Dealing With Coronavirus & Shelter-in-Place Mindfully
Spring is here for us. Let’s not neglect to notice it. New vegetation is growing, new flowers are blooming and colors are appearing everywhere. You may have heard how the Earth is having the time to rest and renew itself because it now has time to do so. Air Pollution and C02 emissions have drastically fallen and the Earth is able to take a deep breath again. It is inviting us to do the same.
Spring is a transition as with all other things in this life. Winter is over and summer is coming, we can rest in this certainty. Spring represents the renewal, rebirth and renovation of nature and we encourage you to see it as a chance for your own rebirth and renewal.
The Austin Mindfulness Center invites you to practice living the Coronavirus outbreak mindfully. Take the time that has been created for you to slow down, be aware and breathe.
Set up a Mindful Routine
Even when you are staying home it will be important to have a routine or schedule, because it helps you to have some structure in your day. Without this, it is common to lose a sense of focus and direction. Organizing your time and establishing small goals during the day can increase a sense of efficiency and productivity, which can reduce feelings of uncertainty and lead to a reduction in anxiety and depression.
To give you some ideas about where to get started, here are 5 tips for you to incorporate into your mindful daily routine:
Tip 1: Morning Meditation (10-20 Minutes)
Before eating breakfast and starting your activities, take some time to meditate. One of the greatest benefits of meditation is the reduction of stress and anxiety. If you haven’t meditated before, consider our online mindfulness course or our free on-line guided meditations. You can also contact us about our free 1:1 Introduction to meditation online sessions.
Tip 2: Inform Yourself Mindfully (20-30 Minutes)
Choose one or two reliable sources of information to inform yourself about recent local news.
After watching or reading the news, search and inform yourself about good news as well. Follow the @thegoodnewsmovement or search for good news about how the planet is benefiting from the coronavirus outbreak. Take a deep breath after informing yourself and with your mouth open exhale all of your worries. You are now informed. It can be unhelpful to continue reading the news throughout the day because it inundates your mind with problems and primes the anxious brain.
Tip 3: Self-Care
Just because you are staying at home, do not forget about your self-care routine. Start your daily routine as usual as if you were leaving for school or work. Get a shower, brush your hair, brush your teeth, dress comfortably. Prepare a nourishing breakfast and take the time to eat it without distraction. Your self-care routine will help give you a sense of normalcy and predictability. You will start your day as usual and you will be ready for the next step.
Tip 4: Stay Connected
Technology allows us to stay connected no matter where we are. If you are working at home, try to over-communicate with your team. Ask them how they are doing, if they need support or ask for help if you need it. Times like this can actually enhance our inner desire and ability to connect with others. You may have noticed this already. Use this to your advantage at this time to support your mental health.
Choose one friend, family member, or loved one to call or video call and keep in touch with them. They may also be hoping to hear from someone.
Tip 5: Keep all of it Mindful
No matter what your routine will be, keep it mindful. Every time you can remember: Take a deep breath, be aware of your surroundings, your body, and your feelings. Focus your attention on the present moment. If you notice thoughts coming in about the past (“I should have done this”, “I wish this never happened”, “I wonder how things will be if X happened”) or thoughts about the future (“What will happen if... ”, “What if I do this”, “It will be terrible if….”) notice them, let them go and focus your attention on your breath and the present moment (Describe to yourself where you are, how you are feeling, what you are doing). Inhale and Exhale. And repeat each time you notice another thought.
Try not to judge your feelings and reactions, but acknowledge them and allow them to come and go. If you feel anxious or frustrated, even sad. Allow all of these feelings to be present as they are just a natural reaction to an unnatural situation.
We wish you the best and extend care and kindness to you as you navigate this pandemic. We remind you to be kind to others and to practice compassion for those around you, but also those in our global community.
Many warm regards,
The Team at the Austin Mindfulness Center