December 29, 2022

Adding a Mindfulness Practice as a New Year’s Resolution


Getting healthy is typically primo on everyone’s yearly resolutions list, but just losing weight doesn’t address the whole of what it means to be healthy. Taking care of body, mind and spirit is the magical trifecta of health and wellness, but who has time to hike to a mountain top and meditate for 3 weeks? Well, never fear, because I have the hack you need to find just as much peace and calm within yourself without the altitude sickness.

“Mindfulness practice involves the process of developing the skill of bringing one’s attention to whatever is happening in the present moment.”

Kabat-Zinn J

Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness, New York: Bantam Dell. (2013).

Deriving from Hindu and Buddhist traditions, mindfulness is a meditation technique that can be practiced during almost any point throughout your day. A mindfulness practice helps strike a balance of physical (earth), mental (air), spiritual (fire), and emotional (water) components. That ticks all our health and wellness boxes. The ultimate in self-care*!

Physical: Being aware of the food we are consuming, bodily movements, and exercise
Emotional: Allowing ourselves to feel our emotions, understand why they are there, and respond rather than react
Mental: Understanding our thoughts and ideas, and why we have them
Spiritual: Awareness is paramount to gratitude and sacred reverence

*“Self-care” is a term that gets thrown around a lot, and I think many people have a skewed idea of what it means. Taking care of yourself isn’t all mani/pedis and bubble baths, although those can be a part of it. Self-care starts with checking in with your body, mind, and heart individually and deciding what you need in the present moment. And that’s the easy part! The trick is being able to act on those needs with love and compassion for yourself, without feelings of guilt. And, yes, healthy boundaries are critical for self-care!

Why strengthening your mindfulness practice could be the most effective resolution

Resolutions are usually mid- long term goals that we set for ourselves without clear steps on how to achieve them. When we don’t see immediate results, we often lose motivation.
Mindfulness practices don’t necessarily require pre-planning. In fact, I find beginning a mindfulness practice by trying out mundane tasks (think eating, walking, folding laundry) in a mindful way not only opens you to the experience of practicing mindfulness, but also can make the activities more enjoyable, and even relaxing.

Plus, you don’t have to wait to feel results from your practice. For most people, the effects of calm and balance are almost immediate. What’s more, clinical studies have shown that just 10 minutes of mindfulness per day can help “as an intervention for stress reduction in adults, adolescents and children, as well as for different health-related outcomes including weight management, psychiatric conditions, heart disease, sleep disorders, cancer care, adult autism, multiple sclerosis, and other health-related conditions.”- Demarzo MM, Montero-Marin J, Cuijpers P, Zabaleta-del-Olmo E, Mahtani KR, Vellinga A, et al. (November 2015). “The Efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Primary Care: A Meta-Analytic Review”

What does practicing mindfulness look like?

The very first time I tried consciously practicing mindfulness was while washing dishes. My boys were ages 2 and 8, and it had been a particularly screemie day. I was feeling frazzled and overwhelmed as I tried to tidy the house before my partner returned home from work. I had read about practicing mindfulness- about “just” doing the task at hand- only thinking about the task while you were doing it. So, I tried it. It was either going to be that or a mental explosion as my children bickered in the next room.

I focused on the dishes- grimy, wet, soapy.  I held the sponge in my hand and gave it a squeeze.  Yellow and green- you know the ones, wet and sudsy, warm, bubbles on my fingers.  The plates had held our lunches.  Delicious, nutritious food that nourished my children and me.  Plates were now bare except for some crumbs and grime, wet from the faucet, warm water.  The motion of wiping away, cleaning, cleansing, rinsing.  My children attempting to work together to put away their toys. 

I realized I was breathing.  Of course I was breathing, but I became conscious of it.  I took a deep breath in through my nose and let it out slowly through my mouth.  I was going to try to be nice and calm when my partner got home.  What time was it?  How much time did I have?  Were the kids’ things picked up? 

I became aware of my anxiety rising, first, then realized my mind had wandered.  It would, I had read.  They call it “monkey mind”.  As soon as I switched my focus back to the dishes- rinsing away the soap, the plates smooth, warm, wet- breathing…

I realized noisy children and dogs, and messes and laundry were happening, but I wasn’t those things.  I was separate from them, and how I responded was up to me.  Just that realization was enough to gain a feeling of love and gratitude towards what was going on around me.  I was grateful for the children and pets that filled our home with love, the activities that brought them joy, and the clean clothes that helped keep them warm. 

Don’t fear the monkey mind

Your mind will wander when you practice mindfulness.  It’s what minds do.  It’s one of the many attributes that has helped to keep us alive for thousands of years.  It is not a poor reflection of you or your abilities, although it can be a bit frustrating at first.  When your mind wanders (and that is when, not if), simply redirect your focus and attention back to your practice.  You may find, over time, that you are able to better manage the monkey mind, but it probably won’t go away completely.  Remember, mindfulness is a practice for a reason!  With a bit of patience and no money down, you can experience for yourself why this ancient practice is still making headlines today.

There’s no better time to start than now.

Happy New Year!


‘I’ll get a notebook,’ he said, and gestured down the hallway. ‘You know where everything is.’

She did, and made the coffee methodically, mindfully, feeling every nerve, every sensation of her body as she measured out the grounds, switched on the electric kettle, and listened to the birds outside the window while she waited for it to boil.

Morghan, The Gathering, Ch 2.


Kalinah is a Spiritual Life Coach, Reiki Master/Teacher, Ordained Minister, and founder of River Grove Wellness. She’s our new regular contributor here at Wildsom of the Wildwood.

Her website is
Insta @RiverGroveWellness

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  1. Alex Henry Mixed Media Artist

    A few minutes of mindfulness a day is indeed very therapeutic, mine is making my mid morning coffee, stirring it slowly, absorbing the rich smell and setting an intention. It is usually sipped with some incense burning and music in the background. It is not cast in stone, so if some days I cannot, I know another day I will.

    • Katherine Genet

      I find doing things in the kitchen the ideal time to slow down like this. Perhaps spooning and measuring and stirring just lends itself to mindfulness. Your small mindful routine is perfect.


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