What will lockdown mean this time round? Possibly juggling working at home? Homeschooling? Front line support work? It will be something different for each of us and I’m sure we’ll take a bit of time to juggle things around to find a new ‘normal’ routine. One thing that can help us during turbulent times such as these is to use mind tools like mindfulness to help us find a sense of inner balance, calm and to build.
This is where using mindfulness can come in helpful!
So with this in mind I’ve drawn up a list of 10 simple mindfulness exercise and prompts to help you stay present. Just in case you have missed the ‘mindfulness movement’ a quick revision.
Mindfulness is the practice of staying in the present moment. Being fully in the now and not living in the past ( history) or projecting into the future (fantasy). Mindfulness practices bring the mind to a focus something to concentrate on to avoid ‘thought tornadoes’ or focusing on things we have little control over. The simplest practices can have us using our breathe and sensory experience as they are with us always. I’ve given you a few more examples below.
Try these 10 mindfulness practices;
- Get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning. Make yourself a warm drink and savour the sensations – the heat, the aroma, the taste. Sit and enjoy it.
- Take your walk in a nearby park or green space. Keep your eyes wide open to what you can see around you.
- Listen to the birds singing. Can you distinguish between the different birdsong?
- Observe nature changing right in front of your eyes. Buds are appearing already.
- Feel your feet on the floor, carpet, earth notice how they adapt to the surfaces. Go barefoot if you can. How does it feel? Which do you prefer?
- Tune in to your body. Listen to the rhythm of your heartbeat. Feel your your breath and how your body breathes itself.
- Take a bath, light some candles and just enjoy the experience. The scents and how your body moves in the water. ( Take an Epsom salt bath to ease any tight muscles or overactive minds it will help you unwind)
- Immerse yourself in a book or a jigsaw. Just one activity. How does the time pass?
- Self massage your feet and hands. How do they feel? Are they sensitive? Dry? Just notice.
- Listen to a piece of classical music. Here’s one of the artists I like playing in one of my favourite places. How does it make you feel?
New to mindfulness? If you are a beginner to get the most of these mindful moments just focus on the one activity you’ve chosen and immerse yourself fully in it. Strictly no multi tasking or screens, leave the technology turned off or at least muted until you’ve completed your mindfulness practice.
If you are experienced in these ideas then flow between different sensations and observations.
These acts performed regularly will help you to stay present with what is. Just avoid the temptation to overstimulate your eyes with multiple screens. Do one thing at a time.
Choose whatever works for you and commit to them to help you through your days. See how time feels when you give yourself space to just do one thing at a time.
I hope it will bring you some focus and enjoy being curious to the world around you.
Keep well & stay calm