With the past year of going in and out of partial lockdowns in Singapore, you may be feeling both frustrated and bored.
And, while mindfulness practice has been shown time and again to have amazing benefits for one’s mental health, the pressure of staying home can make it feel like that’s just one more thing on the to-do list.
But Tanja Faessler, the Founder and Director at Counsellingconnectz, says it is precisely during these challenging times that this type of self-care helps most. “Mindfulness teaches us a double lesson – not just to be resilient, but to find more joy and appreciation in the good things,” she explains.
Here, Tanja gives three tips to harness the healing powers of mindfulness, based on her experience in helming a holistic counselling service for couples and families, and with a speciality in fertility issues.
1. Reacquaint yourself with the now
It’s easy to get lost in past regrets and future worries. Therefore, focusing on the present is an important step in grounding yourself, despite everything that’s going on around you. “We simply need to meet the moment, as it is,” Tanja says.
Check out the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 technique: First, be still and notice five things you see. Then, become aware of four things you can hear, three things you can feel, two things you can smell and one thing you can taste. It’s as simple as hearing the birds outside, feeling the texture of the cushion you’re sitting on, and tasting the lingering morning coffee on your tongue. “By grounding your senses this way, you pull your mind away from anxious rumination,” Tanja explains, “and bring it gently into the only place that is real: the here and now.”
2. Become aware of life’s rhythms
Despite the partial lockdowns feeling endless and cyclical at times, your life continues to flow and change constantly. It’s why routine and structure become more crucial than ever. A simple breathing exercise may be what you need. Take quiet time in the morning to tune in to your breath, and notice if there’s tension in your body or anxiety in your mind. Let it all go with each exhale. No agenda, no judgment, just presence.
3. Try acceptance and compassion
“Acceptance is a powerful shift in perspective that opens us up to an alternative: self-compassion,” shares Tanja. Sure, you might feel under-accomplished in Zoom school or work, or feeling guilty for grabbing comfort food. But, instead of self-blame, switch your focus to self-care. Give yourself the space to heal and focus on yourself, even if that means letting go of strict diets (who needs that anyway?). “If we pay loving attention to our body’s needs, we can support and care for it,” Tanja concludes.
Feel that talking to a counsellor might help? Email the expert team at Counsellingconnectz.
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