A guide to mindfulness during uncertain times

A guide to mindfulness during uncertain times

Creating a harmonious home environment

Many of us are spending more time in our homes more than ever in the past months. Creating a home that has a flow of both vibrant energy and peaceful pockets is essential for creativity, productivity, and rest. 

Space clearing 

The technique of clearing negative energy from a room or active space. It can help bring positive energy and a feeling of tranquility to your home. If you’re interested in learning more about the practice of internal and external space clearing our friend, Paige at Object & Us is an excellent resource for developing guided rituals.

Decluttering

One of the simplest ways to create a more peaceful home is to declutter. Cluttered spaces can be cause for mental overwhelm and distraction which takes an emotional toll. Be careful not to overwhelm yourself with decluttering ambitions. Start with a small space, even a single draw, and go from there. 

Organization

Create a few key systems of organization in your home; particularly for busy areas and high use items. Quick ideas include:

Designating a small area for clutter - clear it on a weekly basis

-A simplified system for paperwork

-A ‘landing zone’ to place items like keys and wallets as soon as you walk in

-Adding more hooks -they’re an excellent organizational help no matter what you hang

 

Setting intentions and mini-goals daily

“Our intention creates our reality” Wayne Dyer

We can all agree that there are many ‘big picture’ things out of our control. Spending too much time ruminating about those things can leave us feeling helpless, overwhelmed, and anxious.

Instead, try directing your energy to the things that are within your control - no matter how small. Setting micro daily intentions and goals help you combat uncertainty and give you a sense of empowerment.

While the two work together, goals and intentions are different.

What is a daily intention? An intention focuses on the present and how you would like to be as the day unfolds moment by moment. An intention can be a thought, statement, or mantra that acts as a gentle reminder and an anchor. 

For example: “Today I will go slowly and I will be kind to myself”

If you find yourself becoming stressed or overwhelmed, return to your intention for pause. You can still ‘operate’ within your intention, regardless of whether you are ‘achieving’ your mini-goals or not.

What is a mini-goal? Simply something you would like to do that day. By focusing on keeping goals small and doable, you feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. 

If you’re working from home, write down two mini work-related goals for the day and 2 personal goals - like a quick work out or calling a friend  - to maintain balance. 

 

Thrive in nature

Where possible, purposely spending time in nature is an excellent way to cultivate mindfulness and mental tranquility during uncertain times. A simple activity like a walk in the park engages your body in exercise, connects your mind with nature, and provides you with a dose of sunlight. 

The health side effects of too much sun exposure are well documented - but we shouldn’t fear the sun entirely. Moderate exposure to sunlight is believed to increase serotonin levels which can lift your mood and ease tendencies towards anxiety or depression

If you have an outdoor space, why not spend time cultivating it? Creating a garden, or even a few planters boxes, can be a simple stress-relieving, mindful activity. It puts you in touch with nature and the joy of watching our own food grow. 

 

Taking up a cleaner diet during COVID

Improve your mood with food, eating an array of colorful whole foods helps guard against illness, and increases our sense of emotional wellbeing. 

A few suggestions for immune and mood-boosting foods to reach for include:

Mushrooms

Spinach and kale

Broccoli

Garlic

Bone broth

Blueberries and Raspberries 

Ginger

Salmon

Chia seeds and Hemp

Walnuts

Sweet potato

Explore the use of fermented foods like pickled radish, cucumbers, sauerkraut, and spicy kimchi. 

Try swapping out your daily caffeinated beverage for adaptogenic tonics or herbal infusions specifically blended with immune-boosting herbs. 

Mindful meals

Enjoy ‘mindful mealtime’ by switching off distractions and taking the time to sit down and eat. Slow down,  pause, and cherish the meal, enjoying the flavors, textures, and nourishment within every bite. Not only does this turn eating into a more mindful activity, but you’re also less likely to indulge.  

 

Go beyond virtual connections

Maintaining connections with family and friends is crucial during uncertain times. It’s easy to jump on social media and connect virtually but taking the time to connect beyond our virtual feeds can make communication more mindful and personal.

Write a letter

Bring back the art of handwritten letters by penning a letter to someone you care about. Writing thoughtful letters can encourage feelings of happiness for both yourself and your loved ones. Or simply pick up the phone and call rather than messaging. 

Share a journal

A shared journal is also a brilliant way to connect with friends on a deeper level. Keep a journal for 2 weeks - expressing your feelings and thoughts - then send it on to a friend via the post for them to journal in for 2 weeks. They return it to you and it continues to move back and forth. 

Send a care package

Sending a thoughtful care package is another way to let someone you’re thinking of them. Small gifts like herbal teas, essential oils, a good book, an aromatic candle, or wild-harvested flowers are all uplifting. It doesn’t need to be an ‘occasion’ to treat someone, an impromptu delivery can bring even more joy. 

 

Creating Daily Self-care rituals

Research tells us that prolonged stress can trigger or aggravate inflammatory skin conditions and incorporating self-care rituals into your daily and weekly routine is incredibly beneficial for decompressing and reducing stress levels.

Self-care doesn’t have to be over-indulgent or expensive.

Expressing love and gratitude for your mind and body more frequently with simpler self-care habits may even be more beneficial than waiting to ‘find time’ to spend a whole day treating yourself. 

Some simple, yet effective, ideas for self-care:

Maintaining a consistent sleep/wake cycle

Getting a good night’s sleep may just be the best form of self-care there is. 

Getting into the habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is one way to encourage deeper, more restful sleep. Mood regulation, a stronger immune system, and increased alertness are just a few benefits of a regulated sleep pattern. 

 

Decompressing And Transformation

Dry body brushing

Give your body a few minutes of daily self-care with dry body brushing. Benefits of this ayurvedic ritual may include increased circulation which can help improve lymphatic, exfoliation, and softer skin. 

Always choose a brush with high-quality vegan bristles and starting at the bottom of your feet sweep the brush in long motion (towards your heart) applying medium pressure. Be more gentle with the delicate skin of your décolleté; just before your shower is the ideal time to practice dry body brushing.

Use aromatherapy

Reduce agitation and anxiety and encourage a more restful sleep with aromatherapy. It’s a wonderful holistic therapy to treat your mind, body, and spirit. 

Elements Of Comfort is a uniquely fragrant multi-purpose botanical body oil for a nourishing, aromatic experience to reduce skin stress and calm the spirit. Use in the evening to nourish and hydrate fatigued skin with organic hemp seed, avocado, and grapeseed oils while the soothing scent relaxes a busy mind. 

Find guidance on how to best incorporate Elements of Comfort into your routine here.

Grounding practice 

Grounding techniques can help you feel calm and centered quickly when a wave of emotion or worry feels overwhelming. They are designed to bring you back to the present moment and fully focus your attention there. A few examples of grounding techniques include:

Breathing exercises

Holding a mug of hot tea and paying attention to its warmth

Standing barefoot in the grass and feeling the sensation 

Saying your name, your age, where you are now, and what you’re doing

We hope these suggestions have been helpful. Begin by choosing those which resonate most with you and experiment to discover what activities help refresh your mind, body, and spirit.