For many of us, the past 2-3 weeks have been anything but normal. With the COVID-19 virus on the rise, and local government rules and regulations changing daily, it is no surprise that most of us are experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety. Many of us have been mandated to work from home, our children’s schools have closed, we’ve been told to practice social distancing, and certain foods and household products have become scarce. These, along with a slew of other concerns have found their way into our daily life and threatened to jeopardize our mental health.
One way to help offset these higher levels of stress and anxiety, is to practice meditation. According to liveanddare.com, meditation is a mental exercise that involves relaxation, focus, and awareness. Meditation can be done individually or in a group setting. And while it is important to set aside time for self-care, getting your family involved could potentially provide them with some much needed de-stressing along with some family time. In addition, several benefits of meditation include reduction in depression, stress, anxiety, and it even assists with mood regulation, and building resilience, according to positivepsychology.com. In children, meditation can help boost self-esteem, motivation, develop empathy, and improve attention span. There is no need to overthink or spend a lot of time preparing; just find a comfortable spot if practicing individually, or an ample space in your home to fit your family. Begin by finding a comfortable place to sit, close your eyes, and make sure to focus on your breathing. If you’re just starting out, begin by meditating for 5 minutes at a time. Then, gradually increase that time to 10 minutes, and then 15 minutes. I suggest utilizing a meditation app or any of the available videos on YouTube, to practice guided meditation. Many of the videos and apps have the option of incorporating music, which for some helps them keep focused and relaxed during the process. There are even videos specifically for children that any parent can enjoy and participate in.
With so many different variations, and the encouragement to make meditating your own, it’s no surprise why many individuals incorporate it into their daily routine.
Helpful Links to get you started: