4. Be mindful
We’ve all seen the word mindfulness thrown around a lot, but what does it actually mean? Mindfulness really just means focusing on what is happening in the moment (and not what is going to happen, or might happen, in the future). As Professor Mark Williams, the former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre explains “An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of a banister as we walk upstairs.”
Mindful activities might include doing yoga, reading a book, having a relaxing bath, or stroking a pet. Focus on the weight of the book in your hand, or the feeling of fur beneath your fingers. Mindful activities could also include doing something fun with friends or family. It really just encompasses appreciating the present, and trying not to worry about the future.
Creating a mindful routine can be helpful: go for a walk at a specific time each day, or see a friend for a coffee at the same time each week. An awareness of mindfulness can also help us identify when we are feeling stressed, or anxious, and therefore take action.
Mindful stretching is easy, and can help you to relax. MoodJuice has a 30-minute audio guide to help.
Headspace offers a 10-day free trial which guides you through meditation and mindfulness techniques.