For those struggling with long term illness and mental health conditions, its normal to feel scared, worried and anxious during these times. The things that keep us stable and balanced such as routines and social interactions have been halted. More than ever its time to look after our mental health and feel balanced in a difficult time. Throughout this period, I’ve drawn on my own experiences of mindfulness and self-help for coping with mental illness.
I recently accessed the free Breathworks course for troubling times, a self-help tool to help us get through times of worry, panic, fear and coping strategies to help with being isolated. The course is self-paced and more like a guide to help us live mindfully.
My Tips For Coping With Isolation
- Self Hugging Practice- In such a lonely time and having to avoid contact, taken from Breathworks is a self hugging practice. In the morning when you wake up or before bed, raise your arms to the side and bring your arms gently into a hug. It helps to visualise a sense of warmth or even practice to some soft music. I like the playlist rise and shine from the conscious collective.
- Treasure of Pleasure – A practice inspired by Breathworks. Becoming aware of the small pleasures couldn’t be any more valuable right now. Just wander your attention around the room or ( in your garden while the weather is so beautiful) Become aware of something in the room, tuning into the five senses, what colours can you see, what’s the texture like. Explore for 15 seconds.
- Mindful Movement- It’s easy to become more immobile at home, as our normal routines are shaken. Tune into a mindful movement practice, it’s a gentle set of movements to ease stiffness and tension. Try gentle wrist rotations, tuning into how the fingers move to the breath, allow the breath to guide your movement. Tune into some gentle music to help with flow.
- Wandering Mind Practice – Adapted from Breathworks. During times of isolation our minds begin to worry, anxious thoughts can take over our precious moments. Try a body scan to tune into how your body is responding to thoughts. Be gentle with yourself it is natural for the mind to wander into thoughts. Just let them pass by like clouds crossing the sky.
The Conscious Collective Facebook Group
‘The Conscious Collective’ is an online Facebook group run by conscious communications and love and light shala yoga, the two lovely sisters Gabriella and Amelia Buxton. It is a space for women to share wisdom. I recently wrote the above article for their new weekly newsletter that allows members to submit something inspiring, encouraging on topics such as self-help, personal development or wellbeing. The above playlists are from the Amelia Buxton on Spotify.