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One year into Covid

Learning to be Mindful in an Autopilot world.

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I cannot believe we are into March!

A whole year since the start of the first Covid patient in New York Presbyterian hospital. I also cannot forget 3/13 the day my husband was diagnosed with COVID-19.

The good news is we have a new president, who seems to take Covid seriously, we also have started vaccinations and I am hoping to God, that everyone can get this much needed vaccine.

The bad news is this virus is not planning to go away and we have to change the way we live to be safe for ourselves and others around us.

Masking, staying away from major crowds especially indoors is needed to lower the infections.

In this post, I want to talk about how we can take care of our emotional and physical health, regardless of what the situation is around us.

We may not be able to control many things that are happening but the good news is we can control how we react to what we hear and see.

That is what being resilient means, being able to bounce back from stressful situations and adversity by learning and growing from the event.

Two skills that can help build our resiliency and have played a huge role in my personal and professional life are, Mindfulness and Self care.

I talked about Self-Care in my last blog, today I want to talk about the power of being mindful daily.

Let me start by distinguishing the difference between meditation and mindfulness.

Meditation is a formal seated practice and mindfulness is the ability to be present in any situation.

I have tried to meditate for years as the benefits are numerous and the practice is evidence based, but unfortunately I have still not been able to successfully adopt this practice and be consistent. This last year, I offered myself self compassion and accepted that meditation is not for everyone!

That being said, practicing mindfulness is also an evidence based practice that has benefits.

To really explain mindfulness, I would like to give you my personal story.

Most of my life, I have also been called hyper and scatter brained and I just accepted that was who I was but this last year when I started Health and well-being coaching, things changed.

One of the most important skills of coaching is being mindful and I realized before teaching others I had to model it in my own life.

I was under the assumption that being mindful when I practiced yoga was enough but that is where I was mistaken, yoga is beneficial for mind and body but mindfulness, can be done any where anytime and can take from a few seconds to as long as you want.

Being mindful means paying attention to the task at hand. Being intentional in whatever you are doing. We spend more than fifty percent of our day on autopilot, thinking about the past or about the future and we rarely pay attention to the present moment. Our whole day goes by going from one thing to another and by the time it’s night we sleep and the next day it’s the same all over again.

Mindfulness can be practiced throughout the day, some ideas to help you start:

Mindful in your daily tasks, paying attention to the simple things like taking a shower and feeling the water on your body and smell the soap to brushing your teeth or washing the dishes. The more you pay attention, the greater chance you will enjoy the activity.

Mindful Movement is where I really practice MF, when I walk on the streets instead of talking on the phone or listening to anything, I pay attention to what is around me and try to notice things that I have never seen. This practice allows me to really enjoy my walk and when I finish, I feel like I have noticed so many things that I never paid attention to.

Mindful listening is an important skill for a coach as listening to the other person, without being distracted or thinking about the next thing that we want to say, takes away from the speaker. MF listening allows the speaker to fill validated, which can help relationships.

Mindful eating is a necessity as we are constantly surrounded by food and and its commercials. Most of the time, we eat while distracted. When you don’t pay attention, there is a greater chance you eat with your emotions and tend to overeat or not realize what you are eating. Mindfulness helps you make wise decisions and allow us to be aware of hunger and satiety.

The power and benefits of mindfulness are evidence based and the best thing is that being present can helps us focus on ourselves.

In this 24/7 hyper connected world, where we are going from one task to another, we need time to take a long deep breath and just enjoy the moment at hand.

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