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Mindful exercise

While I know lockdown has been so hard in many ways, the silver lining for us is that life has suddenly slowed down

Very few cars, no social obligations, no school dropoff/pickup, no shops, no meetings... It's made me realise just how busy normal life is, even though I consciously try to minimise our life as much as possible!!

I spotted these tiny flowers while walking up the river with my kids yesterday on my day off work Often when we're out walking, we're on a mission to finish a walk in between other commitments Instead we spent several hours just wandering, looking, throwing rocks in the river, and chatting

Mindful time in nature is an actual thing - mindfulness doesn't have to be done sitting on a yoga mat in a studio - it's simply the act of being present and aware

It combines the best of everything - exercise, fresh air, nature (aka forest bathing), and active meditation - what a great way to lower stress, lower cortisol, boost immunity, and look after your mental health!!

If you're fortunate enough to live near a park or green space, then try put aside some time for a walking mindful meditation, and see what effect it has

It's very easy - just switch off your phone, slow down, and focus on paying attention to the small details around you

It can be counting your steps while you walk, or focusing on one sense at a time ie what you can hear, what you can smell, what you can see, and what you feel The key is being fully in the present moment

Many people struggle to sit still to meditate, a walking meditation is a great place to start! And the bonus is the more often you do it, the easier it gets, and the more you'll notice a sense of calm and happiness that extends into the rest of your day

Let me know in the comments below what your favourite meditation or mindful activity is - we're all different !!

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