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Mindfulness - girl doing yoga

Keep Calm: Some Mindfulness techniques you can do at home

Please note: All of the information in our posts and articles is accurate and correct at the time it was published. As the Covid-19 situation evolves, our advice might change. We will be frequently publishing new, up-to-date articles and advice, to reflect this.

This is a strange and stressful time. We’re all cooped up in our homes and seperated from our loved ones. If you’re also going through the painful and difficult task of postponing your wedding, you might be feeling particularly anxious or sad.

So, we thought we’d share a couple of our favourite mindfulness excercises to help you feel calm and at ease. Mindfulness is about being present in the moment and giving yourself some space and time to breathe. This can be difficult in times when things feel like they’re out of your control, but a few calming techniques like this can bring you back to the present moment, allowing you to focus on the important things – like the reasons why you’re getting married.  

Before we start, find a place that is quiet and comfortable without any distractions.  During these exercises, try to concentrate on your breathing, in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Each set of exercises should take just a couple of minutes.   

1. The Leaf 

This exercise is ideal for helping you to stop dwelling on the worries or concerns you’re dealing with.

Go outside and pick up a leaf.  If you can’t do that, imagine a leaf in your mind as you do these exercises – you can close your eyes if you find it easier.  

Think about the edges of the leaf, are they sharp or smooth?  

Think about the colour of the leaf. There’s no one colour to it, see all the colours. Is it green, yellow, brown?  Are there hints of purple or orange?  What colour do you see the most, what colour do you like the most?  

Hold the leaf up to the light – what can you see?  Can you see the veins of the leaf?  Imagine you can see the tiny photosynthesised particles making their way down those veins into the centre of the leaf.   

As you look at your leaf, and you breathe in and out, imagine the leaf moving gently in time with your breathing, in and out, in and out.   

Hold the leaf in your hand, imagine that it has all the worries and stresses you are thinking about on it, name each worry in your mind and place it on the leaf.   

Holding your leaf, when you’re ready, open your eyes. Put down your leaf with all your worries on it outside and leave it behind.  (If you’re using your imagination, imagine your leaf is as light as a feather, then let it go and blow away the leaf with all your worries on it.)  

2. In The Moment

This short exercise is great for staying grounded and present when you’re feeling overwhelmed.  

  • If it’s safe to do so, close your eyes and take a deep breath.  
  • Take 5 deep breaths to steady your breathing: in through your nose and out through your mouth.  
  • Continuing to breathe steadily, we’re going to focus on what you’re feeling using your senses.  Are you standing or are you sitting?  Feel what your body feels, starting with your toes, all the way up to your head.   
  • Now open your eyes and take a look around.  Hear the noise around you and connect the sounds to what you can see.   
  • Take 5 deep breaths again to steady your breath in the moment.  

By focusing on the moment you are in, you allow yourself to stay grounded in the present rather than overwhelmed by past or future concerns.  

3. Self-Compassion Mindfulness

When we are faced with lots to do, we often don’t focus on how we feel.  Giving ourselves some space for this will help us process and prioritise our next steps.  

  • If it’s safe to do so, close your eyes and take a deep breath.  
  • Take 5 deep breaths to steady your breath: in through your nose and out through your mouth.  
  • Continuing to breathe steadily, we’re going to focus on what you’re feeling emotionally.  
  • Place your hand on your head – what are you thinking about?  What is worrying you?  Acknowledge those worries by saying “I am worried about…” and then naming the worry.   
  • Place your hand on your chest by your heart – what do you love?  What is important to you?  Acknowledge the things that matter by saying “I love…” or “… is important to me”.  Name the things that count.  
  • Now that you have named the worries and named the important things, wrap your arms around your body (like a hug) and say to yourself “I am allowed to be worried about … and I am allowed to care about …”.  Name the things you have acknowledged already.   
  • You’ve accepted you’re allowed to feel.  Now you need to provide space to feel.  Say to yourself “I feel… about this”.  This is naming how you feel.   
  • Finally, now that you have acknowledged that you are feeling, named it and expressed where the emotions are coming from, it’s now time to give yourself the chance to move forward.  Taking 5 more deep breaths, say to yourself one of these phrases which resonates with you most (or find your own):  
    • May I be kind to myself about…  
    • May I be happy with where I am and what I have planned for…. 
    • May I be strong when… 
    • May I learn to live with my experience of … 
    • May I find peace with… 
    • May I have patience with… 
    • May I set healthy boundaries and protect myself from … 
    • May I be thankful for … 

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