Here are five simple habits that help me centre myself in uncertain times. They’re easy to do, you don’t need extra time and can just do them as you go about your day.
1. Check in with yourself throughout the day
How are you feeling? What do you need? What would help you get that need met? Is what you’re doing now and what you planned to do next serving those needs?
2. Mindful breathing
Focus on your breathing, take deep, long breaths and breathe out slowly. Breathe out for longer than you breathe in.
If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, counting your breaths in and out whilst you do this helps switch on your cognitive brain, get grounded and move from reacting to responding.
3. Drink water
In emotionally challenging times, it’s important to keep hydrated. Drink more water than usual.
Keep a tally in a notebook or use an app to remind you to drink regularly throughout the day.
Both breathing and drinking water raises your oxygen levels, which helps bring the stress hormones down.
4. Think about what you’re grateful for
Our thoughts determine our feelings, which determine our actions. Proactively thinking about what you’re grateful for creates positive energy, which is great for the immune system.
Write down one small thing you’re grateful for at certain moments throughout the day, e.g. when you put the kettle on to make a cup of tea. Writing down one thing you’re grateful for when you go to bed can help you sleep better too.
Writing down what you’re grateful for makes the thought real and acts as an anchor for positive energy.
5. In-bed meditation
I’ve found that meditating in bed before going to sleep, just for a few minutes, helps calm my thoughts and sets me up for a restful night.
I repeat a mantra to myself and when my thoughts start to drift off to other things (they always do!), I bring my attention back to the mantra.
The mantra can be something simple that comforts you, e.g. the thing that you’re grateful for or “Everything’s going to be ok.”
Read more about self-care and finding a new normal in a global pandemic here.
What helps you centre yourself? What are you doing to take care of yourself? Let me know down in the comments!