No matter if you're 8 or 88, it's always a good time to enjoy some mindful activities that put you "in the moment" and take stress out of mind. Here are 8 great mindful activities to get you started on your quest for Zen (or just a half hour of peace and quiet!).
Okay, so it doesn't have to be birds, but it could be! Take the time to truly watch all creatures great and small. I saw a deer munching grass the other day, so elegant, beautiful, and still. In its presence how could you not take a deep breath and be in the moment? Look around! Spiderwebs: phenomenal; beaver dams: architectural genius; the flight of an eagle: majestic.
There is a reason I keep seeing rocking chairs at airports - they are fabulous and not just great for baby. The gentle sway and the rhythmic sound can be quite meditative. Rocking chairs originally came to Charlotte Douglas International Airport as part of an exhibit but when it came time for them to leave, the people, young and old, wanted them to stay. Haley Gentry who manages the amenities at Charlotte says, “Airports tend to be such a fast-paced environment,...it can be overwhelming for people who aren’t seasoned travellers. The rocker is a yin to that yang. It’s more of a slow pace... It’s a nice pause button in a hectic environment."
Why do kids fight a nap, the one thing I crave most days? Many of us could use a daily siesta and should fit one in when we can. And although we might wish for the hard to get nap time we can often get to bed a little earlier, and this is the odd thing that we often fight. As sleep expert Alanna McGinn suggests, head to bed 30 minutes earlier, set a bed time alarm, and stick to it before getting sucked into one more load of laundry, binge watching Netflix or the endless pull of social media.
This isn't your Grandma's knitting! I have never managed more than a scarf or two for my Cabbage Patch kids back in the day but there are some pretty hip things being knitted out there... beautiful wraps, Viking hats for your baby, faux beards. Knitting is fun, creative, and useful. People have even credited it with helping them stop smoking by keeping their idle hands in check!
My in-laws have red current bushes at their house. It occurred to me while gorging how delightful berry picking is. When I think of berry picking I generally think of it as an activity for the kids or a more adultier adult making jam, but stopping, noticing, picking and tasting is quite a lovely in the moment task.
Bath time is simply a part of the schedule for most kids. I think we should also schedule in a regular bath time; a nice soak with magazines and some peace and quiet sounds decadent.
Colouring books for adults have become very popular and enjoyed as meditative. Who among us hasn't enjoyed colouring along side our child? When I was a kid my mom and I worked on a gigantic Christmas colouring book every year (does anyone remember those?). We each worked on a page side by side and often as she was finishing the last section I would look at her lovely work and decide to contribute with my own messy addition and request that we put both of our names on it. We still chuckle at these near perfect pictures as well as my mother's laughable and carefully hidden tiny disappointment at the ruin of her "in the lines" work. I am rectifying this, and have bought one for my mom for her birthday that will be all hers.
But not the channel! Storms, beautiful spring days, snow falling - it is breathtaking out there. We need to slow down and observe what is around us, breathe in a crisp fall day, take pictures of fat puffy rain clouds, listen to the rolling thunder, simply take it in.
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