Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Bullet Journal - Mini Meditations: How To Find Attention and Time to be Mindful

You know what I hate doing? The dishes.

It's not about the gross water or the stinky scrubber - it's not even that my sleeves get wet, though that's irritating enough in itself - I hate that I'm not actively learning something. That all of my effort is going into getting old food off of the plates, pans and silverware.
It's what I call 'dead time'.

In the past it has been something that I've hated doing so much that I've had to actually write down 'do the dishes' as a goal for the week in my bullet journal.

It was recommended to me that I try using that 'dead time' as a way to recenter and refocus and practice Mindfulness.

Now if you're not familiar with Mindfulness let me explain: It's a technique that is akin to meditation that many therapists and psychologists find to be helpful for their patients regardless of what kind of disorder, or even lack of disorder, they may have.

Being Mindful just means that you're taking time to notice what's going on around you without letting your brain wander onto intrusive thoughts, feelings, or observations about the past/future. It's basically giving your brain time to relax by telling it to stop reminding you that the bills are due, your sheets are dirty, and your should pick up the milk.

You can practice Mindfulness pretty much anywhere and don't need a special playlist, mat, or more than a five minutes.

That's right! You too can have a peaceful mind in less than 5 minutes a day!

...yes, I also have trackers for brushing my teeth.
During my evening routine I draw three little hearts that remind me to stop and focus on the present moment. First thing in the morning I get to fill in one of the hearts while I'm eating breakfast. I take 10 bites of whatever I'm eating without distractions. I literally sit and chew my food. I think about what texture is in my mouth, what does the food smell like, is it hot or cold, what color is it, what sound does it make? I'll find myself thinking, 'This cereal crunchy and the milk is cold. I should get milk on the way home from work. Well, if I'm going to do that then I should get Ezra some treats and probably some more yogurt for work...OH! Shh brain - What color is this cereal?' 

As soon as I notice that my brain has stopped focusing on the present and is wandering off into the future or past, I ask myself a question about the current moment and try to get back on track.

It's not the easiest, but with practice is does become easier. The great thing is you don't have to practice being mindful very long - which is awesome when having ADD/ADHD - but you still get the benefits from taking the moment to pause and consider your immediate surroundings and moment.

Here are some instances of 'dead time' that can be used to practice mindfulness:
Brushing your teeth/hair
Driving (turn off the radio!)
Doing the dishes or other chore
Scanning paperwork

All of the above are times that I've identified for myself as 'dead time'. If you're having difficulty figuring out what those times are for yourself, think about what small tasks you have to accomplish that, while easy, are incredibly difficult for you to get started on.

Let me know in the comments when you find time to practice mindfulness or if you have any sweet, sweet trackers that you use for getting daily tasks done!


  1. Two comments. I love this post and wear rubber gloves. They will save your hands and your sleeves. :)

    1. Haha! Thanks Barb! Have you ever gotten water in the gloves on accident? I am afraid that the feeling of watery rubber gloves would be worse than wet sleeves!! Arrggh!!
      I will try this though and see what happens. Thanks for your comment!

    2. Yes, I have gotten water in my gloves and you're right, it's not pleasant. I have been trying to be mindful. (Yoda would say, do or not do there is no try.) Sometimes I succeed, mostly I don't, but I keep reminding myself when you do dishes, just do dishes. :)


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