The world is facing tough times right now with the impact of coronavirus. It’s quite a surreal experience. With the UK well under lockdown, we’re sharing some mindful activities to show you how to spend this period of isolation that we all face thoughtfully and, most importantly to help you de-stress.
Could tidying the space around you be the key to keeping your mind organized? By decluttering and creating a calm, organised environment, you may be allowing your mind to think more clearly and, in turn, increase your productivity! We’re all guilty of hoarding things we think we need or value but probably haven’t picked up in the last ten years. So, pick a room and start clearing. The rule is, if you haven’t used it in a year, you probably never will again, so either mend, donate or recycle. Trust us, you’ll feel great when you’re finished!
Colouring and Calligraphy
Working with your hands is a perfect way to soothe anxiety and tension, likely one of the main reasons colouring for adults has become so popular in recent years. ‘The mindfulness colouring book’ is pocket-sized and easily transportable, so you can begin to mindfully and creatively fill the pages with colour wherever in the world you may be. If colouring isn’t your thing, why not try and master the art of decorative handwriting, formally known as calligraphy. You’ll find plenty of helpful videos online to guide you through the basics. Hey, after we’ve beaten coronavirus, you’ll be writing letters like a true pro!
Meditation is the epitome of mindfulness and something we can all benefit from in these worrying weeks. Think of it as a mini holiday for the mind, helping to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and even lower blood pressure. In a world where the pressure to be accessible every second of every hour of every day is ever-growing, meditation is the perfect way to take yourself off-call for a little while. Meditation is all about bringing yourself to the here and now, and letting your mind truly rest. Apps such as Sexy Mind can help you kick-start your meditation journey, so start with 5 minutes a day and work your way up until you can truly zone out.
With a plethora of benefits, such as slowing down your heart rate, increasing brain activity and stimulating imagination, getting creative really can transform your wellbeing. Sometimes, 9-5 office jobs simply don’t offer you the opportunity to tap into your imaginative side, so we need to embrace our time at home in isolation by getting crafty! There are so many online resources to learn from and since there’s nothing stopping you ordering things online, it’s easy to order all the things you need to start building your own creation.
Stretching is such a great way to alleviate stress. It increases blood flow around our bodies, improving our circulation and relieves muscle tension. It’s also a good time to practice deep breathing, which can also lead to releasing any emotional stress you may be hanging on to. We love downward dog position for an all over stretch or child’s pose for a relaxing lower backstretch.
There is also a variety of mindfulness exercises that can be done in the comfort of your own home! Breathing exercises, such as the 4-7-8 technique, are particularly useful to help you find inner calmness and reconnect with reality. First, exhale completely through the mouth making a ‘whoosh’ sound. Next, close your mouth and breath in through the nose for 4 seconds, then hold your breath for 7 seconds and afterwards exhale again through the mouth for 8 seconds. Try doing this for four breaths and then work up to 8 breaths! Also, rather than checking your phone, getting your bag together, running around the house and so on when completing everyday activities like brushing your teeth, try to bring awareness to the present moment. It might feel like a long 2 minutes, but next time you’re brushing your teeth, try and stay planted and resist the temptation to complete other tasks. Once you’ve nailed this, try the same at meal times, concentrating on the food on your plate rather than the thoughts in your mind.