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We’re all about finding joy in the small things, and what better way to do that than with ‘mindful moments’ – simple, 20-minute activities designed to refresh and rejuvenate you during these chilly months.
We received so much love for our Mindfulness Advent Calendar, which is built on the same principle, that it made sense to extend the theme into the new year.
For this one, we’ve put together a list of 30 easy-to-do activities, perfect for those times when you need a brief pause-and-reset. And guess what? We’ve created a gorgeous, free printable for you to keep handy. Tick the activities off or pop them into a jar and draw one at random for a daily surprise.
The Importance of Mindful Moments Post-Christmas
With the festive decorations packed away and the hustle and bustle of Christmas behind us, January often brings a quieter, more reflective time. It’s a period that can feel a bit anticlimactic, with shorter days and colder weather keeping many of us indoors. This is precisely why injecting mindful moments into our days is so crucial.
Mindful moments are those little pockets of time where we consciously pause and engage in an activity that brings us inner peace and joy. Post-Christmas, as we return to our daily routines, these moments can be a balm for the soul – helping us to reset, recharge, and find balance in our busy lives.
These mindful moments are especially important during winter. The lack of sunlight can affect our mood and energy levels, making self-care not just beneficial, but necessary. Engaging in activities that promote mindfulness can help combat those winter blues, keeping our spirits lifted as we await the arrival of spring.
20 Mindful Minutes A Day
Why 20 minutes, you might ask? It’s long enough to allow you to truly engage in an activity, but not so long that it feels overwhelming or impossible to fit into your day. It’s about making self-care achievable and enjoyable, not another task on your to-do list.
To put it in context, there are 1,440 minutes in every day and we’re proposing that you set aside less than 1.4% of these minutes for yourself.
So, whether it’s taking a brisk walk, losing yourself in a good book, or simply sitting quietly with a cup of tea, these activities are your stepping stones to a more mindful, contented you this winter.
Free Printable Mindful Moments Collection
Download your free printable mindful moments collection below. Either stick it on the fridge or wall just as it is and cross off one item each day. Or cut out the squares and add them to a jar to pick one at random each time.
30 Mindful Moments Activities
Here’s the complete list of 30 Mindful Moment ideas if you’d prefer to handwrite them yourself, or just simply peruse the list for inspiration:
- Breathe. Find a comfy position, close your eyes, and concentrate on your breathing.
- Stroll. Wrap up warm and step outside. Take time to look around as you walk.
- Reflect. Note down three things from the last month of which you’re proud.
- Declutter. Choose just one drawer or cupboard to sort.
- Listen. Head outside or find nature sounds online. Pause and listen.
- Write. Send a letter or card to someone you’ve been meaning to reach.
- Sip. Savour the warmth of a cup of hot tea (or water with lemon) in your hands.
- Dance. Pop on your favourite tunes and move your body to the music.
- Invest. Choose three things you want to do more of this month. Think how.
- Stretch. Slowly and gently ease out your muscles and relax your body.
- Create. Bake, draw, write, sew. Use your hands in whatever way feels best.
- Daydream. Make yourself comfortable, close your eyes, and allow your mind to wander.
- Exercise. Get your heart pumping, clear your mind, and release endorphins.
- Doodle. Or colour. No purpose. Just see where your pen takes you.
- Sing. Choose some favourite songs and sing along as loudly as you dare.
- Nourish. Cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturise your face and body.
- Cuddle. Enjoy the warm embrace of the arms of someone you love.
- Care. Feel empowered doing a good deed for someone else.
- Reduce. Choose three things you want to do less of this year. Think how.
- Talk. Take time to chat with someone you love.
- Snuggle. Get cosy under a blanket, in your bed, or on the sofa. Enjoy the warmth.
- Bathe. Add candles or bubbles as you wish. Close the door and relax.
- Pause. Stand outside and listen. Allow the sounds around you to take you away.
- Read. Read your book, a magazine, or letters and cards received from loved ones.
- Cloudgaze. Or stargaze. Watch the sky, observing the cloud shapes or twinkling stars.
- Release. Tense your muscles in turn and feel the pressure ease as you release.
- Appreciate. Write down five things for which you’re grateful. Pop them where you’ll see regularly.
- Savour. Prepare a small snack. Sit and enjoy eating it slowly and intentionally.
- Puzzle. Focus your mind completely on a crossword, sudoku or jigsaw.
- Nap. Close your eyes and give yourself permission to nod off.
What about the 31st Day?!
Before you comment, we know that January has 31 days. If we’re honest, the lack of the 31st idea on the list is for two reasons, one slightly more valid than the other!
- It’s very hard to start any new routines on New Year’s Day itself. So, we figured a start date of January 2nd was a more realistic target.
- 31 is an irrational number and was awkward to add to the page – told you it was a bit of a pathetic excuse!
If you’d like a larger set, simply double up on your favourite activity. Or here’s a few other ideas you could include:
- Observe. Sit at the window and gaze outside. Take time really watching to see what you can see.
- Clear. Choose one drawer or cupboard and clear out unwanted items. Prepare them to pass along. (This is an extension or variation of Declutter.)
- Journal. Grab a pen and paper and write about how you feel right now. See where the story takes you.
How to Use These Mindful Ideas
You’re of course welcome to use these self-care ideas any way you want!
Print out the complete collection and pop them on your fridge door, notice board, or wall. Cross one off each day and look forward to what’s coming up next. Or cut them out and add them to a jar, taking one at random each time. Or just pick your favourites and do these on repeat.
Use them daily, every other day, at the weekends, whenever you want. The key is consistency to make it part of the day-to-day routine. As we said above, we hope that 20 minutes is an achievable amount of time to find in the day to focus on you.
And, whilst we have created them with January, and the start of the new year, in mind, they will work just as well at any time of year.
Timing 20 Minutes
With the Mindfulness advent calendar, we suggested using an advent candle as a gentle timer, allowing you to put your phone away.
For these mindful moments, consider using a similar concept of candle timers. Birthday cake candles typically burn for around 20 minutes and are perfect if you have spares. Otherwise, Cotton & Grey make fabulous sets of 20-minute beeswax candles. They make gorgeous gifts too!
If you need to use a more traditional timer, try to at least use a softer chime for the end of the allotted period to give yourself a more gentle return to reality!
Personalising Your Me-Time Ideas
Every one of us is wonderfully unique, and so is the way we find our moments of calm and contentment. While we’ve offered a starting point with our list of 30 activities, we encourage you to add your own personal touch. Maybe there’s a hobby that relaxes you, a special spot in your home where you find peace, or a simple pleasure that brings you joy.
Personalising your mindful moments means tuning into what truly resonates with you. It might be gardening, knitting, or even a spot of DIY – if it helps you unwind and brings a smile to your face, it deserves a place in your daily routine.
And remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all here. What works for one person might not for another, and that’s perfectly okay. The goal is to find what works for you and make it a part of your life, even if it’s just for 20 minutes a day.
Building a Habit of Mindfulness
It’s so easy for us to treat these moments of mindfulness as an indulgence rather than a necessity. And to see them as a one-off rather than part of our daily routine. But, of course, they are most valuable to our wellbeing when they are a regular, and respected, part of our daily life.
Consistent Time Of Day
Try and find a time in the day that will consistently work for you – first thing in the morning before the rest of the household has woken up? In the evening to calm down? As part of your lunch break? Whenever you feel you’ll have the best chance of success.
Be Respectful Of This Time
And be sure to tell the others around you what you’re doing, and why. It’s essential that they, and you, respect your desire to focus inwards for this short period of time. Otherwise, it’ll be hard to keep the routine going.
Looking for more inspiration?
- Winter Nail Care: 11 Tips For Strong, Beautiful Nails
- Homemade Lavender & Peppermint Foot Scrub
- 15 Ways To Get The Family Out For A Winter Walk
And be sure to check out our Self-Care Gift Ideas – whether for yourself or a friend, give the gift of wellbeing.
We’d love to hear about your experiences with these mindful moments. Which activities resonated with you the most? Do you have any personal favourites that you’ve added to the list?