5 Mindful Practices as We Move Into Spring

Articles

By Eunice Yu

Published On: Feb 25, 2022

Last Updated On: Feb 28, 2022

Let’s face it. We’re busy. Whether it’s taking care of someone else or taking care of a work task, it seems like there’s less and less time left in the day to take care of you.

But with spring right around the corner, I’m here to remind you that giving your mental headspace priority matters! It’s important to practice a level of self-care that reaches beyond just your physical body or your physical flare.

Mindfulness comes from within

It’s an obtainable practice of being both internally and externally open and aware of what’s happening in the present. Mindful practices (like the ones listed below) have been proven to reduce stress and improve both physical and mental health.

1) Breathe

A single breath can go a long way.

If you ever catch yourself feeling overwhelmed, on edge of blowing a short fuse, anxious, stressed out or experiencing difficulty resisting an itch … use this “3 counts in 5 counts out” breathing strategy.

Inhale for 3, 2, 1. Hold your breath. Exhale out for 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Repeat.

You’ll be amazed at how quickly your body responds to the control of oxygen to your nervous system.

2) Move

Some of us need the tangible output of physical activity in order to feel. Simple movement is medicine enough. Incorporate a few gentle stretches – like these – into your day. Take a walk. Play your favorite song and dance!

However you prefer to move, commit to giving yourself this five to 15 minute break every day!

3) Create rituals

Now, don’t let the word scare you off. In this context, I simply want you to create a routine with yourself. Implementing a sustainable ritual into your day to day can nurture your soul.

Your ritual can be as simple as:

  • lighting a candle and reading for 10 minutes before bed;
  • taking a bath on Sundays;
  • tea time in your favorite chair every morning.

Begin to notice the joy and gratitude in each ritual you have with yourself as moments of self-care!

4)  Practice a daily mantra

A mantra is a repeated word or phrase used as a tool to manifest your intention. Begin your day with a mantra. Repeat it to yourself throughout the day. You might be surprised by how quickly you notice the subtle shifts in your mindset and perspective that come with adopting this simple (yet proven) practice into your lifestyle.

Here are some mantras you can pick up:

“I am well.”

“I attract the life I deserve.” 

“My skin is enough.”

Mantras are endless, many of which you can find in text and online. You can also make up your own if you feel called to.

5) Meditate

Simply put, meditation is about awareness, presence and perspective. It’s a powerful skill you can train and build over time. Meditation has been proven to relieve and alleviate pain, reduce brain chatter and improve memory and focus.

Apps like Headspace and Daily Calm are great starting points for your practice with free uploads like this for you to try with meditations as short as 30 seconds or as long as an hour.

Settle into a mindful yoga nidra session like this one I recorded for NEA last year, or access a replay of an Expo meditation or yoga session.

If you want a more thorough breakdown of how to incorporate meditation into your daily practice, I like Mindful.org. Mindfulness isn’t just a one stop shop! Consistency is key. If one or two of these practices call out to you, try them out. Notice how it makes you feel. Hold onto what serves you, let go of what does not! With practice and purpose you might just find a silver lining of relief and light in the midst of this winter season!

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