How much has your lifestyle changed over the past two months? A little? A lot?…
Yesterday’s announcement that the ACT’s lockdown will continue for at least another two weeks has sat heavily with so many of us.
Wellbeing and Mindfulness Coach Dee Brennan shares three really helpful things we can do right now, and repeat in the coming days and weeks, to keep calm, keep it all in perspective, and carry on.
Her mantra is “How can I feel ok today?” and her three exercises may bring some tranquility to an anxious mind.
One-Minute Practical Self Compassion Exercise
Place your hand firmly on your chest and notice your breathing. Continue to be aware of your breath whilst you acknowledge any unpleasant feelings you’ve been having for the past 24hrs. Just notice these thoughts for one minute. Finish with a big breath out. If these feelings pop up again during the day, place your hand back on your chest for a second or two and acknowledge your thoughts.
Self-compassion doesn’t require you to have to try and fix the problem at the time. Acknowledging our emotions can sometimes be enough to take the edge off our suffering. There is also a strange kindness felt towards yourself with a gentle hand. Learning to sit with difficult emotions for short periods of time gets easier with practice.
Choose one thing you can focus on today
Find one small thing that will improve your wellbeing. It might be sitting in the sun for 30 minutes reading. Calling to connect with a friend you haven’t spoken to for a long time. Putting your phone on silent for one-hour blocks at a time and fully engaging with your work or kids.
Create a bedtime wind-down routine. Sticking with your one focus for an entire week can give you a greater sense of accomplishment and, of course, improve your energy levels. Pop your goal or focus on a sticky note so it’s top of mind.
Reflect on happy memories
Bring to mind a happy moment, close your eyes or find a photo to reminisce. Pondering on ‘why’ this was such a precious moment can induce those feel-good hormones such as oxytocin. Reminisce for a minute and dwell in all the good feels.
If you are having a particularly tough day, try the self-compassion exercise and leave this for an easier day.
One step at a time
These tips might seem basic, but when you put them into practice you’ll see that making a few tweaks in your day can make a significant difference over a few weeks.
And always remember you can reach out to Lifeline 24/7 for crisis support 13 11 14.
Dee’s next program starts Wednesday 8 September, Meditation & Mojo – a four-week Online Coaching Program. She also provides wellbeing support to workplaces online. You can follow her on Facebook at thinkoutloud,or instagram at thinkoutloudwellness