admin Posted on 5:23 am

How not to lose your head

2020 has been a very unsettling year for all of us. If you’ve been overwhelmed by all of this and feel in danger of losing your mind, read on.

The constant changes taking place in 2020, uprooting us from our workplaces, sending us into isolation, setting us free, and then sending us back, have impacted us all. Now we are faced with seasonal changes in the northern hemisphere, reducing light levels and also winter weather.

This is the season to restore ourselves, nurture ourselves, copy the natural world as it retreats, and conserve energy. Hibernation and wintering are natural responses to the time of year that allow us to slow down and regenerate. It’s important not to fight this natural desire to slow down, but to find a way to incorporate it into our busy and stressful lives.

Mindfulness is a way to slow down time, to be able to calm the overwhelming feelings that fill our mind and focus on our own needs. Mindfulness techniques and attitudes are based on the actions of self-awareness and meditation, do not require any special equipment and can be carried out anywhere.

The science of mindfulness is well researched and recognized. Evidence has shown that if you meditate for seventeen minutes a day for eight weeks, you will have recognizable health benefits in reducing cortisol and stress reactors. The best news is that those seventeen minutes don’t have to be consecutive, you can take your mindful moments in short bursts and the time will add up. So how can we bring this restorative approach into our lives and prepare for the struggle during the long winter season?

Let’s discover how not to lose our mind: becoming aware of the moments that make up our days and enjoying them as experiences to enrich our lives. Count the minutes.

Start simply. When you wake up in the morning, whether to an alarm or naturally, allow yourself a moment of awareness. Feel the warmth of your bed, the realization that a new day has begun. Stretch and feel the movement of your body, be aware of yourself and focus for a moment on your breathing. Don’t try to change anything, just become aware of the natural pattern of your breathing, breathing in and out, take the opportunity to take two or three deep breaths. Allow your mind to simply reflect on the pattern of your breathing and then make your first move in your day.

Two minutes of consciousness upon awakening.

Get up and continue with your normal routines: showering, washing, brushing your teeth, those intimate moments of hygiene and personal care. Allow yourself to focus on those actions: notice the sensation of the water on your skin as you wash or shower. Notice the temperature, the textures of your skin and hair, the feel of the towel as it dries. Practice taking your mind off thoughts about your future, your past, your worries and stresses, and just experience the self-care actions, smells and tastes, even for a few moments. Recognize that these are moments to take care of yourself, to take care of yourself, actions that support and nourish you.

Five minutes of awareness of your personal care.

Continue with your daily routines. If you eat breakfast, or just have a drink, or have a drink while running from the house to the train or car, do not make any judgments about the use of your time. If you are now working from home, prepare as you normally do and get in touch with your daily activities. If you are responsible for others, children, partners, parents, family responsibilities, pets, carry out your usual regimes. But consider, is there any chance for a moment, just a moment, to stop thinking about others and jobs and rushes, to pause and take stock? No, then we’re leaving.

Most people will find a time in the morning to refresh themselves with food or drink. Allow yourself to take that moment as an opportunity to focus on the action of preparing and eating that snack. Maybe you boil a kettle to make a hot drink, maybe you just stand in front of a vending machine and select something. Use that space to allow your mind to empty and just focus on your breathing. Be aware of the sensation of your breath as you breathe in and out, take a couple of deep breaths, then let your breathing return to its natural rhythm and notice that pattern. Then turn your attention to the action of preparing your drink or snack. Notice your posture, notice how you are standing, be aware of your surroundings, the sights, sounds, and smells.

Two minutes of mindfulness while you take care of your hunger or thirst.

Suppose you can repeat this care with food or drink at least 3 times a day.

Another four minutes of awareness of taking care of yourself.

Get on with your day, the daily routine of tasks and activities. You finally come to the end of your day and have a chance to repeat more of the self-care actions you started your day with.

Allow yourself a few moments to just focus on you. How do you feel? Tired, happy, sad, agitated, relaxed… another few minutes of self-awareness and self-consideration.

Four minutes of self-care and self-consideration.

Count them: 2 + 5 + 2 + 4 + 4. That’s seventeen minutes.

How not to lose your head? Focus your mind on the little things, just a few each day, and make it a regular routine. Recognize those little things as self-care and support for your needs. That is mindfulness.

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