Here at Mind Fuel Daily we’re all about exploring the different ways we can incorporate mindfulness into our everyday lives, even during the most boring and banal tasks. Inspired by our article on how you can achieve mindfulness in the shower, here’s a list of routine activities that you can use to be more present-minded.  

Cooking

The actions of cooking – slicing, chopping, pouring and stirring – are all actions we can easily immerse ourselves in. As you cook, focus on the smell and taste of the ingredients, the temperature of the oven, measurements for spices, or the hot oil sizzling in the pan. If you find your mind wandering, simply bring it back to the food  in front of you. After all, you can’t afford to let dinner burn.

Walking the Dog

Walking the dog is an opportunity to be mindful outdoors. Take in the sunshine (or the rain!) and notice pull of the dog’s leash. As you walk, count your steps and feel your body moving on the sidewalk, paying attention to the bottoms of your feet. And of course, don’t forget your critter! Observe their happy jaunt, their tail, and the pace of their stroll. Dogs truly live in the present, and we can learn so much from them just through simple observation.

Commuting

Whether you use public transit or drive yourself to work, feeling relaxed and present is totally possible, even during the frenzied morning rush. If you find yourself on public transit, try resisting the urge to put on your headphones. Instead, notice your body and its relation to those next to you. Feel the weight against your back if you are sitting or the bottoms of your feet if you are standing. Close your eyes and breathe, listening to the sounds and voices all around. If you’re in the car, pay attention to your body in the seat and your hands on the steering wheel. Listen to the purr of the engine and the click of a turn signal.

Washing Dishes

From the moment you turn on the sink, feel the suds of the soap and the temperature of the water. Hold the sponge or brush in your hand and pay attention to its weight in your hands; look at its texture, its color, and give it a squeeze! Scrub mindfully and slowly inspect each dish for a trace of leftover food or crumbs. Handle pieces with care and consideration. If your thoughts drift off, let them float away and bring your focus back to the dish in your hand: feel its weight and solidness. Scrub, rinse, repeat.

Brushing Your Teeth

Taste the toothpaste and hear the sound of bristles against your teeth. Count the number of strokes for each side of your mouth and be cognizant of your posture as you stand in front of the sink. Are you slouching? Are you leaning? What is your body doing? Being mindful of your tooth-care regime doesn’t just mean a more pleasurable experience, it may also amount to cleaner teeth!

We’re betting you normally don’t give much thought to these activities. But approaching them with mindfulness is a way to bring intention to all the moments of your daily routine.