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Finding balance: A mindfulness and mental wellness routine

image of a woman's head with eyes closed on a green background

I wanted to share something that may help manage stress and find a healthier balance between your physical and mental well-being. It's a mindfulness and wellness routine you can do everyday that has been tailored to fit into a busy day, and I think you might find it helpful too. Try and stick to the timings where possible, but if you can't that's ok. Keep it simple but engage with the routine.

Morning mindfulness routine (10 – 15 minutes)

1. Wake-up stretching (2 – 3 minutes)

Start your day with some gentle stretching. Think of it as a way to wake up your body and prepare yourself for the day ahead. Just stretch your arms overhead, reach for your toes, and do a few light twists.

2. Mindful breathing (5 minutes)

Find a comfy spot to sit, close your eyes, and just breathe.

Inhale slowly through your nose for a count of four, hold for a count of four, then exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of four, and hold for four.

Do this for five minutes, focusing on how your breath feels entering and leaving your body. It’s a simple but powerful way to start the day grounded.

3. Gratitude journaling (3 – 5 minutes)

Grab a journal and jot down three things you’re grateful for. They can be big or small – anything that brings you joy or peace. Reflect on why these things are meaningful to you and how they positively impact your life. It’s a lovely way to shift your mindset to positivity right from the get-go.

Midday mental check-In (5 – 10 minutes)

1. Body scan meditation (5 minutes)

Sit or lie down comfortably, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Slowly bring your attention to different parts of your body, starting from your toes and moving up to your head. Notice any tension or discomfort and breathe into those areas. It’s like giving your body a mini massage with your mind.

2. Affirmation practice (2 – 3 minutes)

Choose a positive affirmation that resonates with you. Something like "I am capable and calm" or "I handle stress with ease." Repeat this affirmation to yourself several times, either silently or out loud. Focus on its meaning and let it sink in.

Physical activity for mental wellness (20 – 30 minutes)

1. Mindful walking (20 – 30 minutes)

Take a walk outdoors, ideally somewhere with a bit of nature like a park. As you walk, pay close attention to the sights, sounds, and smells around you. Notice the sensation of your feet touching the ground and the rhythm of your breath. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring your focus back to your surroundings. It’s a refreshing way to combine physical activity with mindfulness.

Evening reflection and relaxation (15 – 20 minutes)

1. Progressive muscle relaxation (10 minutes)

At the end of the day, find a comfy spot to sit or lie down. Start with your feet, tense the muscles for a count of five, then release. Move up through your body, tensing and relaxing each muscle group (calves, thighs, abdomen, arms, shoulders, and face). This helps release any built-up tension and prepares you for a restful night’s sleep.

2. Reflective journaling (5 – 10 minutes)

Spend a few minutes reflecting on your day. Write about any stressful moments and how you handled them. Note any positive experiences or things you learned about yourself. It’s a great way to process your day and end on a thoughtful note.

Additional resources and tips:

  • Mindfulness apps: Apps like Headspace, Calm, or Insight Timer offer guided sessions and can be a great support.

  • Books and video: 'Happy Mind, Happy Life' and 'The Stress Solution' by Dr Rangan Chatterjee and a link to his morning routine. Fantastic reads and watch the video for deeper insights.

  • Social support: Don’t forget to connect with friends, family, or support groups. Sharing your experiences can be incredibly helpful.

  • Healthy lifestyle choices: A balanced diet, staying hydrated, and regular sleep are essential for maintaining both physical and mental well-being.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Give them a try and let me know how they work for you. Here’s to a more mindful, balanced, and stress-free life!



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