Mindfulness Activities You Can Do During a Busy Week
An excerpt from Mindfulness Activities: Fun Ways to Be Mindful (No Matter How Much Time You Have!) by Rachael Kable
These mindfulness activities are short and easy to implement. Why? It’s simple - I know you probably don’t want long and complicated things to do during a busy week!
These mindfulness activities are also designed to help you effectively slow down, become present and switch off from stressful thoughts. So, if you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed by your to-do list, these mindfulness activities can be really useful. Let’s dive in!
Start Each Day with a Mindful
If you have an alarm clock, set it up so the alarm wakes you 5 or 10 minutes before you need to actually get out of bed. When the first alarm goes off, you can either hit snooze or set a new alarm so you’ll still get out of bed on time.
For those extra 5 or 10 minutes, sit up in bed in a comfortable position and use that time to do a mindful breathing technique.
This can be a great strategy for a few different reasons.
- One - you still get out of bed on time and you don’t have to sacrifice anything else from your morning routine.
- Two - practicing mindfulness first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day. Hopefully, you’ll feel calm, refreshed, and clear-minded.
- Three - it gives you time to wake up gently, rather than jumping out of bed and already feeling rushed.
You might be wondering, what is a mindful breathing technique?
A mindful breathing technique involves paying attention to your breath without changing it. Even though this might sound easy, focusing your attention on a simple thing like your breath can actually take some discipline and practice. Your mind will probably wander off. Many times.
Mindful breathing is simple in theory, but it can be a challenge to implement, especially at first. However, the more you practice and get used to bringing your mind back when it wanders, the more you’ll be able to experience the calmness and connection to the present moment that mindful breathing techniques can offer.
Choose One Daily Task to Do Mindfully
There are probably many different tasks you do every single day on autopilot. Those tasks are wonderful opportunities to invite more mindfulness into your life!
Here are some ideas:
- Drink your morning cup of tea or coffee mindfully by putting your phone down and paying attention to the flavour, aroma, temperature and textures of your cup
- Shower mindfully by observing the sensation of the water falling onto your skin.
- Walk mindfully by listening to all the different sounds you can hear in your environment, or feeling the ground underneath your feet as you walk, or looking out for objects you’ve never noticed before.
The point of this daily mindful activity is to create a habit of doing something simple each day in a more mindful way - letting go of distractions, being present, and focusing on your senses so you can actually experience the activity.
Give Yourself Space to Feel your Emotions (Without Judgement)
This can be a great mindfulness activity to do towards the end of the day to help you check-in with yourself and your needs.
Simply ask yourself “How am I feeling right now?” and if you can, give yourself a few minutes to really observe your emotions and create space to experience them.
For example, you could sit down somewhere quiet and turn your attention inwards.
Notice how you’re feeling physically.
Reflect on the events that unfolded during the day.
Observe your emotions and the reasons behind them.
Then, let go of the reasons and focus on the emotion itself. “I feel irritated because the house is messy and my boss expects too much from me” simply becomes “I feel irritated”.
Notice how it feels to be irritated without berating yourself for feeling that way.
Allow yourself to fully feel that emotion and you might even notice the intensity of it start to fade.
Try the "Don't Know Mind" Technique
I learned about the Don’t Know Mind from Jack Kornfield over a year ago and I still use it often.
It involves recognizing and becoming comfortable with uncertainty and the more I practice, the more I feel like I’ve been able to let go worrying about things I can’t control.
The “Don’t Know Mind” technique works like this:
- When you notice yourself predicting the future, or obsessing over certain outcomes, or worrying about what’s going to happen, give yourself some time to do this practice.
- Observe what your mind is doing for a few moments, then in your mind, start to say the words “I don’t know what will happen and that’s okay”.
- You might like to repeat these words a few times and let yourself explore what it’s like to embrace uncertainty; to let go of the need to achieve a certain outcome and to trust in yourself that no matter what happens, it will be ok.
For example, a lovely friend of mine showed me a cool online platform recently called Medium. It’s a huge collection of great quality articles on a range of topics, including psychology, productivity, mindfulness, work, money, and relationships. I was so impressed that I thought “Wow, it would be really great if I could write my own articles and publish them there.”
I did quite a bit of a research and worked on an article and a few days later, I posted my first article about setting goal categories (rather than “random” goals), which was both exciting and really nerve-wracking.
Then, I started thinking “What if no one likes my article?”, “What if my article goes viral and I actually make some money – how amazing would that be?!”, and “What if nothing happens and it ends up taking too much of my time?”.
I was starting to feel stressed and kept checking my statistics… Until, I realized it was the perfect opportunity to practice the “Don’t Know Mind” technique.
I’ve practiced it a few times now to become more comfortable with the uncertainty of writing on Medium, and now I feel much more accepting that I can’t control what might happen. I’ll do my best and learn new things, but I’m not quite so attached to any particular outcome. It feels more like an experiment – and that’s way more fun!
Fun Ways to Be Mindful (No Matter How Much Time You Have!)
BY Rachael Kable
Kable, Rachael. “Mindfulness Activities: Fun Ways to Be Mindful (No Matter How Much Time You Have!).” Rachael Kable, Rachael Kable, 6 Mar. 2021, www.rachaelkable.com/blog/how-to-be-mindful-with-fun-mindfulness-activities.
Marketing and Design Coordinator
Rachel Wixey & Associates
Sometimes the weekdays get so busy you feel like you're drowning in them. It's very helpful to have a few techniques that take little time, but can help regulate your entire day.