The last couple of years have been challenging for many of us. External factors outside of our personal control have affected us in many ways, causing levels of unease and anxiety not experienced before.
Now, more than ever, continues to be a time to embrace slowing down and enjoying the simpler things in life.
In times of uncertainty and stress, moving the body in a mindful way can be beneficial for both body and mind, allowing us to move from a state of worrying and overthinking things into one of calmness and clarity.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a way of living that can be cultivated.
It is about being in the moment, having awareness, being non-judgmental and accepting things the way they are.
Mindful movement doesn’t need to be complicated or fancy.
Here is a simple guide to get started:
- Choose a physical activity you enjoy doing (preferably something that strengthens, balances or supports your body).
- Tune into your body as you move.
- Keep your focus/awareness on the body parts that are moving or anchoring you.
- How does the movement feel? What sensations are there in the body?
- Try not to judge or worry about how you look or how perfect your technique is. Just enjoy moving and be grateful for what your body can do.
Easy ways to integrate mindful movement into your day:
- Try a yoga, Pilates or tai chi class.
- Go for a mindful walk in the garden.
- Stand up for a minute every couple of hours and focus on your breathing.
- Do 10 squats or sit to stands twice a day, focusing on folding at the hips and knees and keeping a lengthened spine.
- Do some gardening.
- When sitting in your chair, bring your awareness to your sitting bones. Try and have even weight through each side and sit up tall, reaching your spine to the sky.
- Put some music on and dance freely.
Mindful movement is not:
> Going to the gym but thinking about what you need to finish at work or home.
> Going for a walk and bringing up negative thoughts or discussions about the day.
> Making yourself go for a light jog because you think you should, but you’re exhausted.
Integrate mindful movement into your daily routine. Even just 10-20 minutes each day can be effective. You’ll be surprised how simple yet powerful it can be!
The Physio Co’s team of physiotherapists are available to visit you wherever you call home, and available for online consultations. We are here to help, so get in touch today for more information – please call on 1300 797 793 or email [email protected]
Article written by Johanna Cornish (physiotherapist – Team Geelong)