7 mindful acts to do while the kettle boils
Sometimes we find our best intentions for change drifting away. Today I’d like to remind you that we all have 24 hours in a day. Presidents have 24 hours, CEOs with four kids have 24 hours and you and I have 24 hours. It’s what we choose for those 24 hours that makes all the difference. Here’s a list of mindful acts you can do to benefit your health, life and planet in the three minutes it takes to boil the kettle for a cup of tea.
1 Take 10 deep and steady breaths
Half of the reason you can feel “out of control” is because your cortisol is too high and you’re not giving your adrenals a break in this go, go, go world. Once upon a time, before the tech, before the 50 billion after-school activities, before back-to-back meetings and all the after-work catch-ups, you’d have space to chill several times a day. Remember flinging yourself onto a couch to read a few chapters of a book or just stare out the window, looking at nature? We both know that if you don’t create some calm in your day, you simply don’t get it. So, while the kettle is boiling, take 10 deep breaths. Six slow counts in, pause at the top of the breath for two counts, then finish with six slow counts out.
2 Make a big batch of pesto
Why not whip up your favourite pesto recipe? All it takes is adding a few ingredients to a blender and blitzing. Carrot and celery sticks dipped into a luscious, homemade pesto is one of the best snacks going, packed with nutrients and delicious. It’s crazy how fast it can be made and then you avoid the excess packaging of supermarket dips, often containing preservatives and cheap vegetable oils in their mix. Extra-virgin olive oil all the way, baby!
3 Do a mini workout
All it takes is 30 squats and a short jog on the spot to get your heart rate going. If you work at the desk, this mini workout will boost your circulation and metabolism and keep you motivated.
4 Chop a week’s worth of “meal starters”
Do you find yourself dreading the phrase, “I’d better start dinner”? Once you’re into it, it’s easy to keep the momentum going, but if you struggle to get started, why not chop up a few jars of starter veg for soups, stews, casseroles and stir-fries while the kettle’s boiling? Trust me, this is a game changer.
5 Soak some grains, legumes or nuts
Soaking nuts, legumes and grains before cooking and eating them makes them more digestible and the nutrients contained within them become more bioavailable.
For grains and legumes, pour the amount you want to make into a glass or ceramic bowl. Add a tablespoon of lemon, yoghurt or apple-cider vinegar and fill well above the surface with filtered water. Then, after 24 hours, cook it in water until soft and serve through salads, soups or stews.
For nuts, cover well with filtered water and add ½ teaspoon of salt to the water per cup of nuts. Seeds and cashews only need two to three hours, but soak all other nuts for five or six hours. Strain and dry nuts and seeds in a low oven of 80ºC–90ºC for a few hours (or pop a fork in the oven door so it is more like 70ºC); or if you have a dehydrator, follow the instructions for that.
6 Give yourself a little massage
Self-care is carving out time to be kind to yourself. Yes, self-care is more important than checking Facebook while the kettle is boiling! Sit down, take two teaspoons of your favourite massage oil, add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil (lavender or Roman camomile to chill or rosemary or mint oil to invigorate) and give your neck, arms, shoulders or your feet a massage for two or three minutes.
8 Make a coffee body scrub
In a bowl, add about a cup of spent coffee grounds (every café will happily give them to you if you don’t make coffee at home), add olive oil or melted coconut oil until you have a “sloppy mud pie” consistency. Add a couple of tablespoons of sea salt for minerals and a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste if you have some. Voilà! The most luscious body scrub ever, made while the kettle boils.
I hope you’re feeling inspired to make the most of your daily kettle-boiling moments that don’t involve mindless scroll but rather a productive few moments to fill up your low-tox cup.
Learn how to cope with criticism and take it in your stride
Criticism is an inevitable component of life, but being prepared for it, and having strategies to deal with it, can...
The bad news blues: Navigating climate anxiety
As doubt about climate change has diminished, it has been replaced by panic, anxiety, resignation, fatigue, guilt, outrage and disconnect....
Kintsugi: The art of being broken
The ancient Japanese art of kintsugi — which repairs broken ceramics with gold to make them stronger and more beautiful...