Take time out

Pause, Breathe, Resume
Aileen Valentine
Written by Aileen Valentine

How are you doing? Probably a silly question, right? Unfortunately, we are still dealing with this pandemic and everything that goes with it.  People are stressed and fed up with it all and the changing restrictions.    

Mindfulness and meditation seem to be the buzz words these days. Some of us are not really good at focusing on one thing at a time and that is usually because we are trying to juggle several things at once or working from home with distractions and dealing with the loneliness that comes along with that.

Meditation is a good way of just taking out a few minutes in your day to just stop, if you can manage to do this several times a day, even better. There are several videos you can find to help you do this, so have a look through some of them and see which one works for you.   One thing to remember about meditation is that it is quality, not quantity. If you can stop for a minute or two or more several times a day it could help with any stress or anxiety you might be suffering from. Another thing you can do is listen, I mean really listen, to your colleagues, your partner or your kids. Stop whatever you are doing and listen, focus your attention fully on that person. You are probably thinking, ‘I don’t have time!’. Well try and make time, it could make a difference in your relationships with other people. Think about what it would feel like to have someone devote their full attention to you, even if it is just for a few minutes, instead of them looking through files, or at their screen while you are talking to them.  

You could also try some gentle exercise 3 or 4 times a week. Going out for a walk and really paying attention to what you see and hear can help with stress. It’s called Mindful walking, a bit like taking time to smell roses. As you walk, feel the air on your face, focus on the sights and sounds, the grass under your feet, a clear blue sunny sky etc.  

It’s also good to reach out to people, friends, family or even a professional. Don’t bottle it up, it’s not healthy for you or the people around you.  And if you know someone who is going through a hard time right now – be kind.

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