During the day-to-day challenges produced by COVID-19, many residents are experiencing an increase in stress, anxiety, and depression. As renters continue to adjust to the new normal, they should be mindful of taking care of themselves and those they love. While we’re all coping with the evolving coronavirus pandemic and other stresses that can have a major impact on our well-being, developing a self-care practice such as mindfulness is essential.
What is mindfulness? According to the American Psychological Association (APA.org, 2012), mindfulness is “…a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment.” In other words, it’s about paying attention while being aware of the present moment through guided meditation practice. And, with practice and curiosity, it can be a powerful tool that can help us in these trying times. As we become more aware of what’s happening in the present moment such as the sound of birds chirping, the wind blowing, or even the smells that surround us, we are learning to calm the body and mind.
Awareness of the five senses through visualization exercises will help connect with the presence of sense in well-being. For this reason, the practice of mindfulness can lower stress levels, reduce anxiety and depression, make us feel more connected to our loved ones, and most importantly, help us be physically and mentally well.
5 Tips for Practicing Mindfulness
As residents continue to carry out their day-to-day lives, they can practice several mindfulness techniques that will help improve their well-being.
1. Be aware of your breathing.
As you inhale and exhale, pay attention to your breathing patterns in addition to how your stomach rises and falls with each breath.
2. Take notice of your current activity.
Whether you’re jogging on the jogging/walking trail in your community, unwinding in the clubhouse, taking a lap in the sparkling swimming pool, etc., pay attention to your senses with each movement. How does the ground feel under your feet as you jog? How does the couch feel? How does the water feel?
3. Listen in a way that’s judgment-free.
When you become aware of your own feelings and thoughts, don’t judge them. It’s okay. Accept how and what you feel and keep going.
4. Relax and enjoy nature.
A good way to practice mindfulness is to be in a setting that’s relaxing. Go to the community courtyard, a nearby beach, or simply a quiet place in your residence and relax.
5. Don’t turn back.
As you practice mindfulness, you may notice you’re beginning to drift off into your thoughts. When this occurs, focus on your breathing which will get you back on track.
Mindfulness has great benefits which can help residents get back to their daily routines given the day-to-day stresses. It’s a phenomenal resource for our mental well-being and physical health such as treating anxiety, stress, and depression. And, the best thing about mindfulness is it can be done anywhere!
Want to know more about mindfulness practices and how it can benefit your well-being? I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.