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Dublin: 14 °C Friday 19 April, 2019

Feeling a bit stressed? Here's how to have a mindful Monday

Our top tips for getting to a good place this Easter Monday.

FOR MANY, THE Easter break can be a tough time.

For those with family commitments, there can be lots of added pressure and stress. And for those missing someone at the table this year, it can be a sad or even lonely occasion.

One way to combat the stresses that come along with the expectations on us around bank holidays is trying to master a bit of mindfulness.

Mindfulness is not only a wonderful way to ease yourself back into the working week, but also to grab moments of tranquility during times of stress. Whether or not you had a difficult weekend, this means Easter Monday is the ideal time to give it a try.

So, what is “mindfulness” exactly?

According to mental health resource website yourmentalhealth.ie, at its heart mindfulness is simply:

Paying attention to whatever is happening in the present moment and experiencing without judgement and, if possible, with kindness.

Meditation Source: mrhayata

Essentially, it’s all about centring yourself in order to achieve some stillness and calm in day-to-day life. The concept of practicing mindfulness originates with Eastern philosophies such as Buddhism, where it has been part of the lifestyle for thousands of years.

Paying attention to the current moment is a lot harder than it sounds. Those of us who have tried meditation know how easy it is for the mind to drift off – and how difficult it is to truly concentrate on the here and now. So what tools can help get you there?

Taking the reins

Suicide or Survive, the Irish suicide prevention organisation, have developed an online education tool called the Wellness Workshop. These videos give you practical tools to help you maintain wellness when you’re feeling good, and improve it when times get tough.

Sign-up is completely free and the course is designed to help everyone, no matter their circumstances, take charge of their own mental well-being.

Listen up

headphones Source: kev-shine

The Mental Health Foundation over in the UK has created a series of free audio podcasts to help you relax and improve your state of mind.

You can access the series here - with recent subjects including mindfulness in nurseries, tips for a healthy diet and resolutions around getting more active.

Fit as a fiddle

WorkOut is an app designed to work on problem-solving in real life, developed by Irish youth organisation Reach Out.  Its exercises are based on the principles of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) which is a practical method aimed at moving past negative, destructive thoughts, which in turn impact our mood and perspective.

The app is based around scoring yourself in several areas and then figuring out some challenges – on things like sleeping patterns, goal setting, difficult situations, support networks, and so on. More information on WorkOut can be found here.

Where’s your head at

There are lots of apps out there to help us build mindfulness effectively into our lives. One such app is Headspace, which calls itself a “gym membership for the mind” – which ties right back into the idea that mental health is just as real as physical health.

Headspace is meditation made simple, with 10 minute daily blocks that can be done from your phone wherever you are. Initial sign-up is free for both iOS and Android users.

Source: Headspace/YouTube

Reach out – pass it out

Every day, we experience ups and downs in our mental health. If you’ve found mindfulness to help you weather these peaks and troughs, why not spread the good word?

Pass on information about mindfulness to a pal you think it could benefit – or just let them know you’re always there for a chat. (Of course, this works both ways – if you’re not feeling OK this weekend, consider reaching out yourself.)

You Are Not Alone Source: rockindave1

Have you tried mindfulness? Let us know your experiences in the comments section.

The #LittleThings campaign from yourmentalhealth.ie is a national effort by the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention and scores of partner organisations and support groups to bring information, awareness, advice and support around mental health for you and your loved ones. 

Helplines:

  • Samaritans 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

For information on what to do or where to go, please see yourmentalhealth.ie.

Have you got any suggestions for minding yourself? Let us know in the comments below.

Now read: “Problems feel smaller when you share them” – if you’re not feeling OK, let someone know>

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