Are you looking to be as mindful at home as you would be if you were on vacation?
Tip: go for a walk with your phone tuned off and stop to smell the roses margaritas.
Last night my husband and I came back from an amazing time in Austin. It was a holiday full of delicious food and drinks (endless margaritas and tacos), new sights, lots of ‘y’all’s’, live entertainment and great company…oh, and a whole lot of mindfulness!
I always come home from every vacation with similar feelings: a feeling of happiness for having spent such a wonderful time away; a feeling of gratitude for the opportunity to take time off work and explore a new (or old) destination; and a feeling of appreciation for how lucky we are to live in Canada. But this time, I came home and also felt a new sense of understanding for mindfulness and how being on vacation makes you 10x more mindful than when you’re at home.
When you’re on vacation you’re purposefully taking everything in. You don’t want to miss a beat. You’re basically always stopping to smell the roses (or in our case…stopping at every sign of a good margarita). You’re not going to waste the money you spent to get to the destination to just sit and stare at your phone…you’re making sure to read the little signs attached to statues to better understand the history of where you are and looking up, down, left and right to take in all the sights. Your senses are more heightened, you are mindful of the food you treat yourself to, mindful of the sounds you hear (maybe it’s a different sounding siren or a live band playing in a public garden (or if you’re in Austin: in every bar), and even mindful of the way things feel…like the sheets of the hotel bed. You are mindful of everything.
As mindful as I try to be on a daily basis, this vacation really heightened my sense of how much more mindful I should be.
Of course it’s a lot more easier to be mindful on vacation because you have the luxury of no real agenda, but even with an agenda, I’m sure it’s not too hard to be more appreciative of the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of our own homes and daily surroundings.
Now that I’m home, I’m going to try to be as mindful as I would be if I were on vacation and enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and tastes that are part of my daily routine.
Are you interested in being more mindful at home too? Try these five tips:
1. SEE: The next time you’re on a walk, pretend you’re exploring a new path (even if it’s just walking to the subway). Look at the trees, the gardens, the walls…whatever is in front of you. Try to notice one thing that looks new.
2. TASTE: Take two minutes at breakfast to taste your food. Breakfast on a workday is usually rushed or even skipped. Try to mindfully taste your food, even if it’s just for two minutes.
3. LISTEN: Close your eyes, take a deep breath and pause to listen what’s going on around you. Maybe you’re walking to get a coffee, or sitting in your office typing away at a computer. Whatever it is, just pause for a moment to hear what’s going on around you…maybe it’s a random conversation or a dog barking.
4. TOUCH: Have you ever thought about what that cute dishcloth you got at HomeSense feels like? Or have you ever embraced the coziness of your bed? Instead of jumping into bed and scrolling through Instagram, put the phone down and take a minute to just breathe and feel how soft your sheets and bedspread are. It may seem silly, but doing this is a form of mindfulness and in a sense a type of meditation.
5. SMELL: If you live in a city, there are a whole bunch of smells going on. Unfortunately, most of the overpowering smells are usually unpleasant (gas, garbage, sewage…ew). The next time you’re outside, try to find one smell that smells awesome and be mindful of what you just smelled. Maybe it’s coffee or the smell of perfume from someone who just walked by you, or a sweet cafe emitting cake and ice-cream.