Give your day a mindfulness makeover with these easy to follow tips from mindfulness teacher Clare Dimond, for a calmer, happier you.
7am IN THE SHOWER
Use the time you have in the shower to set yourself up for the rest of the day. ‘We’re at our best when we are right here in the present moment’ says Clare. ‘Start your day off this way by noticing how you feel right now. In the shower, notice the air on your skin, the smell of the shower gel and the sound of the water.’
9am ON THE COMMUTE
On the train, do you usually stay plugged into your earphones or with your nose in a book? Clare thinks we should try a different approach. 'Some people try to switch off when they are in a packed train or a traffic jam, but why would we switch off from any moment of our life?’ she says. ‘On a train we can notice the people around us, in a car we can notice our connection to other drivers, and allow people to pull in front of us, acknowledge those who make way for us.'
1pm AT LUNCHTIME
It’s time to stop eating a sandwich at your desk. 'At lunch time check in with your head,’ says Clare. ‘Is it filling up with problems to solve and things you haven't managed to do? Do you feel you should work through lunch to catch up? Do the opposite. Switch off. Go for a walk. Chat with a friend. When we change perspective, our mind can clear, and the answers become obvious to the things that were bugging us.’
3pm AFTERNOON SLUMP
When you’d really reach for a biscuit to give you a hit of energy, try this, says Clare. ‘Take time to appreciate your body. Rub in a hand cream, and while you’re doing this, look at your hands and thank them for how much they’ve done that day. And notice what your body needs- a stretch or rest?’
9pm WINDING DOWN FOR BED
In the hours before bed try activities that allow you to start to switch off. To prepare for a restful sleep, Clare says, “Get your things ready for the next day, write down a couple of things you’ll do in the morning, have a bath or shower, do some gentle yoga or write a note in your journal. Anything that gently relaxes your mind.”
If you wake in the night thinking of your worries or the things you have to do, take a minute to realise there’s no solution to stressful thinking. ‘When our mind starts wheeling around on itself, there’s no point in digging deeper into your thoughts as there are no answers there,’ says Clare. ‘So simply say to your mind “Not there. Not there.” Keep repeating until you drift off to sleep.’