One of the reasons I think decluttering rocks is because it helps you work through all your emotional baggage and start living more intentionally. Basically, I think the whole point of clearing clutter is learning how to care less about acquiring stuff – and become more aware of the people and experiences in your present moment.
And that’s basically the definition of mindfulness, my friend!
I’m a semi-regular meditator, but I haven’t always been. I actually spent years being intimidated by it (and even a little skeptical about it!). I wrote it off as some sort of spiritual woo-woo practice – that is, until I discovered that mindfulness is so much more than just meditations. Especially meditations that take themselves too seriously.
And in these difficult times, mindfulness is more important than ever.
Now, if you’re anything like me, sitting down for a 30-minute meditation can feel daunting. So I’ve assembled nine straightforward mindfulness activities to try. Each one takes between ten seconds and five minutes, and most don’t require any equipment or tools.
Give ‘em a try, and let me know which is your fave in the comments!
Oh, and I also have a *free* workbook called the Ultimate Decluttering Guide, which is designed to help you declutter your home mindfully! Grab your copy here:
1. SNACK AWAY
Grab your favourite “guilty pleasure” snack and eat it, completely without guilt. What’s the catch? You can’t do anything else while you eat it. No scrolling through Instagram, no binge-watching TV. Your only job is to focus on how awesome it tastes
As you eat it, try naming one thing for each of your five senses:
- How does it look?
- Does it smell yummy?
- What’s the texture like?
- What can you taste?
- How does it sound when you chew it?
Taking a pleasurable activity that we often power through (I’m not the only one who mindlessly eats, right?!) and focusing all our attention on it is one of the best little intentional activities we can do.
2. BOOGIE DOWN
Pop your headphones in – or hook up your stereo – and blast your favourite upbeat song. Let loose, and dance your hiney around the room like a maniac. Don’t check your phone, don’t think of anything. Just focus on that sweet, sweet music. Also you get 10 extra bonus points if your music of choice is super trashy 90s pop. 😉
3. COUNT TO TEN
One of my favourite YouTubers, Anthony Ongaro (of Break the Twitch), has a beautifully simple method for living a little more mindfully. He suggests waiting ten seconds between deciding to do something, and actually doing it… or choosing not to.
As he explains in this video, “There’s no shame in this process. It doesn’t matter if you do – or don’t do – that thing [after waiting the ten seconds]. This is simply a practice for slowing down a little bit, and being more present in each of the small decisions we’re making day to day.” I’ve used this strategy to help replace some impulsive actions with a little more intentionality… even though, let’s be honest, I still do impulsive shit sometimes! Oh and P.S., Anthony was also featured in this blog post about how to live simply and intentionally during a crisis.
4. SWEAR YOUR ASS OFF
At least one study has shown that swearing increases our pain tolerance. So what better way to get through a mindfulness exercise (which may or may not feel like torture to you!) than to swear through it? I’ve created a potty-mouthed meditation called Calm as Fuck, to help you find a little mindfulness with a whooooole lotta swearing. I dare you to get through it and not feel just a little bit better! 😉
5. CREATE REMINDERS
6. FIND ONE GOOD THING
7. TAKE FIVE DEEP BREATHS
Sometimes a few deep breaths can be the difference between reacting to something impulsively and responding to it thoughtfully. It can also totally transform the trajectory of a shitty day, and help you refocus if you’re experiencing decision fatigue. So go ahead and sit up (or stand up) tall, and take the deepest breaths you’ve taken all day. Focus on the feeling of filling up your lungs, emptying them out, and – my personal favourite – that moment where the direction of airflow changes.
8. MAKE MINDFULNESS A HANDY SKILL
When I first started meditating, I struggled to focus on my breath. I’m not sure why, but it just didn’t resonate with me right away. But another mindful tactic did – and that was placing my attention on my hands. Try setting a timer for two minutes. Rub your hands together repeatedly for 5-10 seconds, and then put them face up on your lap (or by your side, if you’re standing). From there, focus on all the tingly feelings in your palms for the rest of the two minutes. Having something physical to focus on – besides your breath – might just be your ticket into mindfulness.
9. GET SOME PERSPECTIVE
Living mindfully isn’t a one-size-fits-all venture. The common, serious-style meditation ain’t for everyone, and that’s okay! There are other mindfulness strategies that virtually anyone can implement in order to find a bit of calm, or live in the moment just a little more often.
From dancing around like a fool to focusing on the one positive aspect of a shitty task, I hope that these five-minute (or less) hacks will help you de-stress your day in no time. And you can use all that newfound mindfulness to kick ass in all your decluttering goals!