Mindfulness is a practice where we take time to stop and focus on ourselves in the present moment. Research has shown mindfulness can help those going through times of stress or confusion and helps to understand our own emotions better.
This month, Heritage Healthcare have launched #MindfulnessInMarch where we are sharing information about being mindful and encouraging everyone to add it into their daily life – our care assistants and home care clients included.
So, how can you be mindful?
In today’s fast paced world, we often forget to check in with ourselves. Allow yourself 5-10 minutes to sit down, close your eyes, and breathe normally. Notice where you feel your breath in your body, in your abdomen, chest or throat.
Focus on your body
Become aware of your body. Turn on some relaxing music, lie down in a dimly lit room and close your eyes. Focus on each part of your body and how they feel, starting from the tips of your toes and ending on the top of your head.
If you are a spiritual person, give yourself time to practise but only focus on the act. Mediate, practise yoga, pray, chant, do what you do and switch your mind off from life’s stresses.
Go for a walk
An easy way to get into mindfulness is to simply go for a walk. It could be a walk around the local park or your regular walk commuting, but take in your surroundings and notice the everyday acts that are happening. Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre says, “It has huge power to interrupt the ‘autopilot’ mode we often engage day to day, and to give us new perspectives on life.”
Enjoy a Hobby
Sometimes, we don’t allow ourselves to do something we enjoy because we feel there are more important things we should be doing instead. Give yourself a set period of time during the day or the week to do a hobby you enjoy. Baking, crafting, sports, photography, writing, reading; whatever it is you enjoy, do it – you’re allowed to!
Let your mind wander
If you are someone who over thinks and has a head filled with thoughts, give yourself time to think about them. Don’t be judgemental over your thoughts; even if they are negative, it can be helpful to allow ourselves to go over what we need to think about in order to make sense of them.
Surround yourself with those you love
Mindfulness doesn’t always need to be done alone; spending time with a loved one is relaxing. Show your appreciation to those around you. Simply looking into their eyes when talking to them shows you are listening to what they are saying.
Turn off screens
Switch off any devices you might have and take time to rest your eyes. Continuously looking at laptops, desktops, tablets and mobile phones can cause damage to mental health, concentration and sleep. Having a set period of time each day where you don’t allow yourself to look at a device – even if you can hear notifications coming through – is beneficial for your eyes and mind.
Heritage Healthcare are encouraging more of our care assistants and service users to add mindfulness into their everyday life and improve their mental wellbeing. It can be incorporated into the care packages we provide, which are all bespoke to each individual and include services such as personal care, companionship, domestic duties and live-in care.