• Gabby

Well-ness in the middle of a pandemic

Let's get something straight. Whatever happens day to day during this COVID crisis, affects everyone. You and me and them. And the losses, uncertainty, stresses you have to face will cause anxiety and worry.

If it wouldn't do that, that in itself would be worrying.

Losses come in all shapes and sizes.

So now, more than ever, being well is going to be key. Trying to do as best you can, perhaps on a small scale.

I will say it again - it's OK to feel worried and anxious. This situation is not normal, so trying to be happy all the time won't help. If anything, it will trap you.

So what can you do to be well, as best you can?

1. Move your body

The focus is on movement, which doesn't have to be anything fancy or even organised. Dancing around in the kitchen, walking outside or going to an exercise class all qualify. If you would like to link movement to resting your mind, then a slower paced class or exercise might be the answer. But overall, it's simple: move your body.

2. Breathe

I know you are breathing right now, but are you aware of it? Do you know that you are breathing?

Notice what happens when you bring conscious awareness to your breathing, and as well as noticing it, playing around with your breath: explore a longer exhalation for example.

It's scientifically proven that a longer exhale links in with the parasympathetic nervous system (which is the part that is responsible for rest and digest).

3. Meditate

Meditation. It doesn't have to be very tricky. You don't have to stop or empty your mind. And it's not necessary to reach an altered state. All you need to do is sit down for a few minutes - if that - and focus on your breath. Whenever you noticed your mind has wondered, then gently escort it back to your breathing and body. In a nutshell, this is it.

The benefits of a short meditation practice are immense. Especially in the long term. So go for it, sit down, and rest your awareness on your breath and body. Allow your mind to stretch.

4. Be kind

Perhaps it comes natural to be kind to others. Especially being kind to those we love and care about.

It's a lot more difficult to turn that kindness towards yourself, and bring the same attitude towards your own difficulties and mistakes.

My suggestion, is just give it a go. It doesn't have to be all the time, but if the one time you choose to be kind instead of beating yourself up, that's a step forward.

I know that I didn't offer you anything special or perhaps new. But I truly believe that these simple practices - if practiced often - will contribute a great deal to your mental well-ness in this challenging period/year.

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