Mindful Mopping: Transforming Chores into Mindful Moments
Before I had my daughter, I practiced meditation and yoga almost daily. When I felt anxious, I found 10 minutes to do a guided relaxation meditation from the app on my phone. At the time, I didn’t think it was easy to make the time for separate mindfulness activities, but I could usually find the time. Now, as a parent of an infant, that time has evaporated but the need for mindfulness is greater than ever. So, how do I make the time for mindfulness?
Here’s the secret: I don’t.
Instead of carving out time for a separate mindful activity, I try to bring mindfulness into whatever I am doing. If I’m washing dishes, I pay attention to the feel of the warm water on my hands and the sounds of splashing. If I’m folding laundry, I feel the sensations of different fabrics and breath in the fresh laundry smell. If I’m driving, I pay attention to my breath; extending my inhale for a count of 4 and my exhale for a count of 6 to calm my central nervous system.
There are 3 keys to transformation chores into mindfulness activities:
Frequently, when I slow my body down, the activity doesn’t actually take any longer to complete. When my body is tense, it may feel like I’m moving faster or more efficiently, but it is often an illusion. When I relax my body and move consciously through an activity, I am more likely to enjoy it and more likely to complete it with ease.
Pay attention to your 5 senses:
It’s a well-known mindfulness trick that the 5 senses help us to stay in the present moment. Performing a tactile chore is a perfect mindfulness practice because focusing on the feel, smell, sound, sight, or taste brings you into the here and now.
Use a mantra:
To commit to mindfully mopping the floor, I might think to myself, “I am calm.” A simple mantra like this reminds your body and mind to relax. Using the present phrase “I am” rather than the future phrase “I will” is a powerful way to make your intention your reality.
Mindfulness is an opportunity for all of us. Take it slow and enjoy!
By Sarah Horton-Campbell, MDiv, MSW, YT-200
Join Sarah for her Baby + Me class in Saxapahaw!