If you’re looking after someone, it might be hard for you to take time for yourself at all, let alone switch off mentally from your worries or stresses that come with caring for someone.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to thoughts, sounds, the sensations of breathing or parts of your body, or absorbing yourself in an activity that allows you just focus on what’s happening. Of course, sometimes controlling our anxiety, worry or stress is something we need more support for, but when it comes to everyday wellness, mindfulness is a great way of taking care of ourselves.
We’ve collected some creative ways of practicing mindfulness to get you started:
Journaling in general is a great way of letting out your emotions, thoughts and feelings in a private space. All you need to get started is a pen and something to write in, and you’re ready.
Gratitude Journaling – Try setting aside ten minutes out of your day to write down all the things you’re grateful for. It can be anything from a hot cup of tea, to your family or friends, to something you’re looking forward to. The very act of writing positive things has proven to be incredibly helpful with distracting the brain from negativity or worry, and can help uplift your day.
Vision Book – Journaling doesn’t have to be limited to what’s happening or already happened in your life. You can use it to dream and hope for the future. You can even get more creative and cut out pictures from magazines or newspapers to inspire you in your journal.
Habit Journal – You may find it helpful to record and keep track of positive habits you’re trying to incorporate into your life, like recording how many glasses of water you drink in a day, and how it makes you feel. It can be incredibly rewarding to look back and see how well you’ve progressed.
Crafting is another great activity to do that really focuses your mind on what your hands are doing, allowing you to relax and be mindful.
Doodle – If you don’t have many crafting materials to hand, just simply getting a pen, pencil or paint brush and doodling can be incredibly calming. Draw lines, swirls and patterns and let your mind drift of for a few moments.
DIY Face Masks – Make something and pamper yourself at the same time – there are so many recipes for DIY face masks that are fun to make, and also relaxing once you apply them. One we found on Happiful requires only 45g cooked oatmeal, 1 egg and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Let the oatmeal cool, whisk all together and apply to your face.
Cross Stitching – Cross stitch some uplifting words – There are some great, easy to follow youtube videos on how to get started with cross stitching! Pick a quote that reminds you to be mindful, such as ‘breathe in, breathe out’, or ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup.’
Even if you’ve never done it before, yoga is brilliant for not only moving your body and taking care of your physical health, but relaxing your mental health too. Read our blog on how to get started with yoga.
Dancing is a great way of letting out energy from your body, and also your mind. And trust us, you don’t have to be good at it! Just whack on your favourite song and take five minutes to dance around.
Walking is another great way of practicing mindfulness. If you can, try going for a walk where you don’t check your phone and instead take in what’s around you, count the birds, the colours of the leaves, you might notice things you hadn’t before!
Stretching when you wake up not only feels great, but it can also help you to connect with your body and notice where you might be holding tension. Take a few moments to stretch each part of your body and notice how you feel.
How do you relax and practice mindfulness?
If you are struggling with low mood, anxiety or stress, have a look at our mental health page. You can also call us on 0800 368 8349 for advice, information and support.