How quarantine became a joyful experience.
I have been in quarantine now for 11 days, so the end is very close. While the quarantine was expected, I really wasn’t sure how I would go being confined for 14 days. I have been very fortunate and have been staying in a gorgeous hotel on Circular Quay with views of Sydney harbour and the botanical gardens. My window faces east so I have watched the sun rise most mornings, although some days were cloudy it was always gorgeous to greet the new day.
I have had meals supplied to my door 3 times a day they have always been hot or cold depending on what they were. Always served on time and there was plenty to eat.
So my accommodation and food have been great, physically I have been well cared for. I must admit I was a little concerned how I would be mentally and emotionally in a hotel room on my own for 2 weeks. Again I can’t fault any of the staff. A nurse also calls us daily to check on how we are doing on a physical, mental and emotional level. Surprisingly I have been fine, although I have been feeling a little teary while watching some emotional movies.
What’s Quarantine to do With Being Mindful?
While being confined I have relied more on my yoga and meditation practice. It has also been a lot easier to find the time to practice too. This time has also reminded me about bring more awareness into what I am doing each day and what will bring me greater joy. Instead of going through the motions, day after day (and believe me each day can feel like the day before) I have become more self-reflective. Making my bed each day, makes me feel better, I like it when things are tidy. I practice yoga and sometimes a workout from the Internet as I sleep better when I do. Each time I go to eat or drink something I ask myself do I really want to eat that? Am I hungry? Or do I really need another cup of tea?
This is all a part of being mindful; bringing our mind back to how we feel emotionally, physically and our thoughts, without judgement. I will admit there were a couple of days were I did just watch movies and stayed in my Pj’s. However, I did not reflect on this time with judgement with should haves and could haves. What I did reflect on was how I felt at the time and how I felt after. By paying attention to the present moment with intention and non-judgement I am able to make better choices. Making better choices helps me to have a more fulfilling day and feel better about my time spent in quarantine.
Bringing Mindfulness to Daily Activities
To be mindful does not require you to sit for hours each day in meditation. We can cultivate mindfulness informally during our every day activities by focusing our attention. Try not to multitask this will give you the space to practice mindfulness. When you make the bed, clean your teeth, wash up or eat your breakfast. Slow down the process and bring your awareness to the thoughts, emotions and physical sensations you feel. Try to avoid labelling any thoughts as good or bad.
To practice daily mindfulness requires just that. Practice. Cultivating mindfulness as with any skill takes time and dedication. However, unlike many skills it is one that can be practiced and used throughout our entire life.
Benefits of Mindfulness
- Reduce Stress – We become less worried about the future or regrets from the past. Concerns about success and self-esteem are lessened and physical wellbeing is improved.
- Increase Focus – Continual practice of bringing awareness to activities will naturally cultivate focus.
- Improve Emotional Regulation – Depression, eating disorders, conflict and anxiety can all helped by practicing mindfulness.
- Improved Resilience – By becoming fully engaged in activities creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events.
- Improved Well Being – It enables us to savour the pleasures in life and we are better able to form deep connections with others.
With continual practice of mindfulness regardless if by meditation or through daily awareness of our activities, greater fulfilment in life is possible. There are no limits to who can practice, no gender, age or physical ability limitations. Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere at anytime. The benefits are many and the way in which to practice mindfulness varied. However or wherever you find your mindfulness practice I wish you well.