With the current surge of the COVID-19’s delta variant, it’s becoming a stressful time again for everyone, especially for older adults who are more vulnerable to this infectious disease. Just when everything seems to be going back to normal, Rancho Mirage senior living communities may face, yet again, another lockdown or quarantine this year.
With all that is happening, it’s not just the physical body that you need to worry about, but also your mental health. The constant stress and anxiety can take a toll on your mental welfare, leading to more serious mental issues.
So if you are one of the many seniors looking for a way to relax and de-stress, then we got just the right activity for you一mindfulness meditation.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness refers to a meditation practice that aims to help older adults relieve stress, anxiety, and worries.
Mindfulness practices involve focusing on your current space, actions, thoughts, feelings, and the environment you are in at the present moment. In short, it encourages one to be in the present or “in the now.”
Practicing mindfulness helps keep you tethered in the present and away from the stresses of the past and future. Some of the most beneficial things you can reap from practicing mindfulness include:
- Brings calmness to the mind and relaxation to the body.
- Relieves stress and anxiety.
- Strengthens cognition, specifically memory and concentration skills.
- Boosts mood.
- Improves social relationships and communications skills.
- Enhances self-awareness and empathy to others.
There’s really nothing special about mindfulness. Everyone can do it whenever and wherever they want. All you need to do is learn how to access it.
How Can Seniors Practice Mindfulness?
There are various ways to practice mindfulness, and almost all of them can be done in your apartment at Rancho Mirage senior living. You just need to have a quiet and comfortable space where you feel safe and at ease.
Furthermore, most mindfulness activities don’t take up much time to do, so you can still practice it even if you have a busy day ahead. You can even incorporate some into your daily routine.
Here are some of the most common mindfulness activities you can try until you find one that works best for you:
1. Deep Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises is one of the best relaxation activities that you can do in a snap. It helps relieve stress by increasing the body’s oxygen levels, allowing you to relax and get a good grip on your once racing thoughts.
You can do it by breathing in through your nose while counting to four, then releasing it with the same count. Focus on your breaths and the way your chest rises and falls as it fills up with air.
If you work well with a visual aid, you can draw a clock on a piece of paper. Trace the circle between 12 to 6 o’clock while inhaling. Then exhale while tracing the other half of the circle.
2. Body Awareness and Scanning
Much like breathing exercises, body awareness calls your attention to focus on the things around you using your senses. For example, you can take note of the things you are hearing, smelling, and feeling while keeping your eyes closed.
You may also focus your attention on the sensation of the grass you are lying on, your socks, or the feel of your apartment floor in your Rancho Mirage senior living.
This technique helps you divert your focus to the current sensations you are feeling instead of the worries inside your head.
3. Writing a Gratitude Journal
Take five minutes out of your morning routine to do some mindful journaling by starting a gratitude journal. This therapeutic practice allows you to reflect on the blessings each day gives, no matter how big or small.
Additionally, this will help start your mornings on the right track and can even cause a positivity cascade throughout the day. Here are some ideas on how to start journaling.
- Write your goals for the day and the things you want to achieve.
- What are you thankful for today? It can be as simple as a comfortable bed or great weather.
- Write down your current thoughts and feelings.
- Look for gratitude journaling prompts on the internet to have something new to write about.
4. Mood Tracking
Besides journaling, you can also track your mood each day to help you be aware of why you are feeling that way. Are there certain things that triggered these emotions? Acknowledge these feelings, then write down possible solutions.
Assessing your emotions like this will help calm you down and make rational choices about it. If it’s something you cannot control, the best way to deal with that is to let it go.
There are many mood-tracking printables that you can get on the internet so you can document your moods hourly or daily in a fun and organized way.
5. Mindful Walking
If you think you would feel more relaxed and focused while moving, then mindful walking is for you. This activity allows you to experience and appreciate walking as a pleasurable activity while being aware of your surroundings.
You can practice mindful walking on a quiet trail or in your local park. Pay attention to your steps, the cool air on your skin, the rustling of the leaves, or your breathing.
There really is no goal here or intention; just walking and appreciating the things happening at the moment.
6. Mindful Gardening
Another activity where you get to move and be mindful is gardening. Tending to your garden is an excellent form of meditation as the activity has the power to occupy the whole mind while allowing it to relax.
Besides letting you be fully present in the act of gardening, the activity also makes use of all your senses. For example, you can focus your thoughts on the texture of the soil or the sound the leaves make when a breeze hits them.
Plus, you can easily do gardening in your Rancho Mirage senior living community with the help of caregivers and other residents.