Mental Health Minute: Mindfulness
During the current self-quarantine period it can be difficult not to wonder and maybe even worry about what the future will hold. You may have many questions which can cause you to be distressed. While it is important to stay informed and up to date on what’s going on, if we become too focused about worrying about the future we are missing out on the joy or opportunities the current moments might have to offer. Focusing too much on future events, some of which are out of our control, can also create uncomfortable feelings. If you find this happening to you, I would encourage you to create some sort of mindfulness practice.
Mindfulness takes place when we focus our thoughts on the present moment without judging those thoughts. By focusing on the present moment, we are reducing the distressing feelings worrying about the future can create. Bringing your thoughts back to what you are doing in the present moment also can give you more joy in the moment and more connection to the people you are with. One way to learn mindfulness is through meditation. There are several apps available for your phone with guided meditations that can help you practice mindfulness. Praying or repeating a positive phrase such as “I can do this,” or “This too shall pass,” can be soothing and can bring your focus back to the present moment. You can also learn to eat mindfully. Taking time to slow down and notice the smell, taste and texture of each bite of food will help you bring your thoughts back to what you are doing and may also help you enjoy your meal more. Journaling, coloring and creating mandalas are also ways to help your thoughts slow down and focus on what you are doing in the moment which will help you become more mindful.
As we work to adjust to the changes that are taking place in our world, I would encourage you to set aside several minutes a day to start creating a mindfulness practice. You might be surprised to find out how helpful this skill will be for you in other times in your life as well.
Please continue to stay safe. You are important. We are here for you and we will get through this together.
Cecelia A. Bushery, MA, LMHC
If you are in crisis, please remember that the following services are available to speak or text with you 24/7:
NAMI 24/7 Crisis Text Line: Text “NAMI” TO 741741
Family Help Line: 727-791-3434
Peer Support Help Line: 727-600-5838
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
Pinellas County Mobile Crisis Response Team: 727-362-4424
Suicide/Emergency Hotline – Pinellas County: 727-791-3131
Crisis Center of Tampa Bay (for financial, mental health or domestic violence issues): Dial 211
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
24 HOUR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE: (727) 895-4912 | TTY: (727) 828-1269
OUTSIDE PINELLAS COUNTY: (800) 500-1119 | TTY: (800) 621-4202
The Haven: Domestic Violence Hotline: (727) 442-4128, TDD: (727) 223-4946
Rape Crisis Line – Local: 727-530-7273