1. Waking up.
As soon as you wake up, before you get out of bed, take three deep breaths. This will have the double benefit of quietening your mind and giving your brain an oxygen boost to get you out of bed.
2. Getting out of bed.
Not all of us have time for yoga. But we all have time to stretch. When you first stand, take a deep breath in and stretch your hands as high as you can toward the ceiling, fingers pointing straight up. Then as you breathe out, relax, lean forward, and try to touch your toes. Make sure to focus on your breathing and the sensations of the stretch.
As you take a shower, spend a minute or two just feeling the water on your skin; notice the temperature, the pressure, and the sounds as it falls.
4. Getting dressed.
Most of us rush to get our clothes on, but when you get dressed in the morning, take a second to pay attention to the way they feel on your skin, the texture of the material, and the warmth that they provide.
5. Drinking tea or coffee.
When you drink tea of coffee, sip slowly and be mindful of the taste, temperature of the mug on your hand, and subtle effect it has on your body.
6. Brushing your teeth.
We all (hopefully) do this! So it’s a great place to start focusing on the present moment. The sounds, the cold water on your toothbrush after you rinse, the feel of the bristles on your gums.
7. Listen to music.
Listening to some relaxing music before you leave the house in the morning is a great way to center yourself. Completely immerse yourself in the song. Be aware of the volume and tempo. Or if you prefer a podcast, really listen to what is being said.
As you’re walking down the street, pay attention to how your legs and feet feel against the ground. Check your breathing. It’s common to breathe shallow when you’re in public, consciously take deeper breaths and feel the air against your nose.
9. Eating lunch.
At lunchtime, take a bite out of your food and chew it slowly. Be mindful of the texture; is it crunchy or soft? Taste; is it spicy, bitter, sweet, or sour? Temperature; is it hot, cold, or just lukewarm? – this is better done away from your desk/screen, even if you only have ten minutes.
10. Talking to someone.
Try to be completely present in conversation, making eye contact and listening to what they say without thinking about what you want to add next or where you’re going to be later.
11. At your desk.
If you work at a desk and catch yourself slouching, take a deep breath, sit up straight, and relax the muscles in your face, your neck, and finally your shoulders.
12. Getting home at night.
When you walk through the door to your home, pause and think about how grateful you are to be home. Whether it’s cold outside, and you’ve just walked into warmth, you have a dinner you’re looking forward to, you are looking forward to putting your pyjamas on and sitting on the sofa – there’s always something to appreciate.
13. Taking off your shoes.
We all like to take our shoes off after a long day. Pay attention to how your feet feel on the ground, try to move your toes around and feel each one individually.
Counter-intuitive, I know—this isn’t for everyone. But focusing on the noise of the vacuum can be effective because it often drowns out any other sensory distractions.
15. At least five minutes of Do Nothing Time (DNT).
No checking your phone. No reading a newspaper. Don’t even try to meditate. Just sit there, and if any feelings come up—discomfort, restlessness, or even guilt that you’re not doing anything—just acknowledge them. Most of the time we’re so wrapped up in doing something ‘productive’ that it’s difficult to just sit still and do nothing.
And at the end of the day……Lying in bed.
Before you go to sleep, take a moment to think of one thing you were grateful for that day, no matter how big or small, or how difficult the day was. What happened, and who was responsible for it occurring. This will condition your mind for positivity, and help you sleep better.