For March I wanted to focus on building a lasting meditation practise, and even though it would only take me about 5 minutes per day, most days it’s easier to make an excuse about why I am too busy or have too many other things to do. An easy way to bring more mindfulness into everyday life is to combine mindfulness exercises with supposedly mundane everyday activities, such as showering (at the very least it is something we do once a week, hopefully). Showering is something we don’t really think much about but it is a task rich with sensations, sounds and smells.
While showering we are separated from daily distractions for a brief period of time and are on our own without others demanding our attention. This exercise doesn’t have an optimal time, it can be done quickly or slowly, depending on how much time you have. If you don’t have a lot of time then choose one or two steps to do mindfully rather than not doing it at all.
- Leave electronics (phone, radio etc.) on the other side if the door
- Prepare all the things you will be needing and treat them with respect and think about how they serve you: your towel that dries you, your bodywash that cleanses you…
- As you undress, silently name each piece of clothing and carefully hang them or lay them down one by one
- Think about how you are now going to cleanse yourself and that this also has an effect on the inside of your body and your health
- Turn on the water and feel the water hitting your body and the temperature changes as you find the temperature that is optimal for you
- Watch how the water flows down your body and how the water droplets look on your skin
- How does the water stream from the shower head feel? Hard, soft, like rain?
- When using your body wash or shampoo notice the smell and texture, how does it change when you apply it to your air for example? Does it make small or bigger bubbles, does it make bubbles at all?
- Notice the sound of the water and how it changes when you move
- Watch your thoughts and notice if you start drifting off into thinking about the future or get stuck in the past and keep bringing yourself back into the present
- When you are finished, exit the shower and dry yourself. Notice how the towel feels on your skin.
- Express your gratitude for your shower, the hot water, soap and the time you have taken to care for yourself