Maintaining mindfulness in the wait for new beginnings
As you start to plan for a slow and steady return to normal life, you may quickly realise how easy it can be to neglect the small things that bring us calm and contentment. So if you’re in need of a balance refresh today, pick one of the following to focus on and restore your inner harmony.
1. Finding joy in the everyday
Think back to the very start of 2020 and you may recall agonising over how little time you spent at home - or how much time was spent rushing from one place to another. You might struggle to remember small acts of kindness from a world pre-Covid, or the wonders of nature such as the colour of a gorgeous sunset or birdsong in the morning.
While we may no longer feel these small things are necessary - we’ve been forced to appreciate them for so long and now there is finally more to look forward to! - it’s important to still tune into every day pleasures. These smaller tokens of joy are no less true and certainly no less beneficial to your wellbeing than they were 12 months ago.
2. Separating life from work
For many, one of the most challenging aspects of the last 12 months has been a requirement to work and live within the same four walls; achieving a work-life balance has never been more difficult.
If you’re lucky enough to have a separate room as a dedicated office space, you might find it helpful to shut the door on this room at the end of the day. Physically separating yourself from your working environment can do wonders to help you to switch off. And if you don’t have the luxury of a home office, even a 5-minute break spent in the garden or different part of the house can help to put a bit of distance between you and your desk at the end of the day.
We’ve all done more walking over the past year that we could have ever imagined, but a stroll outside in the spring air will enable you to switch off. When you get home, make an effort to change the lighting. Swap the ‘big light’ for lamps and candles - these will emit a softer glow and transform the space into one your brain recognises as relaxing.
3. Rediscovering your community
While we’ve been physically separated from our friends and family over the past year, many of us have rekindled relationships with neighbours; who can deny the strong sense of community spirit generated by clapping for carers last summer? But during winter months, it’s easier to shut ourselves off from these neighbourly interactions and many may find themselves more isolated than they’ve ever been.
Taking the time to pick up the phone to a parent you’ve not spoken to at the school gate, or an elderly neighbour from down the road, could be just the ticket for someone struggling; a small gesture that helps you to rebuild the community feeling we’ve all been missing.