Currently, most of the world is in quarantine. Our everyday reality has changed completely, and with about a month in quarantine mode behind us, anxiety and stress levels are constantly rising. And after a month at home in quarantine, constantly being stressed and anxious, I’m sure that you are struggling very hard with deciding what to do with yourself and how to manage stress and anxiety. And, although this situation might seem like something to be simply endured, and hope that your mental wellbeing will endure as well – it doesn’t have to be that way.
Over the years, I struggled a lot with stress and anxiety, and out of everything that I have tried to overcome it, mindfulness has helped me the most! The beauty of mindfulness is that you can apply it all day every day, regardless of whether you are busy working or stuck at home in quarantine. Also, there are countless activities that can be done mindfully, even writing a simple to-do list can turn into a mindful activity - if you understand what mindfulness is and what mindfulness isn’t.
What Is Mindfulness?
One of the biggest misconceptions about being mindful is that to be mindful you have to set aside a time of your day to practice mindfulness. Usually, when someone mentions mindfulness the very first thing that comes to mind is meditating. And this is partially true. Meditation is an excellent way to become more mindful in life; however, the very understanding of how mindfulness works is completely wrong. I struggled so much when I tried to become more mindful, simply because I misunderstood the very concept of what mindfulness is.
You have to understand and accept that mindfulness is not an activity that you practice at specific parts of the day. Mindfulness is a practice that shows you how life should be. It’s a practice that grounds you in the present moment, making you completely aware of yourself, your surroundings, of everything that happens in this very moment – because now, right now you are alive.
Everything else, the past, the future, they are just thoughts and concepts of a time when you were alive, or of a time where you could be alive. In reality, they are just thoughts crossing through your mind, while the present is happening now, you exist now, you breathe now, you are alive right now. You can do anything now!
Mindfulness is a way of life that allows you to live your life fully, into every moment and every day, without looking for an escape of everyday life through autopilot mode, or constantly remembering the past. It’s an awareness of being alive. Once you realize the beauty of being alive, stress and anxiety seem like distant memories.
Of course, since we have been little we were taught by our surroundings that autopilot mode, and indulging in worries of the past and the future were completely normal, so even after years of practicing mindfulness in my everyday life I sometimes still struggle with stress and anxiety. However, by being more aware of what I can and can’t control through mindfulness, and applying mindfulness techniques when these situations occur, stress and anxiety melt away.
The 5 Best Home Activities To Become More Mindful
The best thing about mindfulness is that to practice it, you simply have to be aware of the present moment. You can do this any day, all day at any given moment, regardless of what you are doing or where you are at the moment. Of course, at first, it can be hard to do so because I as I said earlier, even since we were little we were taught otherwise.
However, the second-best part about mindfulness is that mindfulness can be achieved through any activity and not just through meditation (although meditation helps immensely!). Today I am sharing with you 5 simple activities that you can transform into mindfulness activities and techniques to harness mindfulness, and remain calm at home while in quarantine:
Taking A Mindful Bath
Taking a bath might not seem like a mindful activity, however, you can transform it into being one. You can set up the atmosphere, by lighting some of your favorite candles, adding bath salts to the water and setting up crystals around you. Then submerge yourself in the water and focus on the warmth of the water on your body. This can help you to increase self-awareness that can help you remain in the present moment.
Focus on the warmth of your body, how the water feels against your skin, how you feel, and take deep breaths. Simply, enjoy the moment of your aliveness!
With the current situation, when you hear the news, a flash of instant panic, fear, stress, and anxiety can overwhelm you. In such moments of very stressful situations, I bet that mindfulness is the last thing on your mind. However, if you leave yourself unchecked, and indulge in increasing the stress and anxiety in your mind, you won’t improve the situation, you won’t help yourself or anyone else.
Whenever I find myself stressing out, I like to grab my Natural Aquamarine Mala which I wear on my hand like a bracelet and take a few mindful breaths along with it. Aquamarine has been one of the very first crystals that I worked with when I started to learn about crystal healing, and ever since it has remained one of my favorite crystals to work with for restoring calmness.
Then, as I hold the beads, I close my eyes and I start breathing in and breathing out. I make sure I remain focused on my breaths. Then, I start by inhaling for 4 seconds, then holding my breath 4 seconds and at last exhaling for 4 seconds. I repeat this process about ten times. Then, I take very deep breaths – first filling my belly, then filling my chest, up to my throat, and then I exhale through my nose calmly. I repeat this process three times. The combination of mindful breathing and the calming energy from the Natural Aquamarine Lotus Mala helps me to calm down, and get back to a state of mindfulness right away!
If you are or aren’t an artistic person, coloring or painting can be a beautiful fun and mindful activity. If you have some coloring books in your home that were gifted to you, or you have bought them but you have never really used them, now is the perfect time to start coloring in them. On the other hand, if you don’t have a coloring book, you can also use paint and start from scratch.
Remember, the point of this activity isn’t to create a masterpiece. Rather, this activity is aimed to get in touch with yourself, how you feel, at this very moment and to express that trough coloring and painting. You can use brushes, your hands, or simply pouring the paint on your canvas and tilting the canvas to distribute the color on it.
Coloring and painting will help you remain focused on the current moment, which is the whole point of mindfulness. Furthermore, you will also get in touch with your current emotional state, and express it in a healthy, creative way.
If you feel like painting and coloring are not really for you, then I bet that you have a few favorite songs that keep popping in your mind, right? I wholeheartedly recommend that you turn the volume up – on your speakers or your headphones, make some space in your home, play your songs and dance to them.
Focus on every movement that you make, as you dance, focus on the lyrics, and simply let yourself enjoy the whole process. Mindfulness is all about grounding yourself in the present moment and feeling alive. And what could make you feel more alive than dancing to your favorite songs?
When your home is messy and overcrowded it can make you even more anxious and stressed out. Anxiety and stress often feel like a chaotic burst of thoughts that make you worry, with no beginning and no end. Seeing your home messy and cluttered can often make you more anxious and stressed out because on an unconscious level it might feel like you are seeing the physical representation of your chaotic and worry ridden mind.
Decluttering is different than tidying up and cleaning because when you declutter you get rid of everything you don’t necessarily need. It’s a conscious process in which you need to stay mindful to get through it. It’s very hard to get rid of gifts, and objects that remind you of better days, however, you also need more space to live in, especially when the clutter is triggering your stress and anxiety.
I suggest that you devote each day to decluttering a room from your home, and to get rid of anything that you don’t need. Donate clothes and objects that are still in good shape but don’t really serve their purpose to you anymore. And most importantly, stay completely mindful during the process, and don’t be swayed by memories of “I might need it in the future” excuses.
I hope that these mindfulness tips and activities will help you remain happy and healthy, even in quarantine!