If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you are not alone. Social distancing, changes in routines and growing uncertainty has us all facing more fear, worry and stress than usual.
Research shows that mindfulness meditation can reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. Meditation helps deactivate the emotional center of the brain which is responsible for emotional reactivity that fuels chronic stress.
New to meditation? Here are a few tips from Child Mind Institute:
- Keep it simple and be kind to yourself. It may not be easy to meditate especially when today’s concerns are so intense.
- Make time for mindfulness & meditation. Practice your mindful activity in the morning before your day starts. Or at night try some deep breathing in bed before you go to sleep.
Ready to get started? Here are some simple mindful activities:
- Belly Breathing: put one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest. Slowly breathe in from your stomach (expand like a balloon) and slowly breathe out (deflate).
- Mindful Eating: pay attention to the smell, taste and look of your meal. No multitasking.
- Coloring: color something, focus on the colors and designs.
- Listening to Music: listen attentively to the whole song or focus on the voice or a particular instrument.
There are many different types of mindfulness practices and meditation styles: Guided, Breath Awareness, Visualization, Sound Meditation, Walking Meditation, and more. Try one for free on Headspace or the Insight Timer app.