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  • Writer's pictureLauren-Lourdes Ryan

5 Simple Mindfulness Activities

For the last few years, I have become interested in mindfulness activities. I was always the kind of person that thought these activities were a waste of time during my already busy schedule. However, when covid caused the world to stop and I was stuck at home I began to change my mind.

During covid, many people began to develop anxieties that they had never faced before. However, when new issues arise there will always be someone that appears to tackle them. During the constant lockdowns in Ireland, people were not permitted to go any further than 5km from their homes. As a result, I spent more time on social media than ever before. This meant more opportunities for social media-based anxieties to sneak in on me. The 24-hour stream of endless content led to endless entertainment and possibilities for comparisons. with which one can compare themselves and their life can have many adverse effects. Users often find themselves posting so that others can see a perfect version of their life, rather than what's happening. Like many others, I began to find that social media lockdown content left me constantly comparing my life to others. This can be quite an unhealthy way to view your own life.

However, I was not the only one who experienced this. People began to use platforms like Instagram and TikTok to talk about how some social media content was having a negative impact on their life. In particular, it was making them feel insignificant or anxious. Then other users started to dedicate accounts to creating content and spreading awareness of different forms of mindfulness. A number of accounts I began to follow would create Instagram reels depicting a variety of mindfulness activities and reasons as to why they could benefit positive mental health.

Now, even though the lockdowns are well over and life seems like it's moving on, I have continued to practice these mindfulness techniques.

One: Create a gratitude list

A gratitude list is an emotional key that can unlock a sense of relief regarding your life. At a minimum, it's an ideal way to gain greater clarity about your life, priorities, and future plans. A gratitude list is simply a list you write of things about your life that you can call to mind for which you're grateful. These lists can be as long or as short as you want! It's a list you can refer to for inspiration, or as a reminder when you want to feel the sense of security that comes with thinking about good things in your life.

Two: Taking a walk

I know this might sound a bit like common sense or boring. However, when I feel like any kind of anxiety is getting too much, taking myself completely out of the situation can really help. Nothing ever seems as bad after I went for a walk and cleared my head.

Three: To-Do Lists

To-Do lists aren't just great tools for staying productive! They can have a really positive effect on your mind if you're feeling low in confidence or motivation. Creating a visual representation of every small thing you've done in a day can really help me realise just how much I've done and that I don't have to feel guilty for not getting through everything I needed to do that day.

Four: Doodle

Letting your hand draw whatever mindless squiggles appear on the page, rather than trying to draw with a purpose can have a really calming effect on the mind. Another alternative is adult colouring bookings.

Five: Purposeful Breaths

Sometimes, especially when trying to calm yourself in a stressful moment, it might help to start by taking an exaggerated breath: a deep inhale through your nostrils (3 seconds), hold your breath (2 seconds), and a long exhale through your mouth (4 seconds). However, it is also recommended that you just take a few minutes out of your day just to breathe and nothing else.

I hope some of you find these tips helpful!


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