Mindfulness meditation can be a hugely helpful resource in these challenging times. Here are some of our suggested tips to help you:
It maybe tempting on waking to turn on the television or radio but notice how this will inevitably feed anxiety and fear. Try changing this habit. Instead call to mind at least 3 positive things in your life and set your intention to remember these throughout the day. Leave the news to headlines only and leave til later on .Daytime
Enjoy nature around you. Perhaps you are lucky and have a garden and can step out and breathe in fresh air. You can also simply open your window. Notice sights of beauty, the blue sky, the trees or flowers, this spring sunshine. Notice and see if you can enjoy sounds of birds. Feel the cool air on your face. Practice gratitude for the simple gifts that are all also present and allow them to bring you balance and calm. Some calm and gentle yoga or movement can also be helpful.
The mind and thoughts naturally rush off into the future with all the 'what ifs'. When you notice see if you can gently come back to the present moment. Take a pause, feel your seat on the chair, or if you standing your feet on the ground , take some long deep slow breaths. Notice how and where you are holding tension and see if your body can gently release with each long slow out breath. You can practice these pauses or Breathing spaces during the day.
Observe your thoughts and beliefs right now. Ask yourself what are facts and what are speculations? Living with uncertainty provokes a lot of anxiety for us. We can notice this and bring our intention instead to stay in the present moment, here and now. 'Let tomorrow look after itself.'
Be really kind to yourself! These are deeply challenging times. Can you be compassionate to yourself as well as others? Practice ways of being intentionally kind to yourself. It can be really helpful to bring your hand to your heart in self support , especially in times when you feel overwhelmed or fearful and your heart may be racing. Bring soothing to yourself as you would naturally to a young child. Hold and cuddle a cushion or pillow for self support if you are living alone And even if not!
Practice generosity too. This can help release fear as we think of others and in whatever way we can, reach out to others. Love is stronger than fear.
It can help to name your worries. Can you reach out and talk with someone about them? However try also not to ruminate and obsess with thoughts that go round and round your head alone or with others. See if you can let the thoughts come and then LET THEM GO. It may be useful to distract by intentionally choosing something else to do or think about.
See if you can develop new routines for yourself (like early morning) .This can help bring stability in such time of change. Those with children at home will find as much steady routine very supportive.At night
When you are lying in bed and can lie on your back bring one hand to your heart and one to your tummy. Long slow deep breaths. Reflect on the day and recall your positives, practice gratitude for e.g. sunshine, having enough to eat, the phone call with a friend, any little moments when you forgot and were able to simply enjoy a moment. Wish yourself a peaceful night and trust that tomorrow will look after itself.
Remember you are not alone. Things that feel 'real ' may not be true. We are all still connected even if self isolating. And we are here to support you at The Sara Lee Trust.