Mindfulness… Coping with extended periods at home

For the majority of us reading this; we may well be doing so at home… The weather outside might be fine yet we’re unable to enjoy it, we might have jobs, busy lives outside of home that are temporarily on hold, people we can’t see right now and things we love to do but simply can’t at the moment.

That’s because we aren’t at home by choice, we are staying there as part of a national effort to pull together, to do our bit in the fight against a spreading virus. We aren’t really alone of course, the rest of our street, our town and the entire country are all striving to do the same, but of course at times it can feel like we are very alone. If we are at home with families and children then yet more challenges arise, the need for some time to yourself, the constant responsibility of keeping everyone safely occupied and the seemingly endless daily chores.

These are challenging times for many different reasons and in every case an approach centred on mindfulness can really help.

What is mindfulness..?

The simple practice of focusing on the present moment, putting aside regrets of the past and concerns for the future is incredibly important when you feel disconnected from friends and family or overwhelmed by events in the wider world.

Even if the present moment is stressful, frustrating or different from how we would want it to be, then realising that and addressing it without judgement will give us clarity and calmness. It will help us to cope and avoid such feelings in future, giving us resilience and the tools to deal with such anxious moments.

Then again the present moment might be a good one, even if it is caused by something small such as the sound of a neighbour’s children laughing or bird song outside of your window, small things can have as much of an impact as larger things if you let them. Recognise them and acknowledge them, enjoy them…

A mindful approach gives us the resilience to deal with negative things and the ability to really enjoy the positive ones, however small they might seem.

Making the most of what we have

We Brits are famous for it and despite the current situation we do still have a lot. Mindfulness encourages us to notice every part of that, no matter how small. So enjoy the taste of your favourite food, the sound of birdsong drifting in through your window and the smells, sights and sounds you encounter whilst out for your daily exercise. Good things are still happening in the world, they might just be a little harder to see at the moment.

We are all enduring strange new routines and coping with long periods at home is a big part of that. If you can still do some things you love, do them wholeheartedly, if not then try to find new things to enjoy with a mindful attitude and greater awareness of your own thoughts and feelings.

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