A few weeks ago, I surveyed the Little Yogis community on Instagram about anxiety. I wasn’t surprised when the results showed that, regardless of whether they had experienced it in the past, the majority of respondents said they’re feeling anxious these days.
As parents who’ve been at home with their children all day every day for weeks of this global pandemic, it’s safe to say we could all benefit from a renewed focus on mindfulness to get us through this time.
Mindfulness is a broad concept that boils down to the ability to be fully present at this moment and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by our surroundings. It’s an antidote to anxiety because it’s not possible to worry about the future when you are living in the now.
Here are some simple ways to bring more mindfulness into your daily life:
1. Learning about mindfulness is a great place to start to help you understand what’s going on behind the scenes of anxious thoughts and feelings. People have devoted their lives to understanding and sharing knowledge about what it means to live mindfully, and just 10 minutes of reading or listening to their books can have a positive impact on your day. You can also set alarms on your phone to remind you to bring the concepts you’re learning back into that moment.
Many researchers specialize in different aspects of mindfulness if you prefer a more scientific approach.
2. Seated meditation may be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word mindfulness, and it can be useful. Quieting the mind with the guidance of a soothing voice can help you hone the skill of coming back to the present.
3. Moving meditation is another practice that can help you get out of your head by focusing on the movement of your body. Yoga is an excellent example of this, and like Little Yogis, many yoga studios for adults are offering online classes. The apps mentioned above also provide meditations you can do while walking.
4. Breathwork is a practice I include as a separate point because it falls somewhere in between seated and moving meditation. Focusing on taking full, deep breaths is a wonderful way to let your mind relax and embrace being in the moment.
Practicing can be as simple as inhaling for five counts, holding it for three and exhaling for six, repeated as many times as you need to.
Know that you’re never alone in managing your mental health - there is always help available, and Little Yogis is here to support you in any way we can.
We will get through this together!
Meghan Stypa & Michelle Faber
For more information on Meg's services, head to www.megstypa.com