Mental Health is huge during crisis.
Mindfulness has become a buzz word used a lot. I feel like some people get “it” and it’s importance and others think its froo froo. Like it means someone who isn’t mindful is mindless. I think because the pace of things has become so fast that our minds can get stuck in forward motion or scattered amongst 5o different things and we get out of touch with the present moment. We have lifted off into a state of consistent heightened cortisol, stress, and alert forging ahead to finish the next task or meet a deadline with not enough time in between to reset.
There is so much in our mental news feed consistently running at all times. During this pandemic – one of the articles I read suggested limiting the amount of time you spend watching about the virus. This is great advice. There is a difference between being informed and ingesting a lot of unknowns, projections, opinions, etc on something we have little control over. Right now, you are alive and you have an opportunity to spend some time on your well-being, watch out for those closest to you, support your community, and maybe patch some holes in your own foundation.
Disconnection or wanting to disconnect happens a lot in those that have suffered trauma. And the older we get, the likelihood of some traumatic event happening increases, but the question is do we really take the time to digest it before we forge ahead? How many people say there isn’t time? Just to push forward? How many days do most companies offer for bereavement or birth? How many can’t afford to take the extra time? And how many of those grieving something or someone feel as though they can allow themselves to have a “moment” of weakness at work or with a friend? And as a nation -things like 9/11 or the mass shootings – they affect us. We can try to turn the page as quick as possible or we can add a mindfulness practice and embrace vulnerablility more. I find that a mindfulness practice helps me notice my thoughts which helps me identify patterning in my thinking and also notice things in my body. If we are able to pinpoint those exact moments when we feel a shift or enter a state of a negative emotion – then instead of using old ways to disconnect – we can turn towards more positive ways which I think the path to healing is FEELING. And by turning towards our inner dark – we become friends with it. We accept and love it for what it is – our past, our teacher, our commonality amongst humans.
Some tips for finding or trying out a mindfulness practice:
- Use the same space and make it comfortable. Place a few items that you can look at and rotate these as you need. Things are constantly shifting in and around us. Maybe buy a nice comfy cushion to sit on, a plant to help you breathe, or do it in front of a wall that’s color resonates with you.
- Do it daily. In order to create a solid foundation – commit to 5-10 minutes atleast 6 days a week. Once you feel the benefits – it will not be something you have to schedule.
- Set an intention before each sit. Something that is happening in your life or something about yourself you want to explore.
- Close your eyes and connect to your breath. Your natural breath and listen to its ebbs and flows. Notice your thoughts. And bring a word to what they are. No judgement. I am _______ . Sit with it. Breath. Notice any shifts. Make any movements with the arms or sounds with the mouth that feel good. Come back to stillness.
- Close each sit with either bringing the hands to the heart center in prayer, singing, praying, blowing out a candle. Something that signifies closure of the session.