Practice Mindfulness in the midst of COVID-19
As mask mandates begin to get lifted, cities begin to re-open, and people begin to get their vaccines, anxiety can be heightened as we transition out of this pandemic. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable with all the drastic changes being implemented with our world right now, especially as we’ve gotten so adjusted to living in a “remote”, “virtual”, and “socially distanced” society. When dealing with this heightened stress in these upcoming weeks, it may be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, it is important to look back to how you felt over a year ago, at the very beginning of the pandemic, and look at how far you’ve come. This perspective can place you within the mindset to give you the confidence to continue moving forward. Keeping this in mind, it is also very important to practice mindfulness when these feelings of anxiety arise. Mindfulness is the ability to be fully engaged and present with a soft open mind. Here is a technique that experts recommend when practicing mindfulness:
A great way to start identifying how you’re feeling is to start by writing or journaling. Oftentimes journaling can be therapeutic and alleviate symptoms of anxiety. Additionally, journaling can help you understand which activities, events, or times of the day spark more anxiety for you. Being able to identify these triggering moments can help you better prepare before they next happen.
Community is very important for mental wellness. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the need for belonging actually comes before self-esteem and self-actualization needs. Wherever you feel like you belong - whether that be with a friend, in your family, with your co-workers, etc. - being able to express your feelings and emotions in a safe space can help maintain your mental wellbeing.
Prioritizing your own mental health and wellbeing should be of the utmost importance to you. Whenever you begin to feel stressed out or start to feel anxious, engage in an activity that makes you feel good. You can even allocate time (could be just 30 minutes) every day to take time to yourself. Whether you like to read books, go for a jog, cook something delicious, paint something beautiful, meditate, or even warming up in a weighted robe, taking this time to yourself has been proven to help the mind settle and alleviate these stressful and anxious feelings.