How Mindfulness Can Help Balance Your Emotions During COVID-19
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Covid-19 has made it hard not to spiral. From the changing school statuses to working from home without childcare, there always seems to be something worth getting anxious about. Responsibilities seem endless during this trying time; every situation feels dire to the point were getting time for you is tough.
Take a deep breath. These are unprecedented times and practicing some mindfulness could help you gain control over your anxiety. Here is how you can build healthy coping habits during a pandemic that seems to be making uncertainty the norm:
Covid-19 And Mindfulness
Cultivating mindfulness is as easy as paying attention to the kind of experiences you are having in real-time, including body sensations, thoughts, and emotions. Instead of always reacting negatively to every unpleasant experience, mindfulness can help you cultivate more compassionate and wiser ways to relate to everything life throws your way.
Mindfulness ensures you can accept these tough situations without being carried away by strong emotions – helping you become a more centered person.
There are formal and informal tactics for practicing mindfulness. However, they are all formed under the same attitudinal foundation. This attitudinal foundation involves being:
Trusting of your inner self and abilities
Accepting of diverse situations
Ready to let go of hard situations
Practicing a beginner’s mindset that is willing to learn new things
Formal ways for practicing mindfulness involve meditation, which is best done through silence. For anywhere between a few minutes and 40 minutes, sit quietly. Use this moment of calm to become aware of your body’s sensations, breath, emotions, sounds, and thoughts.
As for informal ways of practicing mindfulness, simply paying attention to everything you are doing throughout the day will suffice. For instance, when brushing your teeth, pay attention to any sensation you feel on your teeth and gums, as well as the smell of the toothpaste. Contrary to how we live our lives every day, mindfulness will make you live in the now.
With the number of responsibilities, you might have, it could feel like multitasking is the only way to get things done. For instance, you might feel like taking care of your kids while on a work call will tick two things off your to-do list simultaneously.
Multitasking could easily leave you tired and frustrated. The mindful way is to schedule every task at its own time. For instance, you can schedule work calls during the kids’ nap time. Consider also asking the older kids to help fold the laundry as you prepare supper.
Make Peace With Uncertainty
The pandemic and its effects are quite uncertain. No one knows what tomorrow might look like, or how long the uncertainty will last. The only certain thing is that worrying about it all won’t change even a single outcome.
Learning how to accept uncertainty could help you build great coping habits, which will rub off on your kids and family. Mindfulness will take you back to the present, ensuring that you are handling each day at a time.
The Mindfulness Toolbox
There are some simple tools that can help anchor you back to the present. Instead of letting stress and strong emotions hijack your wellbeing, consider using tools like:
S.T.O.P – in full, this acronym stands for Stop, To breath, Observe & Proceed. When feeling anxious or frustrated, stop and take a breath. Pay attention to everything you are feeling – acknowledge all your thoughts and emotion at this moment. Form peace with them and carry on with your day.
R.A.I.N – in full, this acronym stands for Recognize, Allow, Investigate & Nourish. It involves first recognizing what you are going through, allowing it to happen rather than fighting it or trying to push it away. Next, investigate where in your body or mind you are feeling burdened and nourish or soothe yourself.
Tough times will always come, but your reaction to them determines how you get to the other side. Mindfulness will ensure you understand each situation thrown your way and can make your peace with it all. Practice mindfulness today to steer clear of anxiety and handle this pandemic much better.