Mindfulness & Heightened Awareness
Recently, we have been forced to hit the PAUSE button - stay home, social distancing, wear gloves and masks in crowded places. This is all way too uncomfortable for us because this is not something we planned. What we did plan was special personal events like a wedding, a bridal shower or perhaps plans to see our families for upcoming holidays, vacation, a birthday celebration or work activities. Whether you know it or not this very idea of hitting the pause button is giving us the tools to be mindful.
You may ask yourself... What does being mindful have to do with these unprecedented times? You may have heard of mindfulness here and there with corporate wellness initiatives or on social media or you may not even know what mindfulness is. Mindfulness IS actually the very act of hitting the PAUSE button. Being fully aware of what is going on and where you are, however, here’s the best part ... without reaction or judgement. Social distancing, practicing good hygiene and staying active and healthy to boost our immune system during these times is super important, however, since this has come upon us all at once and we were not prepared for these times, reaction and judgement are at an all time high, along with stress, anxiety, fear, uncertainty, denial and even depression.
When should we practice Mindfulness you ask... NOW!
Now is the best time to get started and practice Mindfulness!
Let’s start with recognizing all the different perspectives that take your mind closer to mindfulness, so as to not let what you have been experiencing go unrecognized.
Let’s begin with you, the employee, the child, the spouse, the parent, caregiver, teacher, medical professionals and first responders in the front lines whichever role you play. You must manage the family dynamics whether you play the role of home schooling or you are the one being schooled, setting up a productive work from home station, assuring the home is stocked with food and essential items. Helping others be well. Staying physically and mentally healthy, which includes quality sleep, physical activity, good nutrition and staying hydrated.
Now from the perspective of business owners and eating establishments, fitness and recreational facilities, schools, congregation, wellness centers and spas, hospitals, medical services to name a few...
How do they remain open, continue to provide well-being modalities, manage cash flow and business relationships. Keep the faith. Pay employees and keep people engaged and productive. Navigate technology challenges for those that need to be set up to work at home. Assure employees are informed and armed with the tools they need both professionally and personally to be able to function on all levels. Keeping staff up to date on updates regarding COVID-19. These are just a few of the many challenges from the large and small business owners' view.
Now let’s think about your personal perspective from a sense of self-awareness during these times. You may be feeling a strong heightened awareness with your 5 senses, you may be sensitive to sound due to stress or anxiety, your eyes may be strained with all the additional screen time with TV, computers or tablets, you may be eating more than usual and taste buds may be activated to eat foods that may not be nutritional. Your sense of smell may change since we are not experiencing scents outside of our home base area. Your sense of touch may be lacking and you may experience a feeling of disconnectedness with ourselves and/or others during the social distancing.
Good physical and mental health, hygiene and nutrition play a key role in your days as we get through this pandemic. Practice compassion and patience in all perspectives!
If you are feeling unstable mentally, physical or even financially please reach out to a friend or family member for help. If you have an EAP program at work reach out ! These tools are available to you and your family members...please use them. Do not feel alone in this as we are all together and connected more than we know.
Coming out on the other side of COVID-19 we may realize that we may not need all the things we thought were essential items. And the things we thought were non essential seem to now be essential. Returning ‘Back To The Basics’. We may actually change how we prioritize our priorities. Oh and yes we may actually find squeezing in a little fun in our days in the simplest of ways is “essential”.
I hope this article has provided insight, inspiration and understanding during these difficult times.
Please pray for our loved ones, family and friends, the well and sick, the front line healthcare workers, and those suffering the trauma of COVID-19.
Thank you Diane! If you need guidance on how to meditate or wish to talk to Diane or myself about stress management techniques we are available at firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane is a Registered Yoga Alliance Instructor. Her teachings includes breath work and mindfulness to promote relaxation and stress reduction.