So just how do you go about turning your COVID-19 Precautions into a mindfulness practice with everything that is currently happening? It really does seems at the moment that our main topic of conversation is the Coronavirus.
What is it? How will we fight it? Should we ignore it? What about my loved-ones, job, career, family and day-to-day food situation? Should we panic?
For me, the only logical thing to do is stay calm, boost my immune system and take a few extra precautions like washing my hands more often, keeping my hands off my face, and being aware of what I touch and who I come into contact with. These all sound simple but also can be frustrating and easy to neglect.
As a person who keeps a daily mindfulness practice, I created this Mindful Coronavirus Challenge.
First things first: what is mindfulness? I will not write a whole article about it here (there are plenty of examples of that) but put simply, mindfulness is experiencing the present moment with a curious and non-judgemental attitude.
Mindful COVID-19 Precautions Challenge
- Washing your hands: Have you ever paid attention to how you wash your hands? What do you do first? Turn on the tap, or grab the soap? Have you ever noticed in which direction you move your hands? Clockwise? Or maybe just rubbing your palms? What about the bubbles, the smell of the soap, the texture? Is the water cold or hot? I am pretty sure you can find more. Next time, while you are washing your hands, use it as an opportunity to notice all these little details. Do this all day. Maybe by taking these COVID-19 precautions, you will notice a new aspect every time you wash your hands.
- Keeping your hands away from your face: Do you know how many times you touch your face in a day, in an hour? Do you know on which occasions you touch your face? When you are thinking, when you are surprised, maybe to cover your mouth while you are eating. Over the next 24 hours, try to be aware of when and why you are touching your face. Consider writing down how many times you are doing it. This is also a good exercise to raise your awareness of your physical reactions to certain emotions.
- Being aware of what you touch: All-day we touch an endless number of things: smartphones, cash machines, tube rails, stair banisters, desks, coffee cups, money. These are just a few things off the top of my head. Here is your mindfulness exercise: what are you touching in the outside world that doesn’t belong to you? Are you leaning on or holding the pole in the tube? How do you open the door? Be mindful of what you touch for 24 hours. Try to adhere to these COVID-19 Precautions and not to touch if it is not necessary.
- Being aware of how you touch others during the Coronavirus outbreak: I greet people in many different ways. With some I am a great hugger, for others, I just have room for a gentle head nod. How do you greet people? Are you a handshaker, a hugger, maybe an air-kiss professional? Next time notice your urge to hug, kiss, handshake when you meet with people, and resist it. Challenging yourself to change small habits and behaviour patterns also help to create new neuron patterns in our brains. Try to be more aware of who you see and contact mostly in your daily life. Your partner? Your co-workers? Your dog? Maybe make a list of who you touch most frequently, and how you greet them. You might be surprised when you write it down. Also, you can think about why you greet certain people in a certain way, and what this might mean about your relationship with them.
I hope you find these COVID-19 precautions helpful in gaining something positive from what could be a frightening and overwhelming time during this Coronavirus endemic.
Keep safe. Nazlı Yüceloğlu