Mindfulness During Coronavirus

What does it mean to be mindful?

Professor Mark Williams, former director of Oxford Mindfulness Centre defines mindfulness as knowing what is going on inside and outside ourselves moment by moment. 

To be mindful is to be aware of your own experience, moment to moment, without judgment – Oxford Mindfulness.

In other words, it is noticing the world around us and allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. An important part of mindfulness is connecting with our bodies and experiencing sensations including sights, sounds, smells and tastes. It is easy to become so busy with our everyday lives we can often stop noticing the world around us. Many of us are guilty of rushing through life without stopping for a second to pay attention to what is happening in the moment. 

With the Coronavirus pandemic continuing to change our lives social distancing restrictions it is inevitable that we will feel disorientated and overwhelmed. It is important that we look after our mental wellbeing and prevent ourselves from escalating into panic. 

If you’re feeling anxious about everything that is going on, why not take a moment to carry out a mindful activity? You may find this makes you feel calmer and more self-aware. 

Mind have shared some simple mindfulness exercises you can carry out at home, or anywhere. We have selected some of these for you to try:

1) Mindful Eating

Pay attention to what you are putting in your mouths. Notice the taste, sight and texture of the food you are eating. When drinking a cup of tea or coffee try focusing on the temperature of your drink, how hot does it feel? How does the liquid move in your mouth and on your tongue? Is it sweet? How do you feel when you take a sip?

Get the kids to taste a piece of chocolate, make sure they are sitting comfortably and ask them to eat it very slowly explaining how they feel when they eat it. Let them describe what it tastes like and how the texture feels. 

2) Mindful Walking 

Try taking a short 10-minute walk. With each step you take pay attention to your legs lifting and falling, notice how your body moves from side to side. If something catches your attention try to come back to the sensation of walking. Whether you are indoors or outside, pay attention to sounds without noticing what they are or labelling them - just try to simply notice. You may notice the breeze on your skin or the textures of the ground as you walk on various surfaces. The main thing is to return your thoughts back to the present moment. 

3) Mindful Drawing 

Focus on the movement of the pencil against the paper and don’t worry too much about what you are trying to draw. 

Download mindful colouring sheets for the children to complete. Let children colour the printouts as a calm way to start off the day. This enables children to be aware of their thoughts and slow down. 

Different things will work for different people. You should try to adapt exercises to suit you, your routine and lifestyle. Find more activities at Mind relaxation exercises

During Mental Health Awareness week, it is important to focus on all aspects of positive wellbeing. Check out our blog - ‘Are you Getting Enough Sleep?’ 

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