Tips for Mindfulness During COVID-19
March 30th, 2020
Tips for Mindfulness and Coping with Stress around COVID-19
DLC’s Children’s Outreach Specialist Jessica Liria provides some ideas and suggestions for how to practice mindfulness amidst the stress and challenges that COVID-19 has presented to our society.
Gaining New Perspective
As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise, we as a society are drifting further into unchartered waters. The anxiety of when things will return to “normal” looms over us and the uncertainty of what is to come is overwhelming to think about. This is as important of a time as any to evaluate our mental health and ensure we are using beneficial ways to cope with the pressure and stress. A shift in perspective toward this situation is a step in the right direction. We can’t change what is happening, but we can control our thoughts on the impact.
Quarantine, shelter-in-place, social distancing…these are scary and limiting ways to describe what we are experiencing. But, think of the possibilities! When was the last time you were able to have a movie marathon all day while sitting in your PJs on the couch? Or play board games and eat dinner with your family? Or have time to focus on de-cluttering and organizing your home? We are a “go, go, GO” society that always wishes we had more time to stop and smell the flowers. Well, here that opportunity is!
Use this time to regroup, to breathe, and to enjoy what is around you — which sounds so simple yet can be a rare occurrence. Explore new ways of coping with emotions or rely on those that are tried and true. Take a stroll through the neighborhood, immerse yourself in a good book, soak up the sunlight, help your kids with their schoolwork, bake that delicious cake you’ve always wanted to try, re-arrange the living room, explore your creative side…the options are there, so seize the day!
There is comfort in knowing that you are not alone in this; we are all in this together and will make it through this tough time. However, do not hesitate to reach out for help if needed. David Lawrence Center has recently launched advanced methods of providing services and we are accessible virtually. Click here to learn more.
A Mindfulness Exercise
Take a Mini-Vacation: Anytime, Anywhere!
Mindfulness is a therapeutic strategy that is used in many ways. One of my all-time favorite ways to practice mindfulness is through a simple and effective exercise that can be used whenever and wherever, as long as you have a few minutes to spare. COVID-19 may have you feeling especially cooped up and this will give you the opportunity to escape your current surroundings. All you need is a timer and your brain!
Set your timer for five minutes. Close your eyes and imagine your favorite place. Focus on your senses: what you see, what you smell, what you hear, what you taste, and what you touch. Let yourself stay in that place for the entire five minutes. If your mind starts to wander, bring it back and really get in tune with your senses and maintain calm, steady breathing. When your timer goes off, slowly open your eyes. Allow yourself to reflect on all that your senses were able to capture and process. Continue to practice this technique as needed and have fun with it–the more often you do it, the more “vacations” you can take!