An article from Oregon Counseling
This year has forced us to slow down much more than previous years, due to the pandemic. Spending more time at home and not knowing when the world will open up again has meant that we have to live more in the present. However, it’s not always easy to do that. We tend to fill our days with distractions or become so fixated on the past or the future, that we forget to live in the current moment. This is where mindfulness comes in. Here are our tips for creating a mindfulness routine in 2021.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a practice of the mind and body becoming more fully in tune with the present. It involves having heightened awareness of the “here and now.” Mindfulness can be linked to meditation but it doesn’t always have to involve meditation by any means. It can be any action that roots you to the present and brings peace to the current moment.
Practicing mindfulness can have remarkable benefits. It can help if you are struggling with feelings of stress, anxiety or depression. Mindfulness can also help us if we are having trouble concentrating or are experiencing any negative emotions. Overall, mindfulness can help us curate more self-compassion because we are taking the time to relax and take care of ourselves.
How to Practice Mindfulness
There’s no right or wrong way to practice mindfulness. You can try out many different things and see what works best for you. Here are just a few examples of how you can implement mindfulness more into your daily routine in the new year:
- Do a full body scan. Lie on your back comfortably and focus your attention slowly and deliberately on each part of your body. Start with your toes and work your way up to your head. Be aware of each sensation of your body.
- Focus on your breathing as a mindfulness exercise. Sit comfortably and breathe in your nose and out of your mouth, becoming aware of the tides of your breath.
- Practice mindfulness while walking by yourself, free of distractions from music or a podcast in your ears. Focus on the experience of walking by being aware of your surroundings and the sensations you feel throughout the walk.
- Take part in a mindful activity that you enjoy and that roots you in the present. This could be through drawing, journaling, practicing yoga or any other hobby that brings you peace.
Carving out even just five to fifteen minutes a day to focus on a mindfulness practice an have profound effects. We can all set the intention to prioritize being mindful more in the new year, by creating a mindfulness routine for ourselves.
Mindfulness Practice for 2021
To get started practicing mindfulness, here is an exercise from Mindful that can help us transition into 2021:
- Sit comfortably and gently breathe through your nose and out your mouth.
- Now, imagine you are breathing in all of 2020 and what transpired for you.
- Survey your memories as they come in with each breath, and catch glimpses of the year’s highs and lows.
- Allow yourself to feel the good and the bad, the disappointments and excitements, and everything you’re grateful for from this year.
- Feel the fullness of the year and then slowly let it go, with a few deep, long exhales.
- Experience the flow of your breath, how it goes in and out.
- Next, imagine a field of snow, freshly fallen, pure, and inviting.
- Ask yourself, what is calling to you this year? Where does your heart long to go? Feel and sense deeply.
- When you are ready, let your eyes slowly open and welcome a new beginning.
How to Implement a Mindfulness Routine in 2021
Counseling, Oregon. “How to Implement a Mindfulness Routine in 2021.” Oregon Counseling, 17 Dec. 2020, www.oregoncounseling.com/article/how-to-implement-a-mindfulness-routine-in-2021/.
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I chose this article because for the upcoming new year, I have realized that it would be beneficial to set goals that are more self-care oriented than the average new years resolutions we are used to making.