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Practising mindfulness in times of uncertainty

Mindfulness, the ability to bring kind and wise attention to the present moment, is one of the most natural and powerful things we can do to feel better during times of uncertainty.

In this article you will find links to guided mindfulness practices, and practical mindfulness techniques. You can share these with your whānau (children benefit from mindfulness too) and virtually with your colleagues. Once learned, you can practice without guidance.

Tāmaki Health’s senior therapist and mindfulness educator Lila O'Farrell introduces these mindfulness resources in a YouTube video: The power of the present moment.

Coping strategies

Try these proven, healthy coping strategies to refresh and refocus your mind and body.

The centering breath practice: Download this MP3 and learn to breathe deeply to relax and dial down the release of stress chemicals and hormones. Your body will be calmer, and your mind clearer and sharper. The breath is a powerful ally: always with you, portable and free.

Use this link to download: Centering Breath mp3

The three-minute breathing space: Download this short meditation practice to take your ‘emotional temperature’, in a non-judgemental and gentle way. Acknowledging feelings calms your emotions, and you become more aware and able to respond better to what’s going on around you. Use this practice throughout the day.

Use this link to download: Breathing Space mp3

Loving kindness practice: Grow compassion instead of worry. Science shows that empathy works against us when we lose ourselves in other people’s suffering. This causes distress and even physical pain. Alternatively, when we consider another’s suffering with loving kindness and compassion (as in a parent’s love for a child) we experience positive emotions. Download the loving kindness meditation to increase feelings of compassion for others, and to release more positive emotions. Helpful at the end of a busy day.

Use this link to download: Loving Kindness mp3

The body scan: A lying down practice to release stress, nourish the body, and assist with sleep. Used as a meditation, the body scan evokes a state of deep awareness and relaxation.

Use this link to download: Body Scan mp3

Mindfulness techniques

Try these on-the-spot mindfulness techniques to stay in the moment. When we are present others sense the healing power of our presence. Our interactions are more authentic and satisfying.

Mindful handwashing: Make handwashing a calming, mindfulness practice. As best you can, be fully present with all of the senses and sensations involved: the feeling of the water, the soap bubbles and scents, or the sensations of gel on the hands.

Ride out the urge to touch your face: Bring greater awareness to sensations in your body and its movements throughout the day. ‘Urge surfing’ (riding it out) helps to weaken your desire to act in unhelpful ways. Be more aware of the frequent impulse to touch your face, and observe that impulse rather than act on it. Instead, be aware of the sensation of a deep breath, another sensation in the body, or something you can immediately see or hear.

Move mindfully: When you are walking from A to B, refresh your mind by bringing your attention into the sensations of parts of your body as you move, eg, your feet as they touch down, and the sense of your body moving through space.

Let go and let be: End interactions with awareness: take a breath, let go, let be, and bring a fresh awareness to the next moment, person, or task.

Practice kindfulness: Stay connected, show you care.

āio ke te rangi

āio ki te papa

āio ki te māuri o nga mea katoa

āio Māuri Ora

peace to the sky – peace to all that is above

peace to the earth – peace to all that is below

peace to the life essence of all things in between

peace to – the breath of life

 

From Aotearoa Mindfulness and Awareness
Awhi Atu, Awhi Mai, Wellness Support Team
Tāmaki Health