Nowadays, life can be hard, hectic and stressful. Moreover, everyday life during a pandemic increases our stress levels which can impact our well-being. Right now, we are facing constant distractions, such as social media, and we are worried about what the future holds.

We feel our mind jumping from one idea to another without stopping. So I asked myself a question … How can we regain our balance and catch our breath to calm our mind?

I am not saying there is only one answer to this question, but practicing mindfulness can help us regain control of our mind, step back, and catch our breath. Mindfulness consists of focusing on the present moment  ̶  an easy concept to grasp, but one that requires time and practice to develop.

Because we are all unique, there is no one way to do this. It is up to you to choose when and for how long you wish to practice mindfulness. You can practice it for 30 seconds or 30 minutes. It is also possible to practice mindfulness despite being very busy. Choose an activity you love to do, like music, yoga, dancing, and painting, whatever you enjoy. Focus solely on that activity, avoiding as much distraction as possible.

For others, when time is limited, you can focus your attention on something more specific, like breathing. While sitting on a chair, close your eyes or stare at an object and focus your attention on your breathing. Take heed of your chest’s movement as well as the air that comes in and out through your nostrils. Become aware of your thoughts drifting and slowly, and regain awareness of the present moment. This 30-minute exercise can be repeated two or three times per day, as repetition helps to maintain a balance and has a positive impact on your well-being throughout the day.

The goal is to practice reducing your stress level and catching your breath on a daily basis. By practicing mindfulness every day, you develop a ritual that supports you taking care of yourself and allowing yourself to be in the present moment. If this is all new to you or if you have been neglecting this practice, there are multiple resources and exercises to help guide you through your mindfulness journey.

Sylvie Giroux, ECRT
Resource Consultant Team Leader
Children’s Inclusion Support Services