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Mindfulness in the Mundane

Promoting a healthier life by adding mindfulness to your daily routine with safe multi-tasking that adds up to big results.

Are you trying to create a healthier, more robust life for yourself but find that it’s nearly impossible to do what you have to do throughout the day AND add in all the new and healthier habits like exercise, meditation, breath-work, etc.? I know I have, and especially now with three kids, I have to re-establish a routine (or rather new rituals as I prefer to call it) that works with our busy schedules but also allows me to do the important self-care tools that keep me sane and healthy!

Now, I am not a big fan of multi-tasking and whenever possible I prefer to focus my attention solely on a task at hand and that makes me finish it quicker. Though there are times when I believe it’s safe to multi-task which is why I call this my “Safe Multi-Tasking Ritual”. These are the times when we are on autopilot.

When our minds are just wasting time thinking about nonsense anyway and could be put to better use, moments like:

· Brushing your teeth

· Showering

· Applying makeup

· Walking up and down the stairs

· Moments waiting in the car (red light, school drop offs, etc.)

· Commuting

· Cleaning (dishes, laundry, vacuuming, etc.)

· Eating (this is a big one)

All of these could be done with a little more intention. Now what do I mean by intention? Becoming conscious of what is happening at the moment and being mindful of where your attention goes.

I believe one of the most important lessons we can learn here as humans, is to live through intention vs. just going with the motion of things. Life will pass us by so quickly and you won’t have truly lived that moment. The power to be present and aware of what is happening instead of being inside your head chained by your thoughts.

With safe multi-tasking you can turn those mundane moments into real habits to create a healthy life without taking any more time out of your day! Now let’s dive right into it…


Upon waking up take 5 minutes to yourself to:

· Be mindful of the new day

· Take a few deep breaths in and out

· Drink 2 cups of water (that you set beside the bed the night before)

· Either write down in a journal three things you are grateful for or say them out loud, or just think them by focusing on them

· Set your intention(s) for the day


You can do all those things while:

· Getting up out of bed

· Making the bed. Now if you aren’t already used to making the bed I suggest you start because it’s a small step in your success. I’m sure you’ve seen the videos online about millionaires and making the bed…right? If not here ya go…

· Breastfeeding baby

· Peeing

· Getting dressed


· Oil pulling- this is an ancient Ayurvedic tradition that has incredible benefits from killing bad breath and whitening teeth to balancing hormones and clearing up skin. It removes the bad bacteria from the mouth by literally pulling the toxins out with the oil. This must be done upon waking and on an empty stomach for best results. Therefore, right after making the bed and setting your intentions you can grab a tablespoon of oil, I prefer organic coconut oil but you can use organic sesame oil, or organic ghee as well, and swish it around your mouth for 5-20 minutes. Make sure to spit it in a trashcan because it can clog up pipes if you spit down the drain.


You can add this healthy habit while:

· Taking a shower

· Getting dressed

· Applying Makeup

· Preparing breakfast


· Exercising- getting in some kind of movement is crucial for a healthy life and if you can’t dedicate some time every day it’s super simple to add it in to your regular daily habits, it may seem like a little, but it adds up and goes a long way!


You can add this healthy habit while:

· Brushing your teeth- I always do some squats while brushing my teeth, I can do up to 50 or three 30 second wall sits with 15 seconds rest. You can do some stretching while brushing or jog in place. Get creative with it!

· Checking emails- same as brushing make better use of your body while holding your phone! I try to stretch my lower body when I’m on my phone at home.

· Walking up and down the stairs- if you have stairs in your home put them to use. Take two steps at a time, run up and down or hop. Every time you use the stairs be more mindful of how you get from point A to point B.

· Change your commute- if you can walk or ride a bike, do that instead of driving to your destination.

· Playing with the kids- simple things like being more mindful of your body when playing with the kids, lifting them up, or chasing them around can turn it into an exercise. By engaging you core, straightening your back, using your glutes and not your back to lift will avoid injury and become a work out! Playing in the play ground with them and using the jungle gym to your advantage instead of sitting on the side just watching is also a fun way to both interact with them and get in your workout! Your relationship with them will grow stronger, too!

· Stretching at work or in the car- if you are sitting at a desk or standing all day you need this! Take a moment in-between tasks to stretch. Stretch your neck, back, arms, wrists, hands, legs etc. At a stop light roll your neck around both ways, look up and down, look side to side, give your wrists a good shake, roll your shoulders, etc. Use your surroundings to help you, hold on a chair to do a back twist, pull on a pole for a shoulder stretch, and push the balls of your feet against the wall for a hamstring stretch. The options are endless.

· Cleaning – I throw on some music and dance while cleaning! If you are scrubbing something make sure to be mindful of your body and really work the muscles you are using, while cleaning the floors ditch the mop and use a rag on your feet and do some leg work outs! Remember, wax on, wax off… a little bit of mindfulness goes a long way.

· Park farther away from your destination- then power-walk or jog, or just do a mindful walking meditation as you get to where you need to be.

· Netflix and drill- instead of mindlessly watching a show each evening, why not use it to some at home workouts?


These three are all interconnected and can be done as one or separately:

· Meditation- this is a super important component to a healthy life full of vitality. It helps anyone and everyone and has nothing to do with religion. Meditation will help you with a plethora of things from clearer focus and quicker mind to better emotional understanding. It can fight fatigue and is known to significantly increase productivity.

· Breath work- there are various forms of breath work that you can incorporate into your life and we often don’t recognize how important it is to learn how to properly breathe. Most of us are taking very shallow breaths throughout the day and not getting enough oxygen to our brain leaving us very fatigued and stressed.

· Gratitude- this has shown to be one of the most important things in mental health. We live in a time where companies feed off the idea of lack and scarcity, the “not enough” era of society. Gratitude reminds us that abundance is our birthright and that we have everything within us and that the more we give the more we receive. By simply showing how grateful you are for what is, you will see more of it in your life.


While having a regular 5-30 minutes meditation practice (like exercise) is crucial, some days we just can’t make the time to add it in, so here is what I recommend multi-tasking it in:

· Walking- you can do a walking meditation either guided with head phones (you can find them on YouTube) or by focusing on each sensation as you walk, the air around you, the breath, the ground beneath you, how your muscles interact, etc.

· Doing the dishes- you can use this time to do breath work or be grateful for the food provided that these dishes held.

· Eating- this is a super important one. While regular multi-tasking while eating is a big No-No, mindfulness is a safe and even healthy multi-tasking tool to use when eating. The way you can do this is by setting an intention of love towards the food especially if you are preparing it too. While eating you can become mindful by truly tasting each bite and savoring the flavors that come with it. Taking the time to chew completely before swallowing and showing gratitude for the food before you is a form of meditation. Instead of being distracted while eating you are immersing all of your senses into the act of eating and creating an experience from intention.

· Waiting- instead of just mindlessly going to our phones like we routinely do when we are bored waiting for something, let’s instead use our time for some serious productivity by throwing on your headphones and doing a guided meditation, doing some breath work, do some visualization or taking time to write down what you are grateful for (either on paper or on your phone). At every red light I use it to take a few deep breaths, check in with myself and think of something I am grateful for, that’s why I call them “Chill Lights” because you can really chill out with that simple tool instead of start cursing everyone and everything because you got stuck at a red light again!

· Watering plants/yard work- just being mindful of what you are doing by applying full focus to your work. You can add an intention like love and growth to every plant you water and send that intention by either saying it out loud or just visualizing it. This has been proven to help the health of the plant as well as yours!

· Getting your hair or nails done- take this very relaxing time to relax even further by focusing on your breathing, bringing your awareness to your body, releasing any tension from the day, and you can even go into a meditation here.

· Changing diapers- okay this is a funny one, take a deep breath in for 4 counts as you open the diaper, hold breath for 7 counts as you wipe, breath out for 8 counts as you continue to clean baby and take another deep breath in as baby wriggles their way out of control, and hold for 7 counts while you put a clean diaper on and breath out for 8 counts and you try to put clothes back on. Three to five of these will put your body back into a parasympathetic state that will calm you down meaningfully.


· Learning- Now, life really is all about learning, right? We are constantly running into lessons every day. But I am speaking more about expanding your knowledge on topics that interest you. Whether it is for becoming better at work or just a better person or just feeding your creativity. We live in a time where anything we want to learn is at our fingertips. We can listen to a podcast, audio book, lecture or YouTube video online, TEDtalk, Documentary etc. Even online courses are sometimes set up for us as audio and videos you can just click play and go about your day.


You can easily learn while doing these everyday tasks:

· Commuting- Have you ever heard of Traffic University? Well, join in on this term coined by Robin Sharma author of “The 5 A.M. Club”. This is a great way to learn because many of us spend a lot of our time commuting to and from work, school, etc. Why not use that time to be productive and listen to podcast or audio book.

· Doing laundry- this is also a simple mundane task that can be taken to the next level by adding in some learning!

· Cooking- I love to listen to music while cooking, but sometimes I just catch up on a podcast or watch an excellent TEDtalk and learn something new! This is especially great if you are meal prepping because then you can listen in longer and learn even more!

· Organizing- if you need to organize a specific part of the house, throw on an audio book or listen to a motivational YouTube video to make it more stimulating


· Get outside in nature- many studies have shown that being outside in nature can be extremely helpful in curing diseases, but you don’t need studies to tell you that being out in fresh air with the sun, trees, flowers, leaves, and animals is beneficial to your health, right? I mean, after all, we ARE nature ourselves and being constantly confined to indoor environments is debilitating our health.


If you simply aren’t getting enough time outdoors and can’t schedule some in try these to get you out there (whether permitting, of course):

· Work or homework- If you have some work to do that doesn’t require you be at a specific place indoors or your child comes home with homework to do get outside and do it. Either take it to your backyard, front yard, stoop, or to the nearest park. Even just going to a coffee shop and sitting outside instead is healthier.

· Exercise- if you are getting in a few days a week where you can make time for exercise then ditch the gym and go to a local park, ride a bike, go for a hike, or walk outside. I once had an experience that forever changed my workout routine. I was done with my weights and wanted to get on the treadmill for my last 15 minutes of my work out, except the only two treadmills available were out of order so I decided to take it outside. Now, I normally hate running so I just started with a power walk, but as I got around the first bend of the lake I started running and discovered such beautiful sights in my neighborhood that it made me want to do it again. So, I went for another loop around the lake and next thing I know I am not only enjoying a run but also went well over 15 minutes!

· Eating- Take your meal outside, that simple and enjoy a mindful, gratitude filled, meal in nature!

· Phone calls- talk outside, go for a walk, sit by a lake, take it out there so you can enjoy a good conversation while also getting some fresh air!

· Read a book- have to catch up on some reading or hooked on a story, take it to the outdoors!

Really, the possibilities here are endless, you can take almost any activity outside! Just spend more time in nature!

In what ways can you turn the mundane things in your life into a mindful habit that promotes your health and well being?