The following post is contributed by Andrea Bonilla, a Lafayette College student who has been very active in the Journey Home program in the Northampton County Jail.
The world may see overwhelming right now, especially with all of the recent news. Many of us may be feeling powerless, scared or worried. With so many new and uncomfortable situations being thrown at us, it can be easy to lose our minds in negative thoughts.
Centering our minds and thoughts in the present may be challenging during social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. However, these moments are opportunities to grow the depth of our awareness. We can reset our minds back to awareness of the present moment without judgement. Not judging this moment can be our greatest challenge and opportunity. We can shift our focus on what we can do while at home. Doing activities such as mediating can be a way to reset your mind from thoughts that are creating negative emotions such as worry and anxiety. Below I have some tips to restoring and resetting at home which are important in uncomfortable and unprecedented moments.
- Maintain daily habits like showering, making tea in the morning, or reading for 15 minutes.
- Turn off your mind and meditate. There are loads of meditation techniques, mindful apps and guided meditations online. A simple way to start is by setting a timer, sitting or laying down in a position that will not obstruct the breathing cycle, and just observing the thoughts that come in and out of your mind. Here is a link to a mindful app library developed by NYC Well https://nycwell.cityofnewyork.us/en/app-library/
- Mindful technology is crucial right now. Try not to use technology too much and if you can’t help yourself here are some apps that are not meditating but are fun distractions. Just experience the moment with apps such as silk which is a generative art app in which you can draw beautiful flowing art. Stardew Valley is an app in which you build the farm of your dreams, “far more than just a farming game…filled with seemingly endless content and heart.”(review from the app store). Coloring apps are relaxing, fun and a creative outlet.
- Call a friend. Maintaining relationships, and connecting with others is critical during social isolation. By talking to friends and family we can use this uncomfortable situation to bring us closer.
- Move!!! Moving the energy around your body by dancing to your favorite music or practicing yoga is an opportunity to bring body and mental awareness to the present movement. Yoga Education on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZkbiujyDoXqoPPr5D74I7A/videos offers a variety of yoga routines.
I hope that everyone is doing the best that they can and staying safe. Peace, Andrea.