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The Art of Flaneuring: 3 Ways to Add Mindful Wandering to Your Everyday Life

Flaneur /flä-ˈnər/ (verb) — To wander with intention, or to be intentionally aimless

The Art of Flaneuring author Erika Owen shares 3 simple ways you can use flaneuring in your day-to-day to increase your mindfulness and creativity…

Flaneuring is all about getting out and being part of an environment; think passively and act less. For me, it’s about noticing the things I would generally tune out when I’m beelining from Point A to Point B. I would even say, despite the original definition, flaneuring can be done when you have a specific place to be—my goal is to exist in a space as opposed to interacting with a space. Here are 3 tips for including flaneuring in your everyday life:

Walk to Work

I know this isn’t possible 100 percent of the time for most working humans—I grew up in Wisconsin and the thought of trudging through new snow for even five minutes doesn’t sound great for your body or your brain. Start by picking one day out of the week and walking more in your commute. For me, that was walking the three-ish miles from my apartment in Brooklyn to Tribeca, where I work. If walking all the way isn’t going to work for you, park in a further parking lot or down the street so you get a bit of a walk in before gluing yourself to your desk. Use these moments to let you brain run free and play with the scenes in front of you. Try and think of it as a break for your structured thoughts.

The Art of Flaneuring book cover

Take a Lap Around the Office

It can be really hard to force every little thing out of your brain when you’re in the midst of a workday. Put everything down and do a lap. True flaneuring is more about the spontaneity of your route, but don’t get too wrapped up in that: An office building has physical boundaries, after all. Focus more on taking stock of the details you’d usually whiz by. 

Play a Flaneuring Game

Giving over all control to your wandering feet is so much harder than it sounds, so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t catch on right away. Instead, give your brain a game to play to help you get into the habit. Here’s a rule to try out the next time you’re out on a walk with no destination in mind: Every time you see someone wearing a red shirt, take the next right.

Want more mindfulness tips? Don’t miss our Evening and Morning Ritual to Conquer Your Day.

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