Time to Practice!
Are you wondering how to be mindful?
As you're doing a daily task, stop thinking and focus on what's going on.
Imagine you are walking down the street heading to class. How does the pavement feel against your feet as you walk down the street? Is the pavement uneven, rocky, or smooth? How heavy is your bag? Is there a tag in your shirt? Do you have multiple layers on? How do your clothes fit against your skin? Do you feel sun on your face or is that wind? Is there a mist in the air that you can feel in your lungs as you breathe in?
What colors do you see? What is moving around you and what is still? Are there trees? Flowers? Buildings? Is the sun bright? Are the clouds reflecting more light or are they absorbing light? Do you see a blue sky? Are there white clouds? Black clouds? What kinds of shapes do you see?
What do you hear behind you? Listen to the breath coming in and out of your lungs. Listen to your heart beat - is it fast or slow, does it slow down as you start noticing how it sounds? Are there dogs barking? Cars honking? Do you hear the sounds of a city or is it quiet enough to hear your feet stepping on the ground?
Most of us are focused on the past or the future - being mindful focuses on the present.
The past is full of regrets and missing things. The future is full of worries and fear. The present is a gift of time.
Practicing Mindfulness for yourself
A few different mindful breathing exercises depending on the time you have available!
Here's a short (2 minute!) mindful breathing exercise that is helpful for a brief reset - like at work, during transitions between work/home/work/school/home...
As students, we spend a lot of time sitting - here are some short exercises and stretches that can be used to help alleviate tension while sitting. As nurses we spend some time sitting to chart after working hard and taking care of people, sometimes when we're sitting for a few minutes is a good time to use these stretches to take a moment to care for ourselves amidst the craziness.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation helps you identify where and how your body holds tension.
Have you ever heard of sound baths? Me neither! ...until last week when one of my classmates introduced them to me. Take a look here for a short description in which they not only describe what it is but also how it is important to one's health. Full link is here - https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-sound-baths-4783501
There's a 10 minute sound bath that was shared with me.
The benefits of a room-darkening shade or blackout curtain/blind cannot be underrated!