Mindfulness Ideas We Can All Do During a Pandemic
We are certainly living in a time of high uncertainty. As the days of COVID-19, with it’s social distancing and sheltering in place go on, more people have become increasingly anxious. Anxiety about the coronavirus, including the effects on our economy, work, school, and our daily lives, it’s undeniable that we are all, including our children, feeling and noticing that pressure. So, what can we do to better support ourselves, our children and others during this difficult time?
If this pandemic has taught us anything it is that we are all connected. We are one. COVID-19 is not just affecting our family, our neighborhood, our country but every neighborhood, every community, and family in every country from the Canary Islands to Prince Edward Island from Bangkok to Brooklyn.
And we will get through this together ~we are one. We can practice mindfulness together so that we can respond rather than react to our current situation and come out the other side of this pandemic more resilient and a little less devastated.
We encourage you to try out the mindfulness suggestions below for the next few weeks. It could be that after a while, you decide they are not for you, and that is okay. However, with practice, you may find them helpful to you.
Breathe: Taking a few deep breaths can help calm your nervous system. When we breathe deeply and mindfully it sends a message to our brain and our nervous system to soften, relax, and to be calm rather than the flight-fight-freeze mode. Our breath is our anchor, grounding us and keeping us at ease. Check out my video on How to Stress Less in One Minute or Less.
Take One Moment at a Time: Pausing and taking one moment at a time is true mindfulness. Because of the uncertainty, it certainly is hard to plan or even dream of our future these days and that in itself can be overwhelming. But what we can do is take each moment on its own, feeling it and being with it non-judgmentally.
You can use these Mindfulness Mindset Activities to cultivate and encourage mindfulness with your child/ren.
Compassion: If we have a little more compassion for ourselves it will most definitely be easier to have compassion for others. Self-compassion is essentially compassion turned inward. Dr. Kristen Neff states, self-compassion allows us to treat ourselves as we would a good friend.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama
Kindness: Now more than ever we need to spread kindness rather than blame and negativity. There is so much loss~we’re all suffering, and a little kindness can go such a long way. Sharing an act of kindness can really brighten up someone’s day. There have been many examples of people donating food to healthcare workers, people putting on impromptu concerts for residents of nursing homes, and children littering their streets with colorful messages of hope written in chalk. Spread a little kindness around.
If the coronavirus is contagious, so is compassion and kindness.
Gratitude: How you start your day is as important as your first healthy meal of the day. When you ground your day in a positive and powerful way, everything will flow with a little more ease. Practicing gratitude intentionally is a great way to start your day. A grateful mindset, being thankful for what you have, helps you to shed any negativity you’re carrying around and open yourself up to the positive side of life, even during the toughest times. Check out my Morning Mindset Journal here.
Whatever the opportunities and threats this pandemic brings, I invite you to pause, take a few deep breaths, take each moment as they come and look at them without judgment and embrace what is compassionate and kind.
Together, and supported by each other, we will get through this. We Are One.