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A Calm Mind and a Healthy Body for Weathering the Storm

Stress hormones shut down the immune system when the body is in the adrenal-driven state of fight or flight. With higher than usual levels of anxiety and stress due to COVID-19, it is important to do all we can to reduce stress levels, to stay calm and healthy, and to reduce the fear of what we cannot control at this time and making choices that we can control.  Treating ourselves with love and compassion. This lockdown is making me focus more on the things that really help me stay calm and reduce fear, and I would like to share some ideas that might help you too.

My daily formal and informal Mindfulness practice, along with exercise and healthy food helps to boost my immune system and keeps me calm. Every day I drink smoothies that have delicious and nutritious ingredients to help me stay healthy and as I make them they are part of my daily mindfulness practice. I chop the veg/fruit I practice being in each moment and I am grateful for having this food to eat, I am grateful for my warm house and my kitchen. Some people around the world have no access to clean water to wash their hands, let alone all the luxuries I have access to. I know I am very blessed. 

I keep my time listening to the TV news to a minimum, only looking at what I need to know during this period of lockdown. I practice being kind to myself and grateful for what I have. I focus on any positive news stories about COVID-19 and how pollution levels are down across Italy and China, dolphins have been spotted in the canals in Venice, people singing on balconies to cheer everyone up, Brits clapping for our NHS with so much love in our hearts, etc. The human spirit is strong, and we will come through this, but we will be different, and I hope more caring and loving as that is what the world needs most. 

I urge you to look after yourselves and your loved ones. Take time for mindfulness meditation can really help to reduce fear, stress and anxiety. Take time to do everything mindfully, smile and be with your family whether that is online or in your homes. Take time to listen to them, practice mindfulness listening and speaking skills. Take time to cook healthy and nutritious food, doing it mindfully and with love and gratitude to all the people who have helped to get this food on your plate. Have mantras each day for example, “I am well and healthy and happy”, or “I am strong and full of energy and vitality”, or whatever words feel right for you. Finally, when you exercise on your daily walks, practice mindful walking, take notice of the trees and the flowers and the blue sky, breathe and be. 

By Clare McRobbie

Course Wellbeing Practitioner