Pre-pandemic, the outside world was a very busy place and home was a sanctuary. Nowadays, that busybody feeling is expected even from home, making the divide between happy place and high performance expectations thin, if not nonexistent. Even the shortest of breaks can feel like a necessary reprieve. If you notice that your stress levels are higher, your temper is shorter, or maybe you get overwhelmed more easily, try taking a few mindfulness breaks throughout your day. While being mindful will probably not undo the effects of 17 months of quarantining, it will give you a new coping method to ride out the rest of the storm.
As simple as it sounds, breathing is one of the easiest ways to practice being mindful. Before starting, it is important to remember that if this is your first time doing this, getting distracted does not mean you are doing it wrong or that you are “bad” at it. After all, we are used to the habit of distractions, not breaks. Like anything else, mindfulness takes practice. To begin, focus on your breath. Are you taking deep enough breaths? Try this breathing exercise to bring attention to the rhythm of your breath:
- Close your eyes, and turn your attention to your breath and your current emotions. Are they positive emotions? Negative emotions? Is your breath shallow or deep? Are you breathing through your nose or your mouth, or both?
- Take 3 deep breaths through your nose, filling your lungs as far as you can and exhaling as much as possible. Envision a warm, bright light of good feelings filling your lungs as you breathe in, and all of the negativity and stress of the day exiting your body as you breathe out.
- Next, take regular-sized but slower and focused breaths, counting 1 on the inhale, 2 on the exhale, all the way to 10. Repeat this as much as you’d like.
During the second series of breaths, I like to picture myself in my “happy place.” That could be laying on a warm beach, snuggling with my family in bed, or even flying down the sidewalk on my skates. Take your time in creating your happy place, making sure you use each of your senses to make it as real as possible.
Congratulations! You just practiced mindfulness. If you need more help or guidance, try listening to a guided meditation. There are many free applications, podcasts, or videos available to the public. Try a few different ones to find something that works for you!
Roller Derby Athletics is here to make it easier to remember to practice mindfulness. Introducing Habits, a new feature within our training application! With options including Active Lifestyle, Nutrition, Sleep, and Mindfulness, these prescribed daily habits can help you make small changes for a big difference in your life. Sign up for an Essential or MVP member plan for access to this awesome habit tracker and to speak with a Coach about lifestyle changes you want to make.
Roller Derby Athletics is not just for Roller Derby skaters, either. Our skate-centric cross training programs are perfect for any form of eight-wheeled fun, including skate parks, trail skating, and more! Check out our training Plans today.