Months into the COVID 19 pandemic has made stress levels very high. Some have lost their jobs or are socially isolated. Some are wrapping their heads around having to homeschool their children this school year. Some have very concerning health issues that make them more susceptible. Whatever the reason, life looks much different and anxiety is much higher.
Mindfulness is a practice in reducing stress and anxiety that has been helping people for centuries. Sometimes in the craziness of the day, it’s easy to forget to quiet everything and breathe. If you or your children are struggling with anxiety in this trying time, consider implementing mindfulness practices into your daily routine.
Jill Emanuele, PhD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, recommends these simple activities to get you started:
- Squeeze Muscles: Starting at your toes, pick one muscle and squeeze it tight. Count to five. Release, and notice how your body changes. Repeat exercise moving up your body.
- Belly Breathing: Put one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest. Slowly breathe in from your stomach (expand like a balloon) and slowly breathe out (deflate).
- Mindful Meal: Pay attention to the smell, taste and look of your food. No multitasking.
- Meditation: Sit in a relaxed, comfortable position. Pick something to focus on, like your breath. When your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath.
- Blowing Bubbles: Notice their shapes, textures and colors.
- Coloring: Color something. Focus on the colors and designs.
- Listening to Music: Focus on the whole song, or listen specifically to the voice or an instrument.
For more information on mindfulness, more activities, and how to make space in your day check out this article https://childmind.org/article/how-mindfulness-can-help-during-covid-19/!