health & wellness

Eight Mundane yet Mindful Activities to Try

Sheena Joseph | Sep 02 2021
Image credits: Twitter

Meditation is not everyone's cup of tea. There are amazing benefits to mastering meditation but most people end up feeling sleepy or their thoughts wander off to something that happened a decade ago. And it is not great news. That is why mindfulness has become so popular across the world. People connect with the idea of being mindful easily because it is simpler and sounds doable.

Mindfulness is a type of meditation that asks you to focus on your senses. The method involves breathing methods, relaxing the body, and using imagery to guide your thoughts. This sounds like a lot of work too. But you don’t always have to struggle to practice mindfulness. You can use simple, everyday tasks to focus on your senses and calm your mind.

Here are some such activities to lower stress and cultivate awareness. 

1) Brewing Tea

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Brewing tea may sound like the most mundane of the tasks because you do it every day. But, your focus is often on brewing the tea in order to drink it. How about you focus on the act of making tea? It will only take you five minutes and you can do it every morning. All you have to do is stand in front of the stove and focus on the bubbles in the pot. Smell the steam, feel it hitting your face, watch it dispersing into thin air, and observe the colour of the water changing. You can use the same idea whether you are brewing coffee or herbal tea.

2) Walking on Grass

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The connection to earth is one of the most elemental things in human nature. In all the living beings, humans are the only ones that are hesitant to walk barefoot. You need to be connected to nature physically. Ancient practitioners of medicine believed that walking barefoot on soil and grass balanced electrolytes in the body. Take five or ten minutes every day to walk on the grass or soil in your yard. Blades of grass and granules of soil can gently massage your feet. Focus on that feeling and try not to think about anything else.

3) Watering Plants

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Most plant parents are fully aware that plants are living beings like humans. That is why gardening has become a joyous and nourishing hobby even for people living in concrete forests. Watering your plants can become an act of kindness or nurturing that can make you feel content. Do it every morning with the awareness that your plants have a warm, sunny day ahead and you are preparing them for it. Plants often give you a sense of companionship. Take your mornings to talk to them and observe their well-being. 

4) Going to the Beach

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Going to the beach can be an exhilarating experience even if you are not one to love playing in the water. It is one of the very few open spaces left in the world. Staring at the ocean is your chance to mindlessly gaze into the vast nothingness. You may also chance upon a beautiful sunset. However, being mindful can be a challenge as you are not likely to be alone. Try to find a less crowded space where you are not disturbed. Walk as far as you want while focusing on the sand beneath your feet. Pay attention to the wind on your hair, face, hands, and your body. The key to mindfulness is zooming in on the smaller details.

5) Cooking for a Long Time

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This is a perfect activity for a weekend. It is similar to brewing tea but longer. If done right, this can be an adventure that results in peace and a delicious meal. The first step is finding a recipe that demands your presence for at least two hours. If it involves you stirring the pot for a longer time than usual, you have found the perfect recipe for mindfulness. Try not to think of anything else and focus on the contents of the pot. 

Some time-consuming recipes you can try are making udon noodles from scratch, Dutch oven beef stew, Korean oven-braised short-ribs, Kerala dal payasam, Coq au Vin, haleem, dal bati churma, ghevar, Gujarati handvo, and chena poda.

6) Eating with Your Non-dominant Hand

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If you are in need of a quick fix of mindfulness to drive away all maddening thoughts, try eating with your non-dominant hand for five minutes. This is something that will surely draw your attention and demand your attention. People often do not realise how mindlessly they consume food until they try to eat with their non-dominant hands. But go into the activity with the knowledge that it will probably annoy you. If you decide to do it for only five minutes, you should be able to get through it. If you are in a bad mood, start with using the non-dominant hand to eat only five mouthfuls. It will give your mind a break from thinking about everything else.

7) Puzzles

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Doing puzzles are fun. They will also give you a sense of adventure and accomplishment. The key is to indulge in it and not be in a hurry to finish it. Some people take as long as two weeks to finish a puzzle. You do not have to commit to the puzzle or approach it like a task. It can be a fun activity to do when you want an escape from everything else.

8) Bubble Blowing

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You need to indulge your inner child from time to time because makes you feel important and loved and joyous. Blowing bubbles is a playful activity that most people have enjoyed in childhood. Taking some time to enjoy the same activity will bring you joy. It can also be a group activity where you don’t have to socialise with people but still enjoy the playfulness and positive energy of spending time with people you love. You can also observe and focus on the bubbles. Zoom in on their shapes and colours to practice mindfulness.