Gerry Raftery: Ten Mindful Habits for the Present Crisis

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We are now at Phase One of reopening the country and Gerry has his final article in the series for us. 

Gerry Raftery is the Co-Ordinator of Mindfulness Programmes at Personal Milestones and shares tips on how to be resilient. 

THE World Health Organisation and the HSE recognise the need for us to take care of our Mental Health and Well-Being during this Covid-19 Pandemic.

We need to do this consciously on a daily basis. Over the past ten weeks I have written a series of articles on how Mindfulness can help us through this crisis.

I am summarising the key points of the articles in a list of ten Mindful Habits which can improve our Mental Health and Well-Being at this time. I hope you find them helpful.

 

  • Mind your Mind – Be aware of the need to take care of your own Mental Health and Well-Being. This is primarily your own responsibility. 

 

Manage your thoughts, try not to be overwhelmed by negative thinking. Notice your emotions, especially the painful ones, deal with what is real and present rather than the wild unreal imaginings which can drag you down.

 

  • Live through this crisis One Day at a Time. There is no point in constantly recounting and remembering how great things were before Covid-19 struck. Equally, there is no point in looking ahead to the potential disasters of illness, unemployment or poverty which may face us. Each day has enough challenges of its own. Live life now one Day at a Time.

 

 

  • Develop Acceptance. Though it is not easy, try to accept things as they are now. Of course, life is not as we would like it to be. Acceptance is the bridge that leads to a place of calm and to new beginnings. Use the Prayer: “Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can and Wisdom to know the difference”.

 

 

  • Be Kind and Compassionate towards yourself and towards others. We need to take extra care of ourselves. Do simple Acts of Kindness for yourself and for others. This generates something positive within us while at the same time building up those around us. Be Kind!
  • Manage Stress. While some Stress is a normal part of life, at the moment the levels of Stress can be very high. When you feel Stressed take a minute to breathe deeply in order to relax your mind and body. Be vigilant and try to avoid unnecessary stressful triggers, whether they are thoughts, people or places.

 

 

  • Mindful Moments. Take occasional moments during your day when you become aware of yourself and what is happening around you. Breathe Deeply. Listen. Notice. These Mindful Moments can enrich your day and help you find calm.

 

 

  • Go for a Walk. Take some physical exercise during your day. Find the exercise which suits you and make it part of your daily routine. While exercise is very good for the body it also relaxes the mind and helps us to manage and reduce our Stress levels.

 

 

  • Practice Gratitude. Without a doubt this simple exercise can be one of the most beneficial of our day. Towards the end of your day call to mind five experiences or moments from your day for which you feel Grateful. This Gratitude Exercise helps you to focus on what is good and beautiful in your life.

 

 

  • Meditation. Schedule a daily Meditation time where you sit down for ten or twenty minutes and simply focus on your breath and your breathing. Your mind will wander quickly and often. When it does, gently return to the Breath and the Breathing. This Meditation may appear difficult but it is easier than you think. There are many good Apps available, Try Headspace or Calm.

 

 

  • Stop and Think, avoid reacting impulsively or thoughtlessly to people or events. Take a deep breath before saying or doing something. Respond rather than React. Remember, “Between the Stimulus and the Response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Vicktor Frankl.

 

Take Care of Yourselves and of One Another.