Let's stay safe & motivated together! Here are some of our favourite activities for keeping calm and stress-free while you're self-isolating...
It's completely normal to be feeling a little bit anxious at this uncertain time. Meditation is a great way to de-stress and clear your mind. If you've never tried it before, this is a perfect time to give it a go!
Here's a quick guide to meditation:
- Start early. Try to meditate first thing in the morning. That way you can carry the calm, serene feeling with you all day.
- Don’t sit cross-legged (if you don’t find it comfortable). What’s most important is to find the right meditation position that is most comfortable for you. If that just so happens to be sitting cross-legged, then, of course, that’s fine!
- Find a quiet spot where there's not much chance of you being disturbed. This doesn't have to be indoors, it can be in the garden, the park or even the car. Just as long as you're somewhere you can find a bit of stillness.
- Sit somewhere supported. You don’t need to force yourself to sit up too straight. If you’re too upright, your mind will be too uptight. The ideal meditating position for most people is somewhere in between: sitting in a chair or on a sofa or couch, arms and legs uncrossed, feet flat on the floor. Make sure your back in supported so you feel secure and not distracted.
- Breathe naturally. Meditation does involve focusing on your breathing but try let it take too much of your focus or alter your natural rhythm in any way. Simply allow things to flow naturally, noticing the rising and falling sensation it creates in your body.
- Get comfortable it. It's completely normal to experience negative emotions like anxiety, restlessness, and irritation while practising meditation. Rather than trying to resist these emotions, give them your full attention and allow them to come and go. Over time, thanks to the power of meditation, your mind will recognise these emotions but learn not to get caught up in negative patterns of thought — a skill that can be enormously beneficial not only during meditation but also in daily life.
- Take mindfulness with you. Before you finish meditating and go about your day, form a clear idea of what you are going to do next — maybe you’ll shower, or make breakfast, or drive the kids to school. Whatever the activity, try to carry the mindfulness you cultivated during your meditation with you into the next task and throughout the rest of your day.
- Don't give yourself a hard time! Don't judge yourself or give yourself a hard time if you feel like your practice wasn't 'good' today. In meditation, there are no such things as good or bad! Some days you will be more focused, some days more distracted - it's simply life! Mediation isn’t something we ever expect to master or excel at; rather, it’s a life-long skill we are constantly working on day by day.
- If you need help, there are plenty of great apps out there just for meditation. Apps like Headspace and Calm are specially created to help you make meditation a part of your life.
There are a wealth of benefits to journaling! Writing down your feelings or just jotting down some bullet points can be great for easing anxiety and helping to process your thoughts. Journaling is also great for goal setting. It's a lovely way to start your day or unwind for the evening - the perfect calming antidote to watching the news or scrolling through social media.
Here are some tips to help get you started:
- Use a dedicated notebook for journaling in. This can be one you already have or you could treat yourself to a lovely new one to celebrate your new habit.
- Set a time that's right for you. It's a great habit to get into journaling at the same time every day. This can be whenever is right for you, whether that's first thing in the morning, or just before bed. Pick a time when you can concentrate your efforts for a few minutes on writing in your book.
- Don't worry too much about what you're writing. It doesn't have to be an award-winning novel! And no one else is going to read it. It's solely to help you. So don't spend too long thinking about what you're going to write. Even just writing down your stream of consciousness until you feel like stopping will help you to process your thoughts for the day.
- Enjoy it! This is YOU time. Make it fun and cosy. Make yourself a cup of tea. Put on some cosy socks. Don't just limit yourself to writing, you could cut out pictures too and make your journal into a scrapbook. Make it a fun and enjoyable part of your day, you deserve it!