It seems the price tag associated with mindfulness is increasing . From $1000 a night meditation retreats to the pressure to wear the latest designer yoga pants, it’s no wonder some dismiss it as something only to be enjoyed by wellness bloggers and celebrities on Instagram. Thankfully, there is a way to reap the benefits without going bankrupt in the process.
Art for the non-artist
I was born without the artistic gene – I struggle to draw a stick figure, but recently I’ve found my outlet. I received some adult colouring books for my birthday and have since created quite a few masterpieces. Aside from getting you to slow down and focus, it also makes you practice being imperfect (it’s ok to go outside the lines) and to be creative (like giving a person a purple face).
Two birds, one stone
Sometimes on a packed tram there’s simply no room to pull out your book, and I find constantly scrolling down my Twitter feed makes me scatty and anxious. To try and chill out I’ve begun listening to podcasts. I find I can zone out from the guy coughing up his lung next to me and I sometimes even learn something.
Bend and stretch
I’ve done yoga on and off over the years but I’m no devotee. I’m not a fan of the chanting but I don’t mind the stretching and the excuse to close my eyes for an hour. I’m lucky my work offers yoga at work and I found even one session a week reduces my neck and back issues and stops me from worrying about the small things at work. Oh, and the teacher always reminds me to breathe which can’t be a bad thing.
Get help to stay still
I’d been keen to try meditation but hadn’t got around to it until my partner had trouble sleeping. I downloaded the free Australian-made app, Smiling Mind and we’ve both found it pretty useful with different levels and exercises to try. I find it stops me dwelling on work or the episode of Penny Dreadful I just watched before I head off to bed.
Treat your kitchen as a haven
I’m no gourmet cook but I love to potter around in the kitchen and find it quite soothing. I have a few favourite recipes that I now make most weeks and that I know will turn out ok, including my own yoghurt and granola. I’ve also recently begun making soda bread, using a few different recipes, like this one.
Get your hands dirty
An explosion of weeds in our front garden after a wet winter forced us to finally take the plunge into gardening beyond a few pots of herbs. Weeding is rather therapeutic and digging up deeply-buried roots is a fantastic way to relieve any frustration. Best of all it forced me outside to get some Vitamin D and fresh air.
What’s your favourite way to be mindful?