Creating small rituals in the day…mindfulness in a cuppa..

The idea of taking small moments in the day for mindfulness, even as simple as when you make a cuppa, is such a great practice to incorporate into our daily lives. It takes the pressure off trying to sit in meditation for an extended period of time, obviously that’s great too. But especially as our lives seem to be busier than ever, this could be a great place to start..

Mindfulness practice while making a cuppa could look like this;

Choose your favourite tea cup, notice how it looks, then decide on the tea you want, take a moment to smell the fragrance of it, and savour it…breathe.

Breathe as you wait for the kettle to boil, notice the small things, watch the steam rising up as you pour the hot water into your cup, a splash of milk if you choose, watching it swirl with the tea as it makes cloud patterns, the clinking of the teaspoon as you stir…the first sip, as warmth pours down into your abdomen and you feel yourself waking up to the day…Breathe.

Such a perfect ritual.

You could also set yourself the challenge of how many things you can take notice of, while you are doing this, noticing, not judging, time slows down and a calmness may settle over you, even for a brief moment.

There are other times you can incorporate mindfulness into your day as well, try 5 minutes while you’re in the bath or shower, focus on your breath and senses, awareness of your body in space, the sound of water splashing on the tiles, the steam, the smell of your soap etc.…breathe.

You could even use cooking your meals as a mindfulness practice. As you cook your meals for the day, make this into a small ritual too, as you chop the vegetables, prepare the ingredients, breathe and notice the small things, the sounds, the aromas, the colours of the food.

It’s all these moments that can add up over the day to bring you a greater sense of peace.

As someone who suffers from anxiety, this practice has been helpful in bringing me back to the present. The trick is remembering to take the time to notice. When we feel like we’re running through our day and can’t actually remember what happened in the day, that’s a sign we’re in our drive or threat system of emotional regulation and functioning.…

We want to try and get into our soothing system as often as we can. 

Here’s a bit of an explanation of the 3 systems, or three circles of emotional regulation according to Paul Gilbert who is a clinical psychologist and author(1).

1.Firstly our drive system, is when we are in doing mode, cleaning the house, accomplishing tasks, all the to do lists, go, go, go.

Its function is to achieve goals, consume and accomplish tasks.

    2. Our threat system is activated when we are fearful, stressed and anxious, fight or flight mode.

    Its function is to manage threats, protection, survive, seek safety.

    3. And our soothing system, is when we feel a sense of calm, peaceful and are kind and compassionate.

    It’s functioning when we slow down, are resting and digesting, and are safe.

    Often we are functioning in our threat and drive systems more often than our soothing system.

    Spending time developing our soothing system will lead to a greater sense of calm and peace in our lives. And mindfulness practice can help contribute to this.

    I hope this is helpful to you and that you can make some small rituals and moments for mindfulness in your day.

    Disclaimer; Information provided here is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or influence any medical decisions. Please seek medical advice if this brings up anything for you.


    1.Gilbert. P (2009). The Compassionate Mind: A New Approach to Life’s Challenges. London: Constable and Robinson.