Mindful Activities for a Calm and Happy Home

6 Mindful Activities for a Calm and Happy Home

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A home should be a reprieve from the clutter and commotion of modern life. However, all too often, we invite daily stressors into our homes, causing us to lose focus on the present. We’re constantly consumed by challenges and responsibilities that tend to distract us from a quiet state of mind. A calm home can be tough to maintain when the mind isn’t focused and at peace, which is especially true when living with others as they also navigate their own daily stressors. Fortunately, practicing mindful activities can help create a routine of mindfulness. Mindfulness can transform a home into a calm and happy space that promotes presence, peace, and connection.

Practicing Mindfulness

Personally, I believe everyone could benefit from seeking inner peace. These days, it seems that the mind will race from one thought to another unless there is a conscious effort to quiet it. Many of us are operating as if we’re web browsers with dozens of tabs open. We have a habit of clicking over from one to the next without even fully grasping what we’ve just skimmed over. Stimulated minds and bodies in constant motion have us running on fumes. I don’t know about you, but it leaves me craving a more simple life, one that focuses on a back-to-basics approach.

So, why should we care about practicing mindfulness, or slowing down and quieting the mind?

For one, it can cultivate a greater sense of gratitude for the present moment, thereby encouraging a deeper appreciation for life’s simple joys. Furthermore, practicing mindfulness also improves focus, concentration, and self-awareness. One could argue that these cognitive abilities are pretty essential to living a peaceful and productive life. In short, we can live fuller, more meaningful lives simply by pressing pause on our daily routines to embrace quiet moments and acknowledge the present.

A Mindful Pause

Mindfulness grounds us. It challenges us to see beyond our narrow realities and instead appreciate the ebbs and flows of true existence. It can be painful, exhilarating, and eye-opening all at once, eventually guiding us into a state of balance and clarity. We can choose to live deeply and authentically, without scattered energies and tired spirits.

And while all of that sounds great, how exactly does one get started with practicing mindfulness?

At its core, mindfulness is about being fully engaged with our thoughts, emotions, and experiences in the present moment. It involves acknowledging and accepting our passing feelings and thoughts without judgment.

We pause, take a step back, and simply observe. We can do this by:

A mindful pause improves emotional intelligence and regulation, thereby helping to create a more calm and happy home, whether living alone or with others.

Find Joy in Mindful Activities

In addition to the exercises above, one could also incorporate mindful activities such as yoga, painting, or hiking into their daily routines. Mindfulness can be practiced in a number of ways, provided there’s a willingness to try different approaches to being present.

A little introspection might just be the ticket to discovering inner peace if you’re feeling rundown and overstimulated. To further foster peace and connection, here are 6 mindful activities that can be enjoyed independently or alongside others:

1. Cook a Meal

Taking the time to cook a full meal can be its own form of meditation. Depending on how involved the cooking process is, it can require quite a bit of focus and attention. From creative thought and grocery shopping to prep work and creating a home-cooked meal, cooking can feel overwhelming for some. I certainly felt that way in the past. Eventually, however, I grew to appreciate the process as a whole.

Pro Tip: Try Mise en Place Meal Prepping, or preparing ingredients and components for the rest of the week, if you struggle with feeling overwhelmed by cooking. It’s a super convenient way to stay motivated and enjoy yourself while you’re cooking!

Cooking a meal gives us time and space to disconnect from the day and appreciate the simplicity of creating something with our hands. If you live with others, you might enjoy cooking together since it’s not only an opportunity for fun but also to engage in mindful connection.

2. Engage in Mindful Eating

When a person eats mindfully, they are fully engaged with their food, noticing every taste, sensation, and physical cue that indicates when they are hungry or satisfied. This helps curb overeating and mindless snacking while encouraging healthy nourishment and appreciation for food.

Rather than sitting in front of the TV mechanically eating dinner, quickly devouring lunch at a desk, or grabbing fast food on the road, mindful eating challenges us to slow down and truly experience the food we are consuming.

Mindful eating creates a healthy relationship with food. It also:

  • Helps reduce cortisol, the stress hormone
  • Supports weight loss management and maintenance
  • Increases awareness of hunger and fullness
  • Leads to a sense of empowerment
  • Improves self-esteem

3. Take a Post-Dinner Stroll

An evening walk does the body good! Not only is it a great opportunity to incorporate slow, comfortable movement after nourishing the body, but it also aids digestion, regulates circadian rhythm, and relieves stress. A post-dinner walk is a simple mood booster that can easily help one connect with themselves, their bodies, and the world outside.

4. Play Some Tunes

Tune out the rest of the world by turning up the tunes. Although there have been references to music therapy since 1500 BC, it wasn’t until the 1940s that it was formally put into practice. Performing, composing, or listening to music alleviates stress, improves cognitive function, and enhances the overall quality of life.

I love listening to music, whether I’m solely enjoying it alone or have it on in the background as I’m working. I find it to be calming and helpful, as it keeps me present and focused on the task(s) at hand.

5. Step Outside

Getting outside helps one get out of their own head; it provides a physical change of scenery that grants a break from the stress of daily life. Whether one’s gardening, walking, or enjoying another outdoor activity, each offers a moment to connect with nature and appreciate the simple joys of life.

Spending time outside reminds us that we are all part of something bigger.

6. Declutter and Clean

Can I function in a cluttered space? Sure. Is it the most optimal environment for me? Not. At. All. Decluttering is one of my favorite mindful activities. It requires me to consider how I am feeling, ask what brings me joy, and let go of the excess.

Physical clutter and mess directly impact mental health. It can trigger depression and lead to tension, frustration, and decreased focus. Oftentimes, a cluttered space is indicative of a cluttered mind. Decluttering and cleaning are intentional expressions of respect and connection to one’s space, as well as to those who might also use that space.

It takes presence to focus on honoring that respect and connection. Instead of racing through dirty dishes or doing a quick sweep, choosing to mindfully declutter helps cultivate a sincere appreciation for not only a home but also for the belongings within that home. I think that we often lose sight of what’s really important, especially as we navigate through the excess and overstimulation of today’s world. There’s too much energy spent on the “not enoughs” and “don’t haves,” which keeps us from recognizing the good we should be celebrating.

Decluttering and cleaning our spaces grant us the opportunity to purposefully and completely appreciate our surroundings. It shifts the focus away from what we don’t have to being grateful for what we do have.

Welcome Home

Home should be welcoming; it should be a calm, safe space for one to feel completely at ease. Understandably, it might not always feel this way, as life twists and turns through different circumstances. However, I believe that it’s important to control what is within our control and to let go of what isn’t. Mindful activities encourage mindful living, which ultimately teaches us to understand things as they are and release our focus on outcomes beyond our control.

The reality is that negative feelings and thoughts are part of the human experience. While we can entertain and experience them, there is no happiness in holding onto them. When we do, and we carry these stressors home, we ultimately fall asleep and wake up with them. They exist in the air we breathe and remain in the darkest corners of our minds, no matter how we distract ourselves.

Fortunately, mindful living allows us to find peace in the process of letting go. The commotion that exists in the outside world doesn’t have to enter the home. Instead of being consumed by countless distractions and the constant barrage of external noise, we can choose to welcome mindful activities that enrich and simplify our lives.

What are some of your favorite mindful activities to do at home?

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