Self care week tips – mindfulness

Date: 16 November 2017

This year’s self care week takes place from November 13-19 and the theme is embracing self care for life. The aim is to help you stay healthy for your whole life.

Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing.

Some people call this awareness “mindfulness” – and it’s thought that practising mindfulness can help us to enjoy life more.

How to be more mindful

Reminding yourself to take notice of your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you is the first step to mindfulness.

Notice the everyday

Take time to experience the sensations of things – such as the food you eat or air brushing across your body as you walk.

Keep it regular

It can be helpful to pick a regular time to be aware of the sensations created by the world around you.

Try something new

Trying new things, such as sitting in a different seat in meetings or going somewhere new for lunch, can also help you notice the world in a new way.

Watch your thoughts

Thoughts and worries can crowd your mind, but it’s helpful to let them pass. This can be difficult, but with a little practise, it does get easier. Try a light activity such as walking to help you.

Name thoughts and feelings

To develop an awareness of thoughts and feelings, some people find it helpful to silently name them: “Here’s the thought that I might fail that exam” or “This is anxiety”.

Free yourself from the past and future

You can practise mindfulness anywhere, but it can be especially helpful to take a mindful approach if you realise that, for several minutes, you have been trapped in reliving past problems or “pre-living” future worries.

Different mindfulness practices

As well as practising mindfulness in daily life, it can be helpful to set aside time for a more formal mindfulness practice. Mindfulness meditation involves sitting silently and paying attention to thoughts, sounds, the sensations of breathing or parts of the body, bringing your attention back whenever the mind starts to wander.