a peek inside the fishbowl

06 Nov, 2019

Work habits

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

When I was in second grade my teacher showed me that I can cool my body down by holding the insides of my wrists under cold running water. For some reason it stuck with me, and I sometimes I find myself doing it on hot days. I don’t even know if there is any science behind this, but it seems to work, and on a very hot day that’s all that really matters… that it SEEMS to work, right?

When I started working full-time again I decided to use it as an opportunity to add some good habits to my existing routines. I wrote a bit about this in a blog post I wrote for terra20. So far, I’ve been pretty good. Since that post was published I’ve also been taking my vitamin D and getting a daily dose of light with my Litebook. One of the things I also added to the mix is a 7-minute mini-meditation as soon as I arrive at the office. I’ve never been very good at sitting still, or meditating, but the short length and the soothing voice of the podcaster calms my busy brain down and sets my work day on a good path. (Send me an email if you want more information about this!)

So yes, I am a new fan of the mini-meditation, and I try to incorporate the principle of pressing pause during spare moments during my day. You don’t need a yoga mat to spend minute in a moment of mindful reflection. Grocery store line ups, dentist offices, elevators… these are all good places to add a little bit of zen to my day.

Awhile back I heard an idea about mini-meditations on a podcast I was listening to. The idea was to meditate whenever you drank from your water bottle. I tried it (“feel the cooooooolness of the water swishing around your mouth”) and felt very silly practicing mindful hydration. But hey, if it works for someone, who am I to judge? What I’ve started doing, however, is mindful hand washing. I work in a hospital setting and wash my hands a dozen times a day, if not more. One day I remembered my second grade teacher as I rinsed the soap off my hands and discovered it felt kind of nice to linger. The water was warm. The hush of the water was soothing. Why not take an extra second or two while I was here? Now, when I wash my hands, I close my eyes and take three deep breaths, filling my lungs as the warm water runs over my hands. Deep breath in, deep breath out. It only takes a moment. And when I’m done, I feel a little lighter, like some kind of internal reset has taken place.

(All bets are off if there’s someone in one of the stalls though! :D)

1 Response to "Work habits"

1 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive Are you worried about coronavirus? - a peek inside the fishbowl

March 7th, 2020 at 8:22 am


[…] I practice Complete Handwashing. This means using enough soap to create a good lather and 20 seconds of rubbing my hands together (as per video!) before rinsing. Some people sing a song in their heads (apparently two rounds of “happy birthday” does the trick) but I just use this time as a mini meditation. […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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