If the ongoing pandemic has left you feeling a little more anxious than usual, you are most certainly not alone. Many of us find solace in meeting friends, taking yoga classes, and the regularity of a daily routine – most of which are now either temporarily unavailable to us or presented in a ‘new norm’. However, until we can make a full return to reality, we can learn to be a little more mindful at home.
Former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, Professor Mark Williams states on the NHS website that ‘mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment.’ Mindfulness means bringing your attention to the present moment, and the present moment only. In doing this more often, our anxieties and stress can reduce as we are not busying our mind with thoughts of the past or future – we are focusing entirely on the present. As Shelley Kind states on anxiety.org, ‘mindfulness counteracts rumination and worrying’. Mindfulness can ultimately help us deal with our anxieties in a more rational way.
Wondering how you can put these points into practice? Here we share our top tips for being more mindful at home.
How to Be More Mindful at Home
Before you go about your day, set yourself some intentions. Besides from making your bed, doing the washing or baking yet another loaf of lockdown-inspired banana bread (we’ve all been there), set intentions, or rather acknowledge your values and all you have to be thankful for. This will leave you feeling more positive, present and productive.
Download a wellness app (or two)
If you’re struggling to get into a more mindful mindset at home, there are plenty of wellness apps on hand to help featuring guided meditation sessions, virtual yoga classes and more. From Headspace to 10% Happier, you’ll find our pick of the best here.
Embrace the slow pace
The coronavirus pandemic has forced most of us to slow down and appreciate the important things in life. Instead of lingering on the negatives and mundanity of life in lockdown or working from home, try looking at this unprecedented life blip in a more positive light. Sure, you might not be able to attend that festival or holiday you had longed for, but there is still much to be thankful for.
Yoga is forever praised for its mindfulness and mental health benefits. The restorative practice enables us to exist in the present and calm the mind as we focus on our breath and bodily movements. Thankfully, there are plenty of yoga classes available online so you can be sure to get your downward dog on at home. See our favourites here.
Take meditative breaks
Whether you’re working from home or not, it’s important to take breaks throughout the day in order to relax the mind, reduce stress and in turn increase productivity. Why not make these breaks more meditative? Ditch the tea and snack cupboard snoop for a short meditation session. We’re talking three to five minutes (or longer, if you wish) of contemplation to become more mindful and present, whilst giving your mind a rest from stressful or negative thoughts.
Detach yourself from your phone before bed
Find yourself unconsciously scrolling through Instagram until late? Try turning your phone off or switching to airplane mode before bed in order to relax the mind and get a good night’s sleep. If you’re looking at your phone out of boredom, stress or a sense or restlessness, the chances are you’ll feel better if you switch it off.
If you’re looking to try something a little different, there are an array of alternative wellness practices and techniques revolving mindfulness. Whilst many wellness clinics have temporarily closed their doors, there are a whole host of online options available. London-based Reiki practitioner Carlotta Artuso is offering virtual reiki sessions which can be just as powerful as a face-to-face meeting. What is Reiki, you might be wondering? Artuso refers to it as ‘an ancient healing technique which balances the energy flow within the body, treating physical, mental and emotional unbalance’. Visit carlottareiki.com to book.
Featured image: Florencia Viadana on Unsplash