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Mindfulness Exercises for Tough Times

Tough times are a part of life, but the COVID-19 pandemic is certainly a new twist. Try these mindfulness exercises to help you find moments of calm among the chaos.

Start Fresh 

Instead of focusing on prior or future events, concentrate on what you’re doing now. Pay attention to each bite of your breakfast—its taste, smell, temperature and texture. Are you eating fast or slow?  

When brushing your teeth, how do the bristles feel against your gums? How does the toothpaste taste and smell? Continue to notice your senses, movements, breath, thoughts, and feelings as you shower, changes clothes and do other tasks.

Take Breaks

Whether you have four minutes or 40, use them to sit quietly. Take slow, deep breaths in and out. Notice how your breathing and body feel. 

What do you hear? What thoughts and emotions are you having? Acknowledge these distractions, then let them go without labeling them as good or bad. Gently return your attention to your breath each time your mind wanders. 

Move On

Already a mood booster, going for walks outdoors can be a good time to practice mindfulness. Feel your feet touching and leaving the ground. Notice your breathing, pace and posture. What do you see and hear around you? 

Relax and Leave the Day Behind

Lie in bed comfortably with a pillow under your head. Breathe deeply several times. Slowly bring your attention to a specific body part, such as your foot, stomach or head. Continue deep breathing as you become aware of each sensation in that body part. 

As with other sensations, briefly acknowledge and accept any pain or discomfort you feel. When your mind wanders, gently refocus on your body. Take the time to scan your entire body in this manner. 

Focus on the present moment, without judging it, to help manage your worries, emotions and stress.