I’d like to offer some thoughts on how to help with mental health, in these uncertain times.
Specifically, some tips on how to fit meditation into this new home-life world we find ourselves in.
Before I start, I should say that meditation is just one aspect of looking after our overall wellness and mental health. Diet, exercise, a positive mindset and socialising are also vitally important.
But meditation is a powerful tool, scientifically proven to help our immune system plus reduce stress and anxiety.
If you haven’t tried it yet, perhaps you think you’re not cut out for it. If so, this is worth considering.
Or, perhaps you find it hard to fit it into your day, especially in the workplace.
But now maybe you’re facing a new challenge; how you fit it into your new home/work-life set up.
As the boundaries between work and leisure become less clear with WFH now our new normal, finding the right headspace and the right moment has become challenging.
Of course, we have to be aware that some of us are going through greater challenges than this right now.
Nonetheless, we all have to stay as mentally strong as possible, not just for our own sake, but in order to support those around us, and those who are suffering more.
So for anyone finding it hard to make space for positive mental health exercises at the moment, here are 5 tips for how to find some space for meditation while at home.
1. Create a routine
Creating a regular time slot to look after your mental health – let’s call it an emotional space – that you can protect each day will mean you are far more likely to develop a positive habit that lasts.
Plus your partner or housemates will appreciate knowing your routine and respect it.
Well, anytime is better than not at all, but early morning or end of the working day are both good options.
Early mornings will help you start the day in a calm mindset.
You may just need to make a bit more effort to get up earlier than the rest of the household.
When they surface though, you’ll be in a positive frame of mind, ready for the day’s challenges and so much more prepared for interacting with and supporting those around you.
Or you could try at the end of the working day – just switch off your laptop and meditate straight away.
One of the challenges with WFH is the gradual merging of day (work) into evening (leisure). Without the change of environment, it can feel like the two are much the same which makes it harder to relax post work.
Meditation helps to punctuate the split between work and leisure and draw a clear divide, helping you to relax into that leisure time.
2. Pick a space, any space (as long as it’s not your workspace)
Keeping a space where you work separate from a space where you need to wind down is a good practice.
Psychologically, keeping the two distinct from each other will help enhance the experience of both work and meditation.
You require a different type of energy for each, which can be fostered through the environment in which we’re in.
A meditation space can be anywhere though.
If you’ve got a spare room, great, but maybe it’s the space between your wardrobe and your bed, and that’s fine.
Wherever you pick though, try and make sure it’s clean and uncluttered, and try and stick to it, so you build up a positive mental association and energy with it.
3. Get comfortable
You really don’t need much to meditate other than you.
Just sit crossed legged or on a chair, the floor or your bed.
As long as you’re comfortable and feel supported (with good posture and not in pain) that’s all you need.
However, if you still can’t get comfortable, there are some other things that could help – if budget allows – that can improve the experience, which in turn may help you maintain it as a habit. Some these items are:
- Meditation cushion or chair: to help with posture and comfort
- Weighted Blanket to help with relaxation and warmth
- Ear plugs or over ear headphones: if you live in a particularly noisy location
- Soft lighting (or an eye mask): to help with relaxation
4. Use a recorded guided meditation
If you’re new to meditation, there are plenty of recorded meditations that will help guide you.
There are some free guided meditations on our site to help get you going, but after that you may want to do an online course to help take you further.
5. Get your partner or housemates’ support
It can be easier to find the time and space to meditate if you have your partner or housemates’ support.
Tell them you’re keen to make this a daily habit, not only for your good but for theirs too.
Meditation will help you be a better version of yourself, which they’ll also benefit from.
Your calmness will rub off on them and you’ll be better at offering support through tough times.
If you have children, ask your partner to look after the kids for 20 mins, and in return you can do the same so they can have space in their day to look after their wellness too.
If you’re a single parent, perhaps try waiting until the kids have gone to bed, or getting up before them (easier said than done of course, but it is possible to reset your body clock to wake up earlier).
And it doesn’t matter if someone walks in half way through meditation – consider it a bonus to help you focus more and make your meditation stronger as a result.
I hope these tips help.
I would love to hear from you on how you are creating space at the moment for meditation and wellness.
It feels like it has never been more necessary to train your mind to react more positively to external events.
And for some of us, when have we had as much extra time now that the commute is a thing of the past?
If these tips don’t help, or you want to talk through them, please do get in touch, on email@example.com.
I’m happy to assist if I can. I can also consult on this subject for larger organisations.
Some good can come out of this experience if we think positively.