We all need breaks. It’s easy to get caught up in the responsibilities that stem from different areas of your personal and professional life. Actively creating time and space to unwind may be challenging, but it can help build resilience and you live more mindfully. Practicing mindfulness is one of many skills that may help you decrease instances of negative emotions, such as anxiety and anger.
Similar to self-care, taking actions to feel mindful looks different for everyone. If you’re open minded to trying mindfulness, consider the following: any activity that helps you focus on the present moment or process an experience is considered mindful. Whether it’s journaling, actively listening to a close friend share a story or counting the number of bicep curls you’re doing, try making the act of cultivating mindfulness a habit. According to the National Institute of Health, “mindfulness practices may help people manage stress, cope better with serious illness and reduce anxiety and depression. Many people who practice mindfulness report an increased ability to relax, a greater enthusiasm for life and improved self-esteem.”
Explore the following resources when you need to tune in to yourself and others more thoughtfully.
If you want to unwind and focus on the present:
- Military OneSource’s Chill Drills: includes different exercises to reduce stress from a therapist specializing in supporting service members
- Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center’s Relax Relax Toolkit: includes strategies for breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness, meditation, guided imagery and more
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Mindfulness Coach App: includes resources for the military community to practice mindfulness exercises, track goals and access to crisis resources
If you want to take a moment to check in on your health habits:
- Own Your Limits’ Drinking Habits Quiz: includes engaging questions to help individuals understand their relationship with alcohol and commit to drinking responsibly
- Operation Supplement Safety’s Ask the Expert Tool: includes form to allow individuals to submit confidential questions about supplements and receive personalized consultations from medical experts
- You Can Quit 2’s Savings Calculator: includes an interactive calculator to help individuals see how much money they can save by not using tobacco products, with considerations for cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes
If you want to reflect on how to strengthen your connections with others:
- National Institute of Health’s Social Wellness Toolkit: includes several actionable ideas and tips for a range of social connections and experiences
- Human Performance Resources Center’s Active Constructive Responding Worksheet: includes interactive exercise to support others when they share good news and assist with stress reduction
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Active Listening information: includes information for parents and guardians to listen to children’s problems
For more ideas on how to live mindfully, turn to your support network. Ask others what helps them feel grounded and attentive to the present.