Self-care – A summer morning of mindfulness
Summer is here and with it comes the excitement of summer holidays, even if that means staying at home and breaking out of the usual routine. However, it can be difficult to unwind and slow down after weeks of rushing around on automatic pilot. So, if you can manage to set aside some time for yourself, here’s a suggested morning of mindfulness to leave you feeling restored and ready to make the most of your time off work.
Prepare everything the day before and resolve not to touch your mobile phone or watch television throughout the morning.
Rise and shine – Go to bed early the night before and allow yourself to wake up naturally without an alarm clock. You’ll feel better rested. When you wake up, take your time to stretch and really enjoy being in the moment. This will put you in the right frame of mind for the rest of the day. This makes a welcome change from reaching for your mobile phone as soon as you wake up.
Get moving – Begin the day with some yoga or stretching exercises. Ease any stiffness out of your joints and get your blood flowing.
Shower – Have a shower, taking time to be really present, connecting with your senses. You may wish to focus on the sound of the water, then the feeling of the water against your skin. There’s no need to rush, you have all morning. Notice how different this feels from your usual rushed morning shower.
Get dressed – Choose something comfortable to wear and dress slowly. When you’ve finished, make your bed and tidy up your bedroom, noting the sense of satisfaction at leaving it all organised.
Mindful breakfast – Prepare your breakfast with care and set a proper place at your table instead of eating hurriedly at the kitchen worktop. Notice the colours of the food, the sounds you make as you chop fruit. As you eat, notice the taste and texture of the food. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly. Afterwards, if you’ve made a coffee or tea, take it out into the garden to drink or on a balcony, or stand at an open window if you have neither.
Wash the dishes – This can be a boring task, but if done mindfully you may enjoy it. Enjoy the sensation of the warm water and the rainbow colours you may see in the bubbles. Notice your breathing. When you’ve finished, take a breath before moving onto the next task.
Breathing meditation – Set your timer for 30 minutes and begin. At the end try to maintain the sense of calmness.
Mindful walking – Walk at a normal pace and give your environment your full attention using all of your senses. If you live near a park or natural environment try to walk there.
Expanding awareness meditation – If you can, do this meditation without any audio guidance for 30 minutes. It will give you a sense of awareness, not only of your surroundings but of yourself and your emotions.
Choose a task and do it mindfully for 20 minutes – perhaps ironing or vacuuming.
Mountain or lake meditation – this will give you a sense of being grounded which you can carry over into the rest of your day.
Lunch – prepare and eat your lunch mindfully, as you did with breakfast.
Then go about the rest of your day with a restored sense of calm and reconnection with yourself.
*I recommend the Insight Timer app for guided meditations.