There’s no denying it: our world and our lives have changed. The coronavirus pandemic is calling into question everything we once relied on. It’s upending a way of life that once felt so secure and certain that many of us never even thought to question it, let alone to imagine what our lives would be like without it.
The pandemic is doing more than that, however. It’s also giving us an opportunity. As the world takes a pause and we shrink our lives down to its barest essentials, we learn what matters most. Now is the ideal time to reevaluate our priorities.
As our lives go quiet, there will perhaps never be a more perfect moment to think about what you need and want, about the life you have been living and whether it’s truly serving you. This article will show you how to take this profound moment to reflect on your life and your happiness. It will focus on strategies for using mindfulness to help you create the life you want and deserve.
What is Mindfulness and Why Does It Matter?
Simply put, mindfulness is all about being present in the moment; taking the time to recognize where and what you are in the present rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Of course, not worrying about tomorrow is often far easier said than done, especially now that global sickness threatens not only our lives but our livelihoods. This is precisely the power of mindfulness.
Mindfulness matters most when it’s hardest to practice, not when it’s easy. It’s simple to be present when things are going well, but learning to center yourself and find calm and stillness in the present is far harder when the world’s troubles are raging at your doorstep.
When you learn to do this, however, you will find you are more focused and confident. You will also be at a far lesser risk of depression and anxiety, two of our greatest mental health threats in this era of social distancing and self-quarantine.
How Does It Work?
There are many different ways of practicing mindfulness; probably as many as there are people who are actually doing it. You should try a number of strategies to find what works best for you. What matters most is that, whatever the mindfulness techniques you use, are effective for you in helping to calm your mind, relax your body, and refocus in the present moment.
You’ll also find that what works one day may not work as well the next, so it’s a good idea to have a number of different tools in your toolbox. The best and most consistent mindfulness strategy is to make journaling a part of your nightly routine.
Journaling can help you gain some perspective on your day and enable you to clear and calm your mind as you settle down to sleep. It can also help you establish your goals and priorities for tomorrow, which will allow you to wake up feeling less stressed, unfocused, and chaotic.
Another key to mindfulness is to incorporate consistent, calming rituals throughout your day. Establish a morning routine that is relaxing, allowing you to ease into your day, rather than being driven by the alarm clock. Use your lunchtime to take a break from work and get away from your desk for a while and spend some time before bed not only in journaling, but also in finding other means to relax, from meditation and gentle exercise to a nice quiet bubble bath or a leisurely walk at sunset.
Nourishing the Body As Well As the Mind
Living a more mindful and reflective life isn’t just about tending to the mind and spirit. It’s also about nourishing the body. There has never been a better or more important time to cultivate your physical as well as your mental health than now.
As you incorporate mindfulness techniques such as journaling and meditation into your daily life, you should also focus on making sound nutrition part of your self-care routine. Preparing healthy, nutritious meals for yourself and your family can be a profoundly reflective and mindful act. After all, what could be more nurturing than feeding yourself and those you love?
You and your family’s nutritional needs will vary according to your particular health status, life stage, and other outside circumstances. The pandemic has brought the issue of preventative health to the forefront of most everyone’s mind. Chances are, you and your family are looking for strategies to help strengthen your immune system and prevent viral infections.
Consulting with a preventative health expert is a terrific idea. Nurse practitioners and nurses, for instance, can help you identify your particular risk factors and develop nutritional and fitness strategies to help you and your family stay well.
In a matter of a few short weeks, life as we’ve known it has changed, but there has never been a better time than now to cultivate a more reflective and mindful life. This will not only help you to weather the fears, anxieties, and sadnesses of life amid a global pandemic, but it will also prepare you to live a happier, more peaceful, and more fulfilling life once the storm has passed.