5 Ways to Bring Mindfulness into Your Life

by Hela Baer, LMSW, RYT, ESMHL

The past twelve months have been incredibly stressful. From the regular stressors of daily life to the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic, we have all spent a lot of time in survival mode. In many ways that has been a helpful response – it helped us navigate changing realities, manage risk, and respond to crisis. And while our inherent resilience in times of crisis is remarkable, it also takes a toll on our minds and bodies.

It is incredibly important for us to create opportunities for rest, creativity, and restoration for both our mental and physical wellbeing. In times when we’re balancing so many different things and struggling to make ends meet, it can feel overwhelming and even indulgent to make time to take care of ourselves. So we are here to give you full permission to slow down, nurture yourself, and seek joy – because you deserve to feel whole and connected even (or especially) during difficult times.

One way to do this is by integrating mindfulness into your everyday life. To help you get started, we put together a list of exercises you are welcome to explore any time you want to take a break and just be. We invite you to make any adjustments or changes to these exercises so that they feel good for you and meet your specific needs. As a little reminder, it is absolutely okay if you don’t connect with all of these exercises – feel free to try whichever ones you are curious about and work for you.

  • Making time to slow down

It is very easy to get caught up in all of the things we need to do and accomplish every day. With this in mind, you’re welcome to create a little routine to help you slow down at some point throughout the day. Maybe you take time each morning to drink water/tea/coffee and read, or step outside in the middle of the day and watch the trees/birds/people for a few minutes, or dedicate some time in the evening to soak your feet or use a hot compress – anything that lets you take a moment to slow down and just be, even if just for 5 minutes.

  • Engaging the senses

A wonderful way to feel grounded and in our bodies is to connect with our five senses. You can do this any time you make a cup of tea or coffee, by taking a moment to notice the sounds of boiling water, the sights of changing colors, smells of your drink brewing, the feelings of warmth when holding the mug, and the taste of your first sip. You’re welcome to bring your awareness to any other sensory details you notice without any pressure to put it into words. Just noticing. 

  • Ten deep breaths

Breathing can be one of the most effective ways to calm our nervous system and ease stress – and you can practice it anytime and anywhere. Feel free to find a comfortable position sitting, standing, or laying down, and you can decide whether to close your eyes or keep them open. When you’re ready, you can start the exercise by inhaling for 3-5 seconds and exhaling for 3-5 seconds. You can start at 3 seconds for each breath and make your way to 5, or you can stay there the entire time. If you like, you can also use your hand to count your breaths, counting each full breath with one finger.

  • Joyful movement

Gently moving our bodies is a wonderful way to both bring awareness to our body’s needs and release tension. And there are so many ways to do this – going for a stroll around the block, doing a couple stretches, dancing to some music, doing a full body shake, putting on some lotion, or just taking an extra bathroom break. There are no standards you have to meet with joyful movement – it is all about moving in a way that feels good to you.

  • Coloring or drawing

Getting creative is a wonderful way to slow down, release some stress, and connect with our inner child. There are free coloring sheets for children and adults that you can download from the internet or you could just doodle on a scrap of paper hanging out on your desk. You could also go through some old magazines and cut out pictures for a collage, or invest in a pad of paper and some watercolors and paint the view from your window.

 

Black Lives Matter

Published June 7, 2020

At Alexandria Place Therapy, we believe in standing together with our clients and our larger community, to listen and offer support in times of crisis.  Our country is indeed in crisis, and we stand in firm and unwavering support of the belief that Black Lives Matter.  We will work to support this movement of positive […]

Read More

Covid-19 Family Resources

Published March 13, 2020

At Alexandria Place Therapy, our goal is always to provide a safe, supportive environment for our clients, both children and adults.  Today, with the threat of Covid-19, we understand that everyone is looking for guidance about how to manage their own worries, and the worries of their kiddos.  We have put together a list of […]

Read More

Alexandria Place Therapy Wellness Update

Published March 6, 2020

Alexandria Place Therapy Wellness Update Updated March 13, 2020 Given the current and ongoing concerns about keeping everyone healthy, Alexandria Place Therapy wants to clarify our policy on cancellations due to illness and assure you that we are taking necessary precautions to clean and care for our space. We ask that at the start of […]

Read More

Clinical Opportunities

Published January 25, 2020

Alexandria Place Therapy is seeking dedicated and dynamic therapists to add to our established and growing practice.  We are a small group practice in Old Town Alexandria and work with children, adolescents, adults, and families.  We incorporate play and expressive therapies in much of our work with clients and believe the therapeutic relationship is key […]

Read More

Welcome Jennifer Lerma, MSW

Published September 1, 2019

Alexandria Place Therapy, LLC welcomes Jennifer Lerma to the Alexandria Place Therapy team. Jen is a Supervisee in Social Work and received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Shepherd University and her Master’s of Social Work degree from George Mason University. Jen has experience working in elementary school social work with children and adolescents, along […]

Read More

Welcome to Erica Ahdoot

Published August 20, 2018

Alexandria Place Therapy, LLC welcomes Erica Ahdoot to the Alexandria Place Therapy team. Erica is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the State of New York where she has practiced as an LCSW since 2006.  She is currently working towards establishing licensure in the Commonwealth of Virginia since moving here this year. Erica received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology […]

Read More

Welcome to Melanie Froemke, MSSA, MSW, LGSW

Published June 6, 2018

Alexandria Place Therapy, LLC welcomes Melanie Froemke, MSSA, MSW, LGSW as a Supervisee in Social Work to the Alexandria Place Therapy team. Melanie received her undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, and then pursued her Master’s of Science in Social Administration (MSSA/MSW) from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. […]

Read More

Welcome Heather Colby, LCSW, RPT

Published August 26, 2017

Alexandria Place Therapy, LLC welcomes Heather Colby, LCSW, RPT to our team.  Heather practiced in Texas (in agency and private practice settings) for more than a decade before joining our practice here in Virginia. Heather provides therapy to children, adolescents, and adults managing issues of depression, anxiety, trauma, adjustment, and loss. Her expertise is in providing support […]

Read More

Saying Goodbye to Summer

Published August 15, 2017

Now that August is here there are only a few more weeks left of summer. Make August memorable for your little ones by trying out some of these local and easy-to-do ideas: Go on a nature hunt. Look for leaves, sticks, flowers, bugs, animals, colors, textures Try out one of these kid-friendly at home science experiments like […]

Read More
Load More