Seriously. Take five minutes to simply do nothing at all, without the guilt.
21. Massage your hands or feet. Grab a fragrant lotion and give yourself a slow, dedicated, mini-massage.
Come up with your own! Why take a day of mindfulness without infusing it with your personal brand of joy? There aren’t any rules besides being totally present with one focus, non-judgmentally.