The COVID-19 Pandemic is creating stress on many levels. Several families with young children are trying to figure out how to balance the demands of working and parenting/homeschooling from home, all while physically isolated from the peers and support circles we typically lean on. In addition, information is flying around at a rapid pace these days, and if you are feeling overwhelmed by all of this – please know that you are NOT ALONE. While we cannot control everything in our environments, especially right now, we can address our stress levels to help us regain a sense of balance.
At Building Bright Futures, our team regularly practices mindfulness and we start every staff meeting with a short guided meditation. Our mindfulness practice helps us get grounded before we begin our conversations, it reminds us to be present, and it keeps us focused on the tasks at hand. Daily mindfulness breaks are proving to be ever-so-important for our team right now, and we’d like to share a guided meditation (recently used to open a BBF State Advisory Meeting) with you to help you tap into your mind body connection and take a break from the stress, fears, or worries you might be experiencing.
Click Here to Listen or follow this guided meditation script:
Sit in a comfortable position – close your eyes if possible – find your breath.
Let your thoughts come and let them go…imagine them floating away.
Come back to your breath. It is deep? Is it shallow?
Notice the rise and fall of the breath within your body that occurs with every breath.
Try to elongate your breath – Take in an audible breath in through the nose for a count of 4, and release it out through the mouth for 4….repeat this a few times.
Do a quick body scan. Are you holding any tension in your body? Maybe your neck or back? Send breath to that area, noticing if the tension releases.
Let your thoughts come and go…come back to your breath.
Now shifting to the present moment, repeat this manta in your head.
“May I be happy, may I be present, may I be peaceful.”
Then, when you are ready, switch to:
“May you be happy, may you be present, may you be peaceful.”
Lastly make the shift to:
“May all beings be happy, may all beings be present, may all beings be peaceful.”
Let us end with a quote, “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” (Thich Nhat Hanh)
Now Smile – and open your eyes.
(meditation adapted from https://40aprons.com/5-minute-meditation-for-holiday-stress/)
Make time to center your mind and body as we navigate the days and weeks ahead together. These are trying times. It’s reasonable to feel stressed right now. We are all feeling it. Remember, it’s ok to take a break when you feel overwhelmed. You may consider practicing mindfulness daily, perhaps add it to your calendar or set reminders so you don’t forget. The more you practice, the easier it will become to tap into a sense of well-being and calm. As you become more comfortable, try to practice mindfulness breaks with your family, friends, and co-workers. Invite others to lead so that everyone shares the benefits (kids will love this!)
Be kind to yourself. Balance can be found by being present.
Below are a few additional free mindfulness resources:
SFP 97: Mindfulness for Kids [with Jessica from Lily Pad Yoga]