When you’re quarantining at home and coping with the new realities of living amid a global pandemic, it’s hard not to start spiraling. The uncertainties of the COVID-19 crisis – and the fact that there’s no end in sight – have created uniquely challenging circumstances. Incorporating mindful practices into your daily routine can help calm anxiety and build healthy coping skills. Here are some practical tips on making mindfulness work for you.
How to Meditate
Mindfulness is a practice of being more aware of your surroundings and living in the moment. A mindful lifestyle entails slowing things down and finding peace in the here and now, as opposed to staying stuck in the past or worrying about future events that may never come to pass.
On its surface, the concept of mindfulness meditation sounds incredibly simple: Find a comfortable, quiet place to sit, close your eyes and focus on your breath. However, the challenge lies in the overarching goal of meditation, which is to still your mind. While you are meditating, your thoughts may naturally start to wander. If you notice yourself drifting, bring your attention back to your breath.
If you make meditation a daily habit, you will find it increasingly easier to focus on your breath and bring more conscious awareness into your life. These skills will improve with practice, so don’t get frustrated if meditating doesn’t immediately come naturally to you. Remember, your objective is not to eliminate thoughts altogether, but to bring about a sense of inner peace by recognizing and embracing the silence that’s already in your mind.
Mindfulness Strategies You Can Try
Other than the traditional seated, breath-focused meditation, there are many other ways to integrate mindfulness into your everyday activities.
- Mindful mealtimes: So often, we eat our meals while working, reading or watching TV. When was the last time you stopped to savor your food – the flavors, textures, sights and smells? Have you ever appreciated what went into preparing the meals you enjoy, and the way the food nourishes your body? Chew and swallow carefully, putting down your utensils between each bite.
- Mindful chores: Instead of trying to rush through household tasks as quickly as possible, slow down and focus. Pay attention to how your body feels while you’re doing something like sweeping the floor. Concentrate on the contact between your feet and the ground, and the broom handle in your hands. When folding clothes, notice the textures and colors of the fabrics.
- Mindful conversations: Can you listen to what others are saying without planning how you’ll respond to them? When talking, note how your mind and body feel.
- Mindful postures: Is there tension stored anywhere in your body? Many of us unconsciously clench our jaws or hunch our shoulders when we are feeling anxious. Concentrate on anywhere that feels tight or unnatural, and release it. Take frequent breaks to stand up and stretch, or set aside time to do stress-relieving yoga poses.
Connect With Us Today
COVID-19 is the most significant crisis most of us have ever had to face. However, at Vista Taos Renewal Center, our commitment to providing qualified addiction recovery to the people who need it most remains unchanged. We are working hand in hand with the New Mexico Department of Health to provide on-site coronavirus screenings to ensure client safety. If you’re living with addiction, learn more about holistic recovery in New Mexico by contacting us today.