Across the past year, I have navigated towards mindfulness as an aid to get me through lockdown and handle turbulent mental health. And annoyingly, sitting still on the ground and concentrating on the breath does seem to do wonders. Mindfulness can encompass a wide variety of activities; the main association is connecting with your body and breath in a form of stress relief. From meditation to therapeutic hula hooping, mindfulness looks different for everyone – so do not fret, I will not be forcing anyone into yoga leggings anytime soon.
For myself, it means having a steady routine. In the morning, I pop the pills with my antidepressants – it helps me start up my day with security. Next, some meditation, 10 to 20 minutes of heavy breathing which I do through the Calm App. You can tell I am fully committed with my year subscription; I am going to be thinking my way into sanity. Exercise is something I had to gently shove my way into enjoying, from yoga, pole fitness to online classes, now I try and do the recommended 30 minutes a day. I love dragging out anyone I can find for a brisk and chilly walk. Then finally, cats. Cuddling pets releases enough serotonin to get you through any difficult task. My two cats are called Freddie and Kit, do not be fooled – they can be evil when they desire.
I would encourage everyone to get some sort of mindfulness routine. With the next term looming, it is crucial to have time you can focus on yourself and take a break from work.
-Hannah (English and History)