The beauty and art of mindfulness
Mindfulness. It is something we are all born with, but as life goes on, we lose track of time and sometimes ourselves. I am definitely guilty of this, as I have dealt with anxiety for a good chunk of my life, especially as I’ve gotten older. Many of us have discovered that mindfulness is a simplistic yet beautiful way to calm us down and make us feel more at peace, and as quarantine was a time we were forced to isolate and reflect, I’ve decided to share some of the mindfulness tips that have helped me cope with life as it goes on, and life surely never stops or slows down for anyone. Here are a few:
Journaling every morning... well, almost every morning.
Journaling is something that has been on the up and up for mental health lately, and it has several benefits. I sometimes have days where I feel too lazy or exhausted to get out a pen and paper to write down daily affirmations and focus on what I want my day to look like, but whenever I do, my day seems to be a lot more positive. You don’t always have to do this in a physical journal, though! You could jot down your thoughts on your phone if you are in a rush, or even just speak them out loud to yourself. It truly has a way of calming your mind before your day - busy or not - starts.
Wake up early!
This goes with my previous tip; wake up early and go outside! As a college student, I know that this one can be tough with the late nights and heavy workload from school, but breathing in the fresh air bright and early in the morning has spectacular benefits to the mind. It’s quite beautiful how something so simple can make your day that much better. Plus, starting early and energized can only lead to more productivity throughout your day, so, as much as you can, try to get a good night's sleep so that you can wake up early and start your day off in the freshest way possible.
Practice yoga and/or stretching.
Personally, yoga has been a game changer for my mental health, specifically hot yoga, though I know that is not everyone’s cup of tea. Back home, I would go every week, if not more, before the pandemic hit. Since then, I’ve learned to practice at home, and let me tell you: starting my day off with any sort of stretching and/or yoga has allowed me to feel more energized, flexible and ready to take on my day more than ever. A local hot yoga place I’m dying to try is Sterling Hot Yoga here in Lexington, as well as the yoga classes at our very own sponsor Studio 11! You may see me there soon...
Something you’re stressed about? Walk it out.
This is one I’ve learned through trial and error amidst the pandemic. Naturally, I stressed about what was happening in the world all while I was still a senior in high school. I decided one day to take a walk, and soon enough that became a daily routine of mine. Walking with my AirPods in listening to my favorite podcasts, I found myself significantly de-stressed, so I recommend this to anyone who will listen. Whenever you are stressed, walk! Explore your neighborhood, walk to a favorite store, to the park or anywhere you’d like, and I guarantee you will feel more peaceful and rejuvenated. Make sure to stay safe while doing so.
Create a solid routine.
As humans, I think it's safe to say that we like security. We all want to feel secure within ourselves, and I firmly believe a solid morning routine can make one feel just that much more confident. My skincare routine is my prized possession. I love to get up and wash my face right away. I also use a cold face roller which wakes me up, because trust me, I am not a morning person. Then after that, I drink some lemon water or matcha or coffee and try to be outside for a little bit and maybe read or write.
As simple as these tips may seem, I challenge you to incorporate at least two into your day! My only hope is that it will make you feel that much more secure, confident and at peace with your mind, and help you conquer your day like a boss.