Counseling Center

Mindfulness and Self-Care

Mindfulness and Self-Care During a Pandemic

When Your Mind Won’t Stop

So many of us are experiencing challenges related to uncertainty and anxiety during the current COVID-19 crisis. You may find that your mind has gone on overdrive with an endless loop of worries. Unfortunately, telling our minds, “Stop it!” just doesn’t work. So what do you do when your your mind just won’t stop? One useful skill is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of intentionally bringing our minds to the present moment.

Some of the most popular mindfulness apps are offering free content right now and other mindfulness apps have content that is always free. Try a daily mindfulness practice (even if it’s just a minute or two!) and see if it helps you feel more connected to the present moment when your mind is trying to pull you to the future.

Calm app is offering free, hand-picked guided meditations to help during the current crisis. This includes Sleep Stories to help you fall asleep.

https://www.calm.com/blog/take-a-deep-breath?utm_source=lifecycle&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=difficult_times_nonsubs_031720

Headspace on the Go is offering content focused on “Weathering the Storm” including meditations, sleep, and movement exercises. Bonus: they have a $9.99 annual discounted subscription for students.

https://www.headspace.com/covid-19

Discounted student plan:

https://www.headspace.com/student-toolkit

Check out our Mindfulness page for more information about the science and benefits of mindfulness and resources to aid your practice.

I’m stuck inside! How do I practice self-care?

Want to practice self-care but feeling unsure about how to do it? Play the self-care bingo below to see how you do. You can win by marking off 5 self-care activities in any row, down any column, or diagonally across the table. You can also win by marking off the 4 self-care activities in the 4 corners of the table below. If you want a challenge, see if you can complete all of the self-care activities in one week!

 

Self-Care Bingo

 

Took a break Got dressed Challenged my negative thoughts Asked for help Limited time on social media and the news
Enjoyed a hobby Ate food Connected with another human Treated myself Followed my routine
Danced to music or stretched Tried something new Breathed! Gave myself a compliment Watched a cute or funny video
Used a coping skill* Showered Talked to another human Got stuff done! Went to bed at a good time
Let myself cry Practiced self-compassion* Drank water Got good sleep Practiced mindfulness*

 

Additional resources for practicing mindfulness and self-care

Self-compassion:

Intro to mindful meditation in English and Spanish: https://www.uclahealth.org/marc/mindful-meditations

Interactive flowchart for self-care:

https://philome.la/jace_harr/you-feel-like-shit-an-interactive-self-care-guide/play/index.html