Mindfulness Activity #91
Quick Mindfulness for Stress or Fatigue
Good Morning. I’m not sure about you, but this morning I’m feeling a little stressed and a little fatigued at anticipating the day. I’m tired of ELA and Spanish, and as much as I like it, I’m tired of Khan Academy. I’m tired of piles of laundry. I’m tired of struggling to hear on the phone. Although Zoom felt like such a gift a few months ago, I’m tired of Zoom. These are really just fleeting thoughts, but whenever you have thoughts that make you want to avoid fully jumping into the day, that’s your cue to breathe and get mindful.
When you practice mindfulness, even briefly, it is like a reboot for your brain. Mindfulness lets you move through emotions and let go of thoughts, seeing them as momentary experiences instead of being consumed by them. In keeping with this week’s theme of quick mindfulness practices, I will share a favorite practice of mine that is super short, but very effective. Today’s practice is ideal to use when you are feeling stressed or tense, or when you are tired and need a moment of self-soothing so you can refresh and recharge.
Practice: Sit and stretch your spine upwards so you are straight. This is a closed eyes practice. Take one deep breath in, hold at the top for one second, and then slowly release through your nose. Now, take your hands and place them over your eyes with fingers on your eyes and palms resting on your cheeks. Feel the warmth of your hands. Take a deep breath in and out. Slide your hands towards your ears so that your fingers are at your temples. Now as you continue to breathe, make small circles using as much pressure as feels comfortable, massaging your temples. Do this for a full breath in and a slow release through your nose. Now, shift your fingers down to where your jawbones connect—on the space you can feel move if you open your jaw. Repeat a deep breath and massage here, feeling the thickness of your jaw muscle. Next, open your mouth and move your hands lower in the direction of your chin, to the spot where you can feel that the muscle in your jaw ends (below the muscle). Breathe deeply while massaging this spot upwards with your fingers. Finally, place your hands in your lap, one cupped inside the other and take a deep breath in and out.
When we are feeling tense or wanting to avoid an activity or to avoid a whole day, this practice which literally takes less than 1.5 minutes can help you to feel ready to fully participate with anticipation. We talk about child’s mind, a state of curiosity and anticipation about what’s coming next. Hoping this practice helped some of you to get back to that state. Chances are you will be more creative and you might even enjoy your day more in child’s mind.
Have a nice day!