Mindfulness in May
Posted by Christy Karr on May 14, 2020
Being mindful is more important than ever right now, due to the extra stress and strain the worldwide pandemic has created. While it’s hard to turn off the news and take a break from it all, it’s also a unique opportunity to do something good during a time when life is different and a lot of things are in a sort of holding pattern. You might be off work, or working from home. Your children may be home from school. You might also find that you can’t go a lot of places you used to, and that can leave you feeling bored, restless, and frustrated. Here’s what to consider in May, as you look toward how to be more mindful during the pandemic and well into the future.
Look for the Helpers
If you need or want to keep up with what’s going on in the world, focus on the good news. Letting the stress get you down or make you feel hopeless isn’t good for your mental or physical health. It’s also not honest and realistic. The problems are real, but they will end and things will improve all throughout the world. The pandemic won’t last forever. While it’s still going on — and even after life gets back to something closer to normal — look around for the helpers. There are always people doing good things for others during dark times. If you find them, you see much more of the beauty in the world and the value of sticking together as human beings.
Here are some great resources for people helping others:
Meet the Helpers — Talking to children about COVID-19.
Good Deeds and Helpers — CNN article about pandemic’s ‘heroes.’
Ways to Help the Helpers — NY Times article about the helpers, and helping them.
Provide Hope to Others
If you feel secure enough to reach out to other people, you can provide help and hope during a trying time. Even if you don’t want to go out into the world or you’re concerned about close contact with others, there are a lot of things you can do online. Friends and family may need someone to interact with, and even complete strangers can use some encouragement. That’s true with the current pandemic, but it could easily be true in other times, as well. Once you start helping others, it can make you more mindful about how you’re taking care of yourself and your most important needs in life.
Want to help? Here are some options to consider:
Practice Good Self Care
Self care includes all kinds of different things. It can be chocolate and soft music, or it can be working out and eating that salad instead of the chocolate. With a lot of options for feeling healthier and better, you can choose the ones that work for you. Just remember that caring for yourself means focusing on the things you really need to make your life better, not just what feels good in the moment. By staying mindful of what your body and brain are telling you, you’ll choose the right things to help you care for yourself properly and feel better even during a time that’s not easy for you or most other people.
Consider these self-care options, so you can stay healthy:
Consider Yoga or Meditation
Meditating or performing something that’s good for the body but slower-moving — like yoga or tai chi — can be an excellent way to stay mindful in May and throughout the rest of the year, as well. When you slow down and do something that’s very deliberate, you re-learn how to focus on the present moment instead of everything that’s going on in the world. That focus on the moment can help reduce anxiety, improve depression, and get you thinking about all the good things you still have in your life. Sometimes, a lot of clarity comes to a person when they’re practicing mindfulness, and that can even help you see a way forward.
Online yoga and meditation options can be a great place to start:
Prioritize the Things That Really Matter
For some people, their children or spouse is the most important thing in their life. For others it might be their work, their garden, their exercise routine, or the novel they’re writing. Whatever you find most important, take the time to focus on and improve it. You can look for ways to be closer to the people you care about, or search out a new idea for planting seeds and growing something you’ve always wanted to cultivate. This time, when the planet can feel dark and lonely, is a great time to reconnect with others and with yourself, so you’ll be better able to move in the direction of your dreams and goals as the world slowly returns to normal over time.
Here are some of the best ways to set your priorities:
One of the most important things you can do to be mindful in May and during any other time, though, is to be gentle with yourself. We’re all in this together, but we’re also all experiencing it differently. Everyone has challenges during this time that are unique to them, and recognizing that is a big step toward understanding what it is you really need to focus on in your life.