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May: Mindful in May: Tips, tricks, and tools to check in with yourself

by Ashlee Simpson on 2023-05-01T09:04:00+10:00 | 0 Comments

            Image ‘DFtjXYd5Pto’ by Lesly Juarez, via Unsplash, free to use under the Unsplash licence.

As we slowly but surely approach the middle of the year, it is a good reminder to sit and recognise how we might be feeling run down, burnt out, and just simply tired. From assignments and exams, to meetings and planning, to even day-to-day chores, NDIS Support Coordination provider Connect4U says it is easy to feel overwhelmed by life amongst the 6000 thoughts our brains process each day.             That is where Mindful in May takes part:
            ‘The month of May is dedicated to mindfulness and mental health awareness’ (Connect4U), and gives us the perfect opportunity to take a moment and go from being a state of “mind full”, to “mindful”. 

Image sourced from Connect4U

Connect4U goes on to define mindfulness as having seven key attributes: 

  1. ‘Being aware – of your thoughts, your surroundings.
  2. Being kind – to yourself and others.
  3. Being purposeful, paying attention.
  4. Listening to understand, not just to respond.
  5. Not reacting automatically or being judgemental.
  6. Letting go of the past and not worrying about the future, just focus on the present.
    And
  7. Paying attention to what is around you and inside you.’
    (Connect4U 2023).

These attributes work in tandem to encourage readers to relax, to take a moment to check in with themselves – body, mind, and spirit – and to live in the present rather than dwelling on another realm of time.

            We have expanded Connect4U’s curated list of some funky tips and tricks to stay Mindful in May. Check them out whenever you feel the need to transform from “mind full” to “mindful”: 

            Being present:

Focus on what you are doing. Be present with your mind, body, and soul when doing a task. Take the moment to recognise where you are, who you’re with, and what you are doing. These small check-ins with yourself will bring you back to the present – back to the moment – and prepare you for the next.

            Put your phone down:

Surprise surprise! Using your phone ensures brain stimulation. Switching it off and stepping away will – again – bring you back to the present.

            Take note of emotions and body senses:

An incredibly therapeutic practice that uses 5 minutes of the day to centre the human soul in the moment: taking note of your emotions and body senses. By consciously closing your eyes and noting the feeling/position of each body part – from the tip of your toes right to the roots of your hair – your mind immediately settles.

            Breathe:

There’s nothing more settling than taking long, deep breaths. In. And out. In. And out.

            Stop rushing:

Settle in the moment. There will always be time to complete a task, to get somewhere, to follow-up on something… There are so many missed opportunities throughout the day to “stop and smell the flowers”, so be on the lookout for these moments to slow down and to just be.

            Take a walk:

Enjoying nature triggers the natural instinct inside of the human soul, whether connected to the earth, water, air, or fire. A simple walk works to clear and settle the mind.

            And if all else fails…

            Use apps:

There are a huge range of free/low cost apps that take the above mindful tools and employ them in a professional, structured environment. Here’s a small selection of apps ready for download today:

            Smiling Mind

            Headspace

            Calm

            ReachOut’s Stop, Breathe & Think

            There are many, many more methods that encourage mindfulness, and what works for someone might not work for everyone. It is up to the individual to practice mindfulness in a way that works for them. 

Recommended Reads: 

Emotional Intelligence: Communicate better, achieve more, be happier by Christine Wilding

This book combines detailed, practical applications of emotional intelligence principles along with insights from the fields of mindfulness and positive psychology to promote a positive lifestyle. The text summarises how emotional intelligence is a way of developing a well-balanced thoughtfulness in our lives and how behaviour can create a positive influence on our surroundings.
Available from the City Campus library. 

 

 

 

Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson (with advice from Dr Olivia Hewitt and illustrated by Gemma Correll).

Author Juno Dawson emphasises that mental health is just as important as your physical health and that we should be able to talk about our state of mind without embarrassment. Embellished with real life experiences and interviews and tailored towards students, this text encourages mindfulness and how to look after your mind.
Available from the East Campus library. 

 

 

 

 

Pocketbook of Mental Health by Eimear Muir-Cochrane, Patricia Barkway, & Debrea Nizette

Slot it straight into your pocket, because this pint-sized handbook is the ultimate quick-reference resource that delivers practical strategies and skills for students looking to enter the mental health care industry. With a focus on social inclusion, recovery, culture, and the promotion of consumer rights, this mental health texts is an essential for students in nursing and allied health.
Available from the City Campus library.

 

 

 

 

References: 

            Connect4U Australia Team (2023) Mindful in May, Connect4U Australia PTY LTD, accessed April 17 2023. 

Words by Ashlee Simpson, Library Officer. 

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