Mindfulness is important every day of your life. But it has never been more true than it is now during this time of isolation and world change. There is no doubt that this is a very challenging time for everyone. But it is very important to keep your mental, emotional, and physical health at the forefront and do whatever it takes to stay healthy at home.
Isolation can eat away at your wellbeing. It is insidious and can catch you by surprise. That is why mindfulness is extremely necessary.
What does mindfulness mean? It is basically bringing your awareness to this moment in time and paying attention to what your mind, body and emotions are telling you.
For people who are alone right now, it is important for you to reach out to others. Video chat with friends or family members, or call someone on the phone, even if you don’t feel like it, because you need it and so do they.
Sometimes you think you are fine but what you are really doing is just distracting yourself from what you are really experiencing. This is especially true for people who are caregivers to others. Whether you are a parent or someone who takes care of their parents or other family members, you think about what the people you are responsible for are needing at any given moment. Always jumping from one situation to the next keeping yourself busy. But how often do you check in with yourself to see what you need?
This doesn’t have to take up a lot of time, it just needs you to be brutally honest about what it is you find. Take a moment, even if it is just when you go to the bathroom. Sit and think about what your body is feeling. Are your shoulders drawn up and tight? Do you have pain anywhere? Those can be just physical issues, but they can also be signs that you are holding on to stress and trauma that you need to deal with.
Do you have trouble getting your mind to calm enough for you to even take stock of what is going on in your body? That might mean you are not handling your stress well and your mind is trying to distract you from facing the fact that you need to take some time for yourself.
One would think that during this time where stores and theaters are closed, and many people are either out of a job or working from home that it would be easy to take time to take care of yourself. But if you are a parent whose children are at home, or someone who is looking out for the welfare of others, you are just as busy as ever, just in new and different ways. So be kind to yourself. Make sure you check in with yourself every day and do something that makes you smile, even if it is only for a few minutes. Watch a show that makes you laugh, read a chapter in your favorite book, or listen to music that releases the tension in your shoulders.
You can’t take care of those you love if you aren’t taking care of yourself first.
Do whatever you need to do to stay safe and healthy at home.