Practicing Mindfulness and Good Mental Health

What does practicing mindfulness mean to you? Do you do it? Or is it something that you’ve never given much thought to.

I definitely used to be in the latter category.  

But at times like these, it’s so easy to feel bogged down by everything. 

The state of the world is chaotic. And — as a result — we’re all trying to do a million and one different jobs at the same time.

Work, home schooling, housework, cooking, cleaning. Too much to do and not enough time.

Practicing Mindfulness and Good Mental Health
Practicing Mindfulness and Good Mental Health

My lovely friend Leigh, who’s a qualified life-coach, once said:

‘Stepping out of our everyday maelstrom will help us to see what’s what.’

And she’s so right.

A Clearer Perspective

I had a coaching session with Leigh, a few years ago, and we discussed so many things. As my time with her came to a close, my head felt much clearer.

It was like mentally trying to unravel a knotted and tangled ball of string. Initially, I had no idea where to even start.

But throughout the session, everything started to become a little clearer and I could see that making small changes would make the world of difference to my work/life balance.

I made promises to be a little kinder to myself — cut myself some slack — and take time-out of my working week to occasionally s.t.o.p.

At the time, we were talking about my work/life balance but — at the moment — during the Corona-Virus outbreak, practicing mindfulness seems more relevant than ever.

Practicing Mindfulness

There are so many simple things we can do to keep our mental health strong and healthy:

Take a walk.

Do some exercise.

Read a book.

Paint a picture.

Just putting aside half an hour, a couple of times a week, will ease the burden and give the brain a break; a little more clarity.

Time to Breathe and Take Stock.

Practicing Mindfulness and Good Mental Health
Practicing Mindfulness

I picked some Forget-Me-Nots a few days ago — put them in a little bottle of water and popped them on a shelf.

They’re so pretty. Papery thin; sky blue and lilac petals. Some of them tinged with blush pink or mauve. A golden eye in the centre of each flower, almost like a little star.

I decided to paint them.

I’ll never be a good painter but I love the process.

So nice to focus the mind and concentrate on the brush strokes. Lovely to watch how the paint merges with the water and settles into the paper.

Practicing Mindfulness and Good Mental Health
Practicing Mindfulness and Good Mental Health
Practicing Mindfulness
Practicing Mindfulness and Good Mental Health
Practicing Mindfulness can work wonders for the mind and soul 
Practicing Mindfulness and Good Mental Health
Reading can be calming
Practicing Mindfulness and Good Mental Health
Painting gives the mind a breather

Taking a Breather

Painting is a great way of pushing out unwanted thoughts and giving your mind a little breather.

And as I sat there, concentrating on the little flowers and their spindly stems, I thought about the last few weeks.

The world is in chaos.

But my family and friends are safe and well.

We’ve been self isolating and not able to get out.

But I’ve been able to spend time with my three favourite people.

I can’t see my family.

Not in person, but we’re lucky enough to live in an age where we can Facetime/Skype/Zoom and see and speak to our loved ones, face to face.

Granted — we have no physical contact but something is better than nothing.

Practicing Mindfulness and Good Mental Health

In tumultuous times like these, it’s so easy to catastrophise and spiral off into a vortex of worry and anxiety. But if we remember to take a few minutes out each day, to concentrate on something simple to soothe our minds.

We’ll get through this.

32 thoughts on “Practicing Mindfulness and Good Mental Health”

  1. The Forget-Me-Nots are lovely and clearly evoke so many memories too. In addition to the advice from your friend Leigh, I was recently told about a 2-minute rule where if you’re having ‘ruminative thoughts’ where you’re getting yourself in a tiss/anxious give yourself 2 minutes to see if you can find a solution and if there isn’t one that comes to mind, make a conscious effort to move on and become distracted so it can’t lower your mood any further. I know it’s easier said than done at times but it can offer some breathing space and help us accept that we can’t always find a solution x

  2. Thanks so much Kay — that’s such a useful thing to know!! Thanks so much for sharing — I’m definitely going to try it, the next time I’m feeling a bit stressed out about things! xx

  3. They’re so pretty! Don’t think I’ve ever come across them before. And your little water colour paintings are just as pretty. And I’m sorry to hear they brought back memories of your Nana and Grandad’s passing but hopefully it brought back some happy memories as well. x #HomeEtc

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