With America now entering month number 7 of quarantine, we’ve really started to see the unfortunate effects of isolation and limited social interaction on our mental and physical health. We’ve had reports confirm individuals of all ages mentioning substantial increases in anxiety, depression and stress due to extended periods of time alone and not being able to see loved ones. The California Surgeon General, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, recommends Mindfulness in her Covid 19 Stress Relief Playbook
Finding ways to combat anxiety, depression and stress during a time when many resources seem out of reach can definitely exacerbate how feelings of isolation and hopelessness. Mindfulness is a tool that everyone can use no matter who or where they are. Since we at Mindful Life Project love providing resources and tools for our communities, here are 3 Mindful Skills that we believe could immediately prove beneficial for the times we’re facing right now.
Mindful Listening is defined as a way of listening without judgment, criticism or interruption, while being aware of internal thoughts and reactions that may get in the way. With this New Civil Rights Movement we’re currently witnessing in our country it’s important that we use our mindful listening to be present and listen to those facing oppression and discrimination or any type of adversity so we can create stronger a understanding of others.
Despite all the things we’re missing out on during Covid, there are so many things we can be grateful for: Our homes or places of shelter, our families and friends and especially our wi-fi connection! Regardless of who you are, we all have something to be grateful for. Take some time out each morning to incorporate a gratitude practice to give thanks and appreciate all the things you have. Imagine how beautiful our world would be if everyone was grateful for one another and truly appreciated each other!
Last, but not least is Body Awareness. Many people stay focused on the concept of productivity without checking in with how working at a constant high level can affect both their mental and physical wellbeing. As young people, we are raised with the belief that efficiency is one of the most vital keys to “success”. To most Americans, success is acquired through money or capital. Our bodies do a great job of telling us what’s wrong, whether it’s a strong emotion like anger or stress. We can listen to our bodies by doing a scan a couple times a day to see where we may need to put a little extra attention. Especially now, with days filled with zoom meetings & staring at screens, make sure you’re checking in with your body and taking breaks when your body is calling for them.
As we continue to navigate these new experiences that can bring up feelings of stress, isolation and anxiety, try to incorporate these practices into your daily life, and you’ll be surprised how your outlook and mentality can change for the better!