As human beings, we can find ourselves spending so much time dwelling on the past or fretting about the future. Mindfulness meditation is all about bringing calm to the mind by being in the present moment through a variety of breathing exercises.
Right now, some of us are adjusting to working from home while others are facing financial uncertainty due to this Government enforced isolation period. Mindfulness can help when faced with work-related stress and anxiety during or following cancer treatment, but also when supporting a loved one with cancer. Incorporating some mindfulness in to our daily routines can help us all!
Mindfulness is a technique recommended by the NHS to improve overall mental wellbeing.
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It is all too common that you will head to bed, feeling exhausted and as soon as your head hits the pillow all sorts of anxieties creep out of the shadows of your brain and before you know it you are wide awake, feeling tense and watching the hours tick by on the clock.
I imagine many of us can identify with this right now! Mindfulness can play a key role in helping you drift off by letting go of all those worried; work, finances, difficult relationships, health concerns and the list goes on. Search “sleep mindfulness” on YouTube for a wide range of mindfulness meditations aimed at helping induce a peaceful sleep.
The benefits of exercise are well known and widely reported for mental health and coping with stress. Therefore, it seems logical that combining physical exercise and mindfulness meditation could provide great benefits. Yoga is an exercise which does just this and can be tailored to most physical abilities with a full range of difficulties.
Yoga is commonly used by patients with cancer as a way to reduce stress, fatigue, keep fit and improve mood. Yoga is also an ideal new hobby to embrace during this period of isolation as it simply requires enough space to stretch out your arms, a mobile device or TV and a bit of peace and quiet. There are lot of apps, YouTube videos and DVDs available with a variety of intensities and yoga types.
Give it a try! Calm.com have provided a range of free resources which allow you to explore mindfulness and help reduce stress and anxiety. These include soothing meditations, sleep aids, calming music and gentle exercises.
Mindfulness exercises can help cope with the stresses that life throws at us, however it does not make these problems go away.
For free, impartial advice relating to your employee rights during this period of widespread isolation and social distancing, visit the ACAS website www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus or call them on 0300 1231100.
The Citizens Advice Bureau also have a lot of valuable, up-to-date advice on their website regarding information around work and benefits; www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/health/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you/
The SHAW team at Beatson Cancer Charity are unable to provide support during this time. We are closely following government and NHS advice and will return as soon as we can.