Updated: Jul 24
Nowadays, it’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed with stress be it from your typical job, to additional responsibilities that have been brought about from the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The days seem somewhat shorter.
Daylight savings aside, it’s as if regular responsibilities seem to stretch from beyond typical working hours. Consequently, it can seem difficult to schedule time throughout the day to allocate to tasks that we may enjoy.
Luckily, in this case, there may be an answer in the form of mindfulness.
Mindfulness, according to Mayo Clinic, is a form of “meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgement.”
Thus, mindfulness may not be the best time to be deliberately thinking about what you’ll be making for dinner, your frustration over the fact that your favorite series has been cancelled, or perhaps the boatload of work you’ve procrastinated on that remains sitting on your cluttered desk. (If you get distracted, revert your focus from the distractor to the present—there's no need to start from scratch.)
In recent years, the use of mindfulness-based practices has only grown, and its popularity has skyrocketed. One study, published in 2018, has highlighted some of these changes. Between the years of 2012 to 2017, there was a 4.8% increase— from 9.5% to 14.3% of US adults—practicing yoga. Within the same time frame, there was a 10.1% increase—from 4.1% to 14.2% of US adults—practicing meditation.
Many employers have started utilizing mindfulness to help refresh and energize employees. One study notes that as many as one-in-seven workers engage in some form of mindfulness practice, (meditation, yoga, etc.), within the workplace.
Perhaps the next time you find yourself overwhelmed from responsibilities or simply want to clear your mind ahead of a complicated task, try to allocate a few minutes to a mindfulness-based practice.
I’ll end with this resource from Mayo Clinic which provides a few examples of mindfulness exercises you can try from the comfort of home.