The term mindfulness is used in a lot of different situations. While it can sometimes mean “thinking about what you are doing”, it can also mean “observing your surroundings without judging them”.
This can be an effective way to calm stress and reduce feelings of being overwhelmed. Research suggests that just one minute of mindfulness can help lower blood pressure, pulse rate, and feelings of stress (1).
Fall has many iconic sights, sounds, smells, feelings, and flavors that are distinct and appeal to our five senses. This creates the perfect avenue to practice mindfulness with things that you have around you all the time.
How to Practice Mindfulness This Fall
Go for a walk
Try to describe the colors you see around you in a creative way. Instead of orange, try sunset or blaze. Instead of brown try mahogany or log cabin. Try to name or describe five different colors or shades.
Sit by a window on a windy day
Try to match up your breath with the wind. When you hear a gust, take a deep breath in and exhale at what feels like the speed of the wind you are hearing. Imagine your worries being whooshed away by the wind. Try to relax your jaw, shoulders, and any other place you feel tense each time you breathe out.
Make a mug of tea or coffee
Hold the mug in your hands and feel the warm radiate through your fingertips and up your hands. See if you can feel the heat spreading into your body. Lean over the mug and inhale the scent of the tea or coffee and feel the steam coming up from the mug. Take a sip and feel the warmth flow down your throat and into your belly.
Put on a favorite sweater, flannel, or jacket
How does the fabric feel? Is it soft and fuzzy? Thick and coarse? Light and pillowy? If it is a knitted fabric, see if you can pick out the individual stitches.
Light a candle or campfire and observe the flame
How many colors does it have? Notice as the flame changes shape. Hold your hands a safe distance from the flame and notice how the heat changes as you move closer or further away.
Make a cozy autumn dinner like turkey chili
Before you take a bite, inhale deeply through your nose and notice the different smalls of the savory meat and fragrant vegetables. As you eat the chili, notice how the individual flavors of the spices blend with the meat and vegetables to create the taste of the whole dish.
While these ideas are specific to fall, mindfulness is beneficial year-round. As the seasons change, see if you can incorporate other sensory elements around you into your meditation routine. Mindfulness does not take a lot of time or money, but it can have a big impact on your wellbeing. Ask your Livea Consultant for more ideas on mindfulness and how it can support your overall health goals!
- Killian, K.D. (2018) Self-care: What do those buzzwords really mean? Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/intersections/201803/self-care-what-do-those-buzz-words-really-mean