Health and Wellness: Mindfulness ResourcesReynaldo Villar | 02.23.2019
“Mindfulness” has become a common buzzword in many health-related conversations, but understanding what this word really means can help you to improve your way of life.
Being mindful or aware of where you are, what you’re thinking, and what you’re doing is the essence of mindfulness. Everyone can be mindful with some effort, but it’s easy to go through your days without really focusing on what you’re experiencing.
Taking stock of how you’re reacting to your surroundings with each of your five senses can help you tune in to your state of mind. This can help with your overall health and wellness.
What Exactly is Mindfulness?
Practicing mindfulness means staying aware of your bodily sensations, feelings, and thoughts as they’re happening. For many, mindfulness is what it means to be “in the moment.”
But mindfulness is more than just paying attention to your thoughts and feelings. True mindfulness also involves accepting these thoughts and feelings without judging them. Mindfulness requires that you suspend judgment, analysis or telling yourself that you’re right or wrong to feel these feelings or think these thoughts.
Another aspect of mindfulness is striving to stay in the present moment without worrying about the future or reliving the past. Resist the urge to go through your days on autopilot, not really experiencing the sensory connections around you. When you approach your days mindfully, you pay attention to what you’re experiencing, you accept these things, and you stay present in each moment. If something unexpected happens, don’t judge it and react to it instantly. Instead, pause and assess so you can respond more authentically.
The following articles and posts provide more insights into what mindfulness really means:
- Getting Started with Mindfulness
- What is Mindfulness?
- Benefits of Mindfulness
- What Is Mindfulness? Definition and Benefits
- Taking charge of your Health and Well-Being: What is Mindfulness?
Using Mindfulness when Working or Learning from Home
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of us to rapidly change how we work, learn, play and live. Transitioning to working or learning from home can be challenging. You have to set up a workspace and get used to connecting with others virtually to learn or work. The line between work time and leisure time is easy to blur if you’re not careful. Some people work too much in this situation, and others find it hard to focus on work.
Approaching working or learning from home with mindfulness can help you set a routine and schedule, define boundaries, make goals, and feel productive. Communicate with family members, teachers, coworkers, and peers about your needs and wants. Be ready to compromise with others around you so everyone has their needs met.
If you begin to feel isolated as you work or learn from home, schedule video chats with others to visit informally. These chats should be relaxing, not work- or school-related.
Don’t forget to be mindful about how you’re feeling physically, too. Get enough sleep, exercise every day, eat a healthy diet, and get fresh air and sunshine each day. If you start to feel anxious or depressed, reach out to family and friends to share your feelings. It may help to speak with a professional as well.
The following are additional resources for practicing mindfulness while working or studying from home:
- Mindfulness and the Challenges of Working From Home in Times of Crisis
- Ten Tips for Mindful Productivity while Working from Home
- Mindfully Transitioning to a Work-From-Home Culture
- How Working From Home can make you into a Mindful Superhero
- Six Mindfulness Tips for Working From Home
- Nine Ways to Integrate Mindfulness into your Work-From-Home Routine
Mindfulness for Kids and Families
Mindfulness isn’t just an individual practice. It’s also a worthwhile approach for families, especially during times of crisis and pressure.
Families spending more time together can make it a goal to practice mindfulness together. Being present in each moment can help individual family members stay aware of how they’re feeling emotionally. If anyone begins to feel stressed or unhappy, talk about these feelings quickly to address them.
A good place to start is to try to have at least one meal together as a family each day. During the meal, ask everyone to check in with the family about their feelings, thoughts, and activities that day. When you encourage kids of all ages to name their emotions, kids learn the important skill of putting emotions into words. If emotions build up and become difficult to handle, deep breathing can be an effective way to reinstitute calmer feelings.
Parents who model cause-and-effect language can help kids realize that their thoughts are directly related to their behavior and actions. Show the correlation between positive thoughts and positive actions. If negative self-talk is happening, parents can also help kids turn this around to work toward more positive solutions.
The following are additional mindfulness resources for families:
- Six Mindfulness Activities You Can Do as a Family
- Tips for Leading Mindful Games
- Mindful Activities for Families
- Five Meditation and Mindfulness Activities for Families
- Family Mindfulness Schedule
- Get Happier: Mindfulness for Children and Parents
- 30 Mindfulness Activities for Parents to Help You Relax and Focus on the Present