To say that COVID-19 has been an emotional roller coaster is an understatement.
While you’re busy juggling working at home your mind may be playing a constant chatter of anxiety.
Now, for a moment, try to forget all of that. Breathe in and out a few times. If your mind wanders, just notice that, accept that your mind has wandered, and refocus on your breathing.
That’s the basis concept of mindfulness. It’s an approach to dealing with stress that can help combat the stressors of the day.
Here are 2 approaches that can be effective to combat the stressors of the day from start to finish.
Start your day off in the right way
Researchers have found that we release the most stress hormones within minutes after waking.
Because thinking of the day ahead triggers our fight-or-flight instinct and releases cortisol into our blood.
Instead, try this:
When you wake up, spend two minutes in your bed simply noticing your breath.
Maybe use a count to 10 and then reverse back to 1.
So breathing in you mentally say ‘1’ and breathing out mentally connect with the outbreath. Then ‘2’ on the in breath. then feel the quality of the out breath.
Notice how the breath feels.
Is it rushed or is it relaxed? As thoughts about the day pop into your mind, let them go and return to your breath.
The importance of schedule performance breaks
As the day progresses and your brain starts to tire, mindfulness can help you stay sharp and avoid poor decisions.
After lunch, set a timer on your phone to ring every hour. When the timer rings, cease your current activity and do one minute of mindfulness practice.
This could be as simple as acknowledging your senses:
- What can I see?
- What can I hear?
- What can I feel?
- What can I smell?
- What can I taste?
These mindful performance breaks will help keep you from resorting to autopilot and lapsing into action addiction.
We all need those primers and circuit breakers to keep us present in the here and now.
Incorporating these 2 simple mindfulness practices during your day will go a long way to breaking the habitual patterns of stress and anxiety in your working day.
Let me know how you go.