We all need to find mindfulness moments now more than ever. Covid-19 has changed our lives. For many of us, it feels like the world has tilted and we are struggling to find balance. While everything may be feeling out of control, we need to find simple ways to center ourselves.
One such way is by focusing on our five senses. By being mindful with our senses, we can find much needed moments of calm that allow us to continue to be our best selves for our children during these stressful times.
Taste is a wonderful sense to explore and place at the center of a mindfulness practice. Take the time to really enjoy what you are drinking and show your children how they can, too. Turn the beverages you have always loved into a ritual. For you, it might be a cup of tea, cold brew coffee, or hot chocolate. For your children, it might be juice, milk, or water flavored with different types of fruit. Take one sip and roll the beverage around in your mouth. Think about what you are tasting and how it is making you feel. Allow your sips to remind you to slow down. If you are mindful every time you have a drink, just think of how many moments of calm you will have throughout your day.
With your children at home all the time, you will probably notice more noise in your house these days, but sounds can become another way to meditate. Hearing birds chirp can lift our spirits. Listening to music that we love can lift our hearts. Other sounds, such as the ocean or rain on a rooftop, can bring you calm. Whatever mood you are in, there is music to help you express what you are feeling. So put on your favorite tunes and dance along, or put on some classical music as you work to help improve your concentration. It does not matter what you listen to, just allow yourself and your children to focus mindfully on all the sounds and music around you.
Many of us have wonderful memories associated with certain smells. Maybe the smell of fresh baking bread reminds you of cooking with a parent or the scent of a certain flower reminds you of a grandparent. Aromatherapy is the use of smells to improve both physical and mental health. It can be informal like smelling your favorite candle or more formal like the use of a wide range of essential oils, many of which are designed for children in mind. So pull out all your favorite scented objects and close your eyes to enjoy some mindful moments using your sense of smell.
You can also enjoy the powerful effects of touch to help calm yourself. Activities that relax you and your children can be as simple as placing your hand over your heart and breathing. You might also try a physical activity with your children such as yoga, cardio, or strength training to keep the blood flowing and feel less stuck in life. You might also take the time to give yourself a soothing self-massage. Rubbing your feet or shoulders may seem simple, but these small actions can bring you a deep sense of peace. And when your children are feeling out of sorts, sometimes all that is needed is a little cuddle time and affection.
It has been found that just the sight of photos of nature can help your mental well-being. If you do not have a view from your home, then look at photos from a favorite family trip or simply Google photos of nature that appeal to you. Ask your children what parts of nature they love the most. Some will find they enjoy looking at forests, some love mountains, and others prefer beaches or underwater scenes. You might be afraid that looking at such pictures will make you miss them more, but in reality it is important for your mental health. With the wonders of the internet, you are able to see places and cultures you might never have the chance to visit in person. Discover more ways to connect to nature.
What are your favorite mindfulness activities?