There’s a lot of talk about mindfulness, but essentially it just comes down to escaping all the random thoughts in your head for a moment. And we could all do with a break, right?
The most obvious form of mindfulness is meditation, but what if that just isn’t your thing? Well, there are plenty of other, easy ways to achieve some mindfulness.
Watching a foreign language film
Most of us scroll on our phones while we’re “watching” a movie or TV show. But it if you go for a LOTE (that’s Language Other Than English) show instead, you’ll pick up some handy skills in focusing your attention. Having to read subtitles doesn’t give you much time to look at your phone. If an entire feature-length film is a bit too much for you, start with one of the many shows on Netflix, like Call My Agent which is in French.
Knitting, or any crafting you can get your hands on
Knitting has long been my go-to for escaping my chatty brain. Admittedly I do a lot of it while watching Netflix (obvs not the subtitled shows here). Not only do you have to focus on following a pattern, there’s something very soothing about holding good quality yarn in your hands. Plus at the end of it, you’ve got yourself a fancy new sweater, scarf, beanie, whatever your heart desires.
Kneading bread is sooo therapeutic. Skip the mixer and get your hands in there. It’ll take about 10 minutes to knead dough to a smooth consistency — some solid time to forget about everything else in your head. Then once all the proofing is done, and the oven timer goes off, you have hot fresh bread to eat. The most delicious form of mindfulness ever. (Hot tip: avoid OTT baking projects like Duck Cake. Trust me. Very stressful.)
I hadn’t played with Lego since I was a kid, but recently I was sent a Botanicals kit as part of a mindfulness exercise. After putting together 756 pieces to construct a bouquet of flowers, I was pretty damn chill. Focusing on the instructions and tiny pieces is a surefire way to shut your mind up.
No, I’m not suggesting you take a bath in the middle of the forest. Forest bathing is a Japanese term for spending mindful time in the woods — and it has been proven to have great benefits, both physically and mentally. Just go for a stroll outside, take some deep breaths, and appreciate all the trees and general nature around you.
I’m in the midst of a 21-day challenge with the Calm app, but if you’re really put off by meditation, there is a great collection of sleep stories that you can press play on and just drift off to a sweet slumber. The list of celebrity narrators is pretty wild — Harry Styles, Laura Dern, Kate Winslet, Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughy, Nick Offerman and even Scottie Pippen are ready and waiting to read you a bedtime story.
Feeling chill now?