health, Mindfulness

Mindfulness: Notes to Self

I often feel under a lot of pressure to be productive. Like 24/7. And I believe it’s caused me a lot of unhappiness. I hate generalizations like “we’re more stressed than we ever were before etc. etc. etc.” because I think that’s something often used by marketers to sell us shit we don’t need.

But I digress. I’m just going to speak about my personal experience. It’s come to my attention that, in my life, I can be rather like a bull in a china shop. I charge from one thing to another; rushing from the gym to a coffee date to a girls’ night in. Even the relaxing stuff is merely a thing to check off my list. I’m like, gym? Check. Social life? Check. Self care? Check. It really defies the whole point. It’s a slightly Type A habit isn’t doing me any favors, only making me exhausted and cranky. Every once in a while my body is like Nope. Nope nope nope. 100% nope and crashes entirely.


So I’m trying to hone the art of moving with more mindfulness; bringing some zen into my world, and taking some time to savor the moments in my life. Zen is defined simply doing something mindfully; being entirely focused and in the moment about what you’re doing. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no Deepak Chopra, and I’m a thousand miles from being a smiling, radiant yogi. But by god I try. Below are some of my favorite, perhaps unconventional times for mindfulness:

  • Drinking my morning cup of coffee, in front of the TV or on my balcony.
  • Making a good cup of tea. There’s something ritualistic about it.
  • Putting liquid eyeliner on in the morning. It takes so much concentration for me that I’ve found a certain mindfulness in it.
  • Making my morning porridge
  • Doing yoga (obvious, I know)
  • Staring out of the window on a train

This final one is a new favorite that I’m very protective of. I’ve seen so many adverts and read so many articles on how to Maximize Your Commute! Be Productive! You, yes you, can learn Chinese on the way to work! I get pissed off with the assumption that I want to maximize every minute of my working day. Fuck off with trying to make me productive!


Okay that’s not a very zen thing of me to say. If you want to learn Chinese on your commute, go for it, but personally after a long day I don’t even want to listen to music; I feel too overstimulated. A nice stare out of the window is just what the doctor ordered.

I’m only just learning to appreciate the value of mindfulness in my life, and I’m looking forward to where it can take me. (Swearing still included).

Do you feel pressure to maximize to the maximum? And do you do anything in particular to decompress?

Lots of love,



8 thoughts on “Mindfulness: Notes to Self”

  1. Great post! This is a favorite topic of mine too.

    The great irony of the current “mindfulness” and “simplicity” trends is that thinking about, and prescribing, and striving so hard to achieve mindfulness is not mindful (or simple) at all. I can’t help but shake my head when I see these listicles about “here’s the top 10 things you can do right now to achieve more zen!” or whatever. While those things may indeed cultivate more mindless, a checklist that one feels they have to make room for in their life is quite the opposite of mindfulness. I catch myself falling into this trap all the time and then I wonder why I’m only getting more, not less, stressed out.

    I read a great blog called zen habits, and one thing I love is that the author outright says he is not a zen master or expert. He’s just trying. Zen is full of contradictions and unknowns, like that those who claim to know the most about zen are least zen-like, etc. That’s what makes it so interesting. Few things in our culture nowadays go against the urge to find an answer to everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your lovely long comment 😀

      You hit the nail on the head! The way that it’s marketed, sometimes I feel like there’s some magic formula or that it’s something you can get a pass/fail grade in. That’s clearly not the case I tried a few buddhist books but they were too much of a leap for me, so I’m easing my way in.


  2. I like this post- you’re very true and authentic in your pursuit for mindfulness in life :)! I can relate with a lot of the thoughts you’re describing. And actually, funny that you mention ‘action-less’ commute, as commuting is probably the only time when I allow myself to just sit still, do nothing, and not feel guilty about being unproductive, to an extent that sometimes I even prefer to spend more time in various means of transportation just to allow myself a longer break :P.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the train journey one! Yet another advantage of commuting via lovely overground train instead of dark, sweaty underground!
    I find a certain mindfulness and stillness when cooking for myself and doing mundane household tasks like hanging out washing. I can’t really describe why… I just find its a nice way to switch off my brain from other things. I also talk to myself quite a lot when alone – which ends up solving many of my problems haha 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This post just describes everything that has been in my head the last month, but I can’t put into words to explain to others. I too get to where my body just crashes. I am enjoying your posts and hoping to be more ZEN through this holiday season and new year.


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