5 Mindfulness Activities for Anxiety: Moments of Calm

Mindfulness Activities For Adults

Turn to face the strange, ch-ch-ch-changes. What a year 2020 has been so far, with so many changes. At least when lockdown started, we all knew where we were. (At home.) Now restrictions are easing, and sometimes returning, with very little notice. No wonder that lots of people are feeling stressed. We’re here to help with some calming mindfulness activities for anxiety.

Yes, mindfulness has been proven to ease anxiety of all kinds. So if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, you’re in the right place. We’ve got some great ideas for how you can reclaim some moments of calm. If you have clinical anxiety, please talk to your GP too. Help is at hand.

Let’s take it from the top. Breathe in slowly, pause, breathe out. Repeat once or twice, take your time. Then check out our mindfulness activities for anxiety and experiment to see what works best for you. Here we go.

Mindfulness Activities for Anxiety: What does anxiety feel like?

How are you feeling right now? Take a moment to check in with your body. Take stock of your heartbeat and temperature. Notice any areas where you feel tight or sensations like tiredness. If you have time, you could even try a body scan meditation. It’s a great way of checking in with your body – and building mindful habits.

Anxiety feels different for everyone. But lots of people find their heart rate goes up. Your breathing can change and you may feel light-headed. Stomach pains are common too.

There’s a good reason for this. When we face a stressful situation, our bodies try to help by increasing blood flow to the brain. The adrenaline can be useful if we’re about to go into a job interview or other high-pressure situation. But when the feeling becomes too intense or it persists for too long, it can start to make us feel unwell.

Mindfulness Activities for Anxiety: How can mindfulness help?

No one completely escapes anxiety. It’s a normal part of life. But it doesn’t mean you have to suffer in silence. You can still do something about it. Mindfulness can help ease the physical feelings of anxiety. And it can also help us to be more aware of how we’re feeling right now. It saves us from being at the mercy of our swirling thoughts and emotions.

Here are a few mindfulness activities for anxiety we’ve found helpful. Give them a go and let us know how you get on in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you. Taking good care of yourself is always a great first step.

If your feelings of anxiety don’t go away, get in touch with your GP. Mental health is important and you don’t have to struggle alone. There’s more great advice on clinical anxiety on the NHS website.

Mindfulness Activities for Anxiety: Journaling

The physical symptoms of anxiety are one thing. Let’s talk about our thoughts. Spiralling round and round and feeling almost impossible to control. Changing perspective can help. From talking with a friend, to taking time for journaling.

You don’t need fancy stationery for mindful journaling. Or a relaxing cup of tea. (Still tempting though, right?) What’s essential is time to reflect on your day. If possible, try to write by hand rather than online. If you’ve got writer’s block, here are a few prompts to get you started.

Today, I’m grateful for…

Gratitude can actually make you feel better. Even Harvard says so. Make a list and make it as long as possible. As well as ‘what’, include ‘why’ and ‘when’. This will help you connect the dots between the good things in your life and how good they make you feel.

I dedicate my day to…

During lockdown, days blurred together. Normal routines disappeared. To restore some structure, dedicate your day to someone you love or a meaningful event in your life.

Take some time to write about why that person or event means so much to you. How did they make you feel and what did you learn? Then decide how you’ll honour that memory during your day. This will help you to live that day more mindfully – and connected to your past in a meaningful way.

This is my story

We all tell stories. Sometimes we tell them to others and sometimes to ourselves. It’s how we make sense of the world and our place in it.

Write down your story of today. What happened, what choices did you make, how did you feel? Stories can be simple or elaborate. They can feature struggle or hope, high drama or quiet boredom. Whatever you write, it should feel true to you.

Have a think about what you’ve written. What story do you want to live tomorrow? Do you need to shift your perspective or make other changes? This exercise helps you to take stock of where you are and where you want to be.

Mindfulness Activities for Anxiety: Back to the breath

If you’ve been following our blog for a while, this one might be familiar. Breathing exercises are the foundation of mindfulness. Bring a moment of calm into your day and you’ll feel better instantly.

Take a deep breath to calm down, they say. And it’s good advice. But quite often, we take a huge breath, expanding our chests. There’s a better way.

Breathe down into your diaphragm. Put your hand on your belly and feel it move out as you breathe. Slowly count to four as you breathe in, then pause for a few seconds. Breathe out, counting to four again. Simple, isn’t it?

If you’re new to breathing exercises, start in a calm and quiet place. Then start to try them in new situations. Like standing in the kitchen. Or the supermarket queue. You might feel self-conscious at first, but chances are that no one will even notice. When anxiety strikes, you’ll be ready.

Want some variety? Here are a few other things to try:

The long breath out

If you’re breathing in for four seconds, try breathing out for six. Push all of the air out of your lungs. Breathing out is linked to the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the part that influences how the body calms down.

Alternate nostril breathing

This yoga breathing exercise might be one to save for at home. So use your right thumb to close the right-hand nostril and inhale slowly through the left. Pinch your nose closed between your right thumb and ring finger, holding the breath in for a moment. Use your right ring finger to close your left nostril and exhale through the right. Wait a moment and repeat the cycle ten times. How do you feel now?

The 4-7-8 exercise

This technique is also known as the ‘relaxing breath’. It can be great for getting to sleep, as well as reducing anxiety. Start by getting comfortable and placing the tip of the tongue on the tissue right behind the top front teeth.

Empty the lungs of air. Breathe in quietly through the nose to a count of four. Hold the breath for a count of seven. Then breathe out through the mouth, making a whoosh sound, for a count of eight.

Don’t forget, we also have a great collection of free guided meditations available for free. If you’re finding it hard to focus, they can also help.

Mindfulness Activities for Anxiety: Affirming calm

Do you struggle with negative thoughts about yourself? Most of us do at one point or another. Whether it’s repetitive thoughts that just don’t go away or thought distortions, where we start to believe an exaggerated version of the truth.

Affirmations can be part of changing these patterns for good. They’re positive statements that you can use during meditation. They can’t instantly change your mood. But by saying them to yourself regularly, you can start to change a negative mindset for the better. It can feel a little awkward to start with, but don’t worry. No one can hear what you’re saying inside your head. (Thank goodness.)

You may like to choose an affirmation that’s personal to you. It will be more believable if it’s rooted in fact and if it feels true. So if you’re feeling very tense, then affirming how relaxed you are might not be logical.

Here’s a recipe for a personal affirmation:

1) Stick to the present tense and start with ‘I’. Affirmations aren’t about goal-setting – it’s more of a reminder of what’s already happening.

2) Link your affirmation to your value and beliefs. This might be something like ‘kindness’, that you already put a firm emphasis on.

3) Don’t be afraid to acknowledge things you’re working on. (Like anxiety.)

Stuck for ideas? Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • I can manage my anxiety. I’ve done it before.
  • I don’t have to focus on feeling anxious or try to figure it out.
  • I can allow myself to feel anxious, because it will soon pass.
  • I am in control. Anxiety is not the boss.
  • I breathe in relaxation. I breathe out tension.
  • I am relaxing each part of my body.
  • I am ridding my mind of negative thoughts and filling it with positive ones.
  • I am more and more calm with each deep breath I take.

Like lots of mindfulness activities, affirmations work best when you use them regularly. Why not commit to making them part of your routine for the next few weeks? Aim to say them a few times every day, either as part of your meditation practice or on their own. Write them down and leave them somewhere you’ll look at them.

Affirmations aren’t for everyone and that’s a-OK. If you’ve given them a go and don’t feel it’s working out, try switching to another wording. Or a different form of mindfulness. You know yourself best.

We have found this really helpful video that has broken down affirmations into little easy digestible chunks that makes it simple to follow. As we said, they aren’t for everyone, but as Aaron says in this short video, affirmations are a great way to focus on your goals.

Final thoughts

COVID-19 might be with us for some time to come. And the uncertainty understandably makes people feel anxious. Please be kind to yourself and ask for help when you need it. You’re not alone.

Experiment to find what mindfulness activities for anxiety work for you. Stay as active as you can. Connect with others. Look after your diet and your sleep patterns. Take it easy and reclaim some moments of calm in your day. It can be easy to forget to look after yourself, particularly when you’re low on energy or have your hands full looking after others. But a little attention will go a long way to making you feel less anxious. And don’t forget: we’re here when you need us.

What are you planning to do first? Please let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you. Stay safe and stay well.

FAQ’s

What activities support mindfulness? 

Meditation and breathing exercises are great practices for mindfulness. 

What meditation is best for anxiety?

A short-guided meditation session is a good way to calm anxiety.

Do mindfulness activities really work?

Yes! It is a great way to lower anxiety and promote good mindfulness.

How can mindfulness help mental health?

It can promote good habits that can lower anxiety and stress.

 

 

In conversation: Men’s Mental Health

Men's mental health

We at Mind Panda are sitting in conversation with Ian our founder and owner and Andrew our Graphic Designer to talk about issues faced by men in a modern world and their mental health. In light of Men’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we are opening up the discussion on men’s mental health.

With this in mind do you find it hard to talk about your mental health as a guy. If so, what is the biggest thing that holds you back?

Ian: As a guy I find it not too difficult to talk about it, but it depends who you are talking to. Obviously there is that male stigma of ‘macho-ness’, so there are some males that you don’t want to talk about it with. Personally I feel like it is easier to talk to women about my mental health than guys sometimes.

Andrew: Yeah, I get that. For me it’s not a problem. I’m not brilliant at talking about it, but I don’t think it’s anything to do with my gender.

We know that women might find subjects like body image contributes negatively on their mental health, do you feel the same way as a man? Are there the same pressures on men?

Ian: There’s definitely a pressure on men to have a certain way to look, especially with what’s presented in the media, we have this image that everyone tries to be like, or there is what is expected or this is what is good looking. 100% I feel like there is. Especially now during lockdown, we might be working out a bit less due to gym closures and maybe eating a bit more than usual, your health slips a bit. When it comes to body, it is quite difficult to talk about that sort of thing, or to show it off on a beach.

Andrew: I’d agree. I’d say on an everyday basis its not an issue, but in certain circumstances I do think about it.

Do you think that celebrities such as football players and the Royals talking about their mental health issues helps to remove the stigma around men feeling ashamed to open up?

Andrew: It depends on how it’s done. If it’s done in an informative way then yes, and if it’s a celebrity you already resonate with then yeah.

Ian: Yeah, celebrities have a certain amount of influence on everyone. People talking about it can only help. I think as long as it’s not patronising then it will work well. Like if the person resonates with you instead of preaching to avoid resentment. People have this idea that celebrities have it all, the money and the fame, but sometimes these can just add to the problem. So it’s good they can open up and show that they are just like us.

We recently talked about Justin Baldoni’s TED talk about being “man enough”. What does that phrase mean for you?

Ian: I totally got what he was saying there. Purely because males have had this driven into them for centuries, that they are the ‘man’ of the house, they don’t cry, they are the protector, they don’t show their feelings etc. All that has taught us is to bottle up. Men have feelings but we have been subconsciously taught over all these years that we don’t have the same feelings as women. I think that is what has led to the crisis of men’s mental health, and as we know the way we are told to deal with it is just not healthy.

Andrew: For me, men’s mental health, and being man enough isn’t a factor for me as I’ve never had the need for it myself. It’s subjective in what that means. Are you ‘you’ enough.

Ian: I like that. Don’t get me wrong, men can feel intimidated by other people that have it “all”. Especially when you are the gym and you see like a big muscly guy. But I think what he was talking about was that being a man now means showing your compassion and showing your vulnerability and showing that you can release your emotions. It takes a lot more guts to show that you are upset about something than acting bravado.

What do you think would help more men open up about their mental health?

Andrew: I’d say normalising it. Anyone who can show it about more can help and let people know its okay. And  responding positively to that is great. 

Ian: I agree. The thing is unfortunately in some groups of friends where a male was to come out and say that he is struggling, a lot of male friends might make fun of them. And even though we might laugh it off, it does make you want to bottle it up a bit more and not say it again. It’s about choosing the right people.

Andrew: My friends could talk about that which is good.  

Ian: I think the same way everyone can open up is that its not going to happen overnight. You won’t just say something and everyone will fall into place. You have to learn it. You have to practice and understand yourself more and learn to love yourself the way you are first before trying to do it for other people.

What do you do personally in times of anxiety or stress? Do you have any tips? 

Ian: Yeah, I’ll give you an example before when I was stressed I’d sort of project it on to everyone round about me. And I would try and mask it with something by going to the pub or play the PlayStation or such. I think you do have to take your attention away from it, but do it in a positive way, like going for a run, meditating or reading a book. Don’t get me wrong, having some downtime at the pub and the like is good, but not all the time.

Andrew: Personally, I process things before and mull them over and then talk to someone to get their views and confirm my own feelings. I’ll also do the same as playing a game or reading.

Ian: A mix of both is healthy, it’s when you’ve started binging days worth of Netflix that is the problem. Again, it’s just burring that problem. As I sit here saying this I think of what I do know and I always question why I feel a certain way or why its like that. I think it’s good to do that as I can accept it and that’s easier to let it go and not resist this. And understand that’s how anxiety and stress feel. Before I know it, I’m back to normal. 

Mollie: That’s true. It’s important to find the root cause as opposed to masking the issue.

Do you think it would be helpful to talk about your mental health with your friends or would you prefer to speak to a professional? Why?

Andrew: I’d do both. As I said, me and my friends are really good at it.

Ian: Agreed. I think both. And choose who I want to talk to.

It is really brave to talk about this and you’ve contributed massively to the movement. Is there anyone that you would like to see open up? Fellow businessmen? Etc?

Ian: If we start seeing some more sportsmen opening up would help. We see them as the “macho” man type and a lot of men look up to them. And there are so many great men doing thinks for the movement, but we need more who are in the public eye to show more influence.

Personally here at MindPanda, we enjoyed the experience to talk about our mental health. We believe it is a healthy habit to build. If you want to hear more of the conversation, click play button below.

FAQ’s

What are the 4 types of mental illness?

There are more than 4 types but the most common are Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Personality Disorders and Eating Disorders.

Who is most likely to have a mental illness?

Anyone can suffer from a mental illness at any time or stage of their life.

What are the signs of a mental illness?

There are many signs that can show the beginnings of a mental illness. Look out for rapidly changing moods and contact your doctor for advice ASAP.

What is the most common mental illness in men?

Depression and anxiety are really common in males, just as much as women.

5 Mindfulness Activities for Adults: Finding Stillness

Mindfulness activities for adults

Welcome to your next dose of mindfulness. Together, we’ll practice being fully present in the moment. And reap the benefits of less anxiety, better sleep and wellbeing. Mindfulness activities for adults are a great way to have some time to yourself and take the pressure off daily life.

Let’s start as we mean to go on. Take a moment to notice your surroundings. What can you hear? I’m getting: plane overhead, husband washing up, someone playing music over the fence. What can you see, feel, smell? Taking a moment out to pay attention to your surroundings is a great first step.

Let’s Begin…

Getting into a mindful routine is a challenge. We get it, because we’ve been there. One successful meditation feels fantastic. But how can you get more of the benefits on a regular basis? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

And mindfulness is much easier when you’re not overcommitting yourself. In the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn: ‘Saying yes to more things than we can actually manage to be present for with integrity and ease of being is, in effect, saying no to all those things and people and places we have already said yes to.’ In other words, if you say yes to everything, you won’t be able to do any of it as well as you’d like to. Mindfulness needs stillness.

Daily meditations are great, but sometimes it feels good to switch things up. So we’d like to share three mindfulness activities for adults that have worked for us. And not a digital device in sight. All those notifications? No one can be ‘present’ that often.

Idea number 1: the raisin exercise

Our first exercise in our mindfulness activities for adults list is a classic for a reason. If you’re getting into a ‘mindfulness rut’, switching things up is a good way to get back on track. Emotional and distracted eating is also a common cause of weight gain. Studies have shown that mindfulness can help. What would your life feel like if you embraced mindful eating?

So, you’ll need 5-10 minutes of free time – and a raisin or two. This exercise engages all of your senses. Here’s how you go about it:

  • Hold the raisin between your index finger and thumb. Imagine that you’ve never seen a raisin before and give it your full attention. Focus on its shape, colour and texture.
  • Start moving the raisin between your fingers. Squeeze it a little and see how squishy it is (or isn’t). Maybe close your eyes to help you focus.
  • Now, hold the raisin under your nose and take a sniff. What does it smell like?

And you may think this is a serious amount of attention to give a piece of dried fruit. Do you feel a little silly? Is your mind wandering? Acknowledge your feelings, but don’t get distracted. Trying new things is good for us, which is why this exercise is often used in mindfulness courses.

  • Pop the raisin in your mouth. Don’t chew – hold it in your mouth for at least 10 seconds. Explore it with your tongue. Notice the texture and temperature. What does it feel like to wait before chewing?
  • When you’re ready, start chewing. Take one or two bites and give the taste your full attention. Take your time – and don’t swallow. Notice the taste and texture of the raisin in your mouth and how it changes over time. Then swallow, noticing the physical sensation. How do you feel now? And what would your life be like all of your meals were more like this?

Idea number 2: deep breathing

When we’re feeling stressed, our breathing becomes more shallow. Unsurprisingly, this isn’t a recipe for feeling great. Taking time to learn a breathing exercise pays off at those times when you most need a moment’s calm. Like practicing an emergency manoeuvre for our minds.

So you’ll need 5-10 minutes – and that’s it. Here’s how you go about it:

  • Find a comfortable position. Maybe you’d even like to lie down to start with. Place one hand on your waistband and the other on your chest bone. This will help you to notice how deep or shallow your breathing is.
  • Open your mouth and gently breathe out. Let your shoulders and upper body relax. Pause for a few seconds.
  • With your mouth closed, breathe in slowly through your nose. This should make your belly expand. Once you’ve inhaled as much as you comfortably can, pause again.
  • Breathe out through your mouth and notice your belly pulling in. Pause again. Now rinse and repeat for the rest of your available time. How do you feel now?

And don’t worry if your thoughts start wandering, it’s completely normal. Each time you notice it, pull your attention back to focusing on your breath. Once you’ve practised this a few times, you could try other positions (sitting or standing). For an added twist, imagine that your in-breath and out-breath have different colours. For example, blue for the cool air you’re breathing in and red for the warm air you’re breathing out.

Taking a deep breath works wonders in all kinds of situations. And it’s even better if you’ve worked out beforehand what to do. 

Looking for a tool to help with this exercise? Check out our Aromatherapy Stress Balls for an easy way to calm down quickly. 

Idea number 3: the alien game

True, this is a bit of a curveball. But we wanted to show that mindfulness doesn’t have to be super-serious. It’s also great if you have the kids under your feet and want to get them involved.

How often do we drift through our day on auto-pilot? This game makes sure you really pay attention to your surroundings – and the people in it. Plus it’s great fun.

Here’s how it works:

  • Imagine that you’re an alien. Give yourself an alien name and, if you like, a new look. But this is the important bit: remember that you don’t know anything about earth or its inhabitants.
  • Start to explore your new environment. What can you discover about it? Who lives here? What objects will help you to survive?
  • When you meet non-alien, try to be inconspicuous. Observe them closely and copy their behaviours. For example, if you’re out and about, try to walk at the same speed. Or adopt behaviours like talking into your phone. 

This exercise helps you to be more observant, without judgment. It’s great for getting your creativity flowing and looking at things with fresh eyes. Imagine what we can learn with this much attention.

This video shows another quick way to be mindful, check it out; 

Final thoughts

Sharon Salzberg said ‘Mindfulness isn’t hard, we just need to remember to do it’. We hope you’ll enjoy these mindfulness activities for adults. And that they’ll help you to find some stillness in your new lockdown routine. See you later, meditator!

FAQ’s

What are some mindfulness activities?

Breathing activities are a great way to get into mindfulness.

How can I practice mindfulness throughout the day?

Using some great mindfulness activities and practicing breathing techniques are a great way to begin.

Do mindfulness activities really work?

Yes! They are a great way to get into mindfulness!

How can I practice mindfulness and reduce anxiety?

Focus on your breathing and find some great activities to help bring your focus back to the task at hand.

Getting Started with Body Scan Meditation

Getting Started with Body Scan Meditation

How do you feel when you’re stressed? Maybe your muscles tense up. Maybe your neck and shoulders ache. And maybe you ignore the physical feelings and plough on – like so many of us. Body scan meditation is a simple way of staying mindful and keeping stress in check. Want to know more? We’ve got everything you need to get started. Let’s launch straight in.

What is body scan meditation?

Mindfulness can be very simple and really challenging at the same time. Especially when it comes to building healthy new habits, it can be hard to know if you’re doing it ‘right’. Body scan meditation is a great way to check in with how you’re feeling, physically and mentally. Kind of like a guided tour of you. And a great way to get in the mindfulness habit.

How does it work?

Find a comfortable position sitting or lying down. Start with a few deep breaths. Then imagine that your breath is moving through different parts of your body. Start with one foot and move your attention (and your breath) slowly up and across to different areas.

Notice the sensations in each area. Pay attention to whether you feel hot or cold, comfortable or uncomfortable, tense or relaxed, light or heavy. You don’t need to change anything; in fact it’s best to resist the temptation. Simply note the feeling and move on to the next area when you’re ready. If you find it helpful, you may like to imagine a laser scanner moving over your body.

There are lots of guided meditations to get started with, too. And we have several for you to try (for free, of course.) Head over to our resources page today.

What can it do for me?

“Our life is shaped by our minds: we become what we think.” Wise words. It’s true: our thoughts do shape our reality. This idea is at the core of mindfulness meditation. The good news is that we can start changing our situation simply by tuning in to our thoughts.

Body scans help you to become more aware of your mind, spirit and body. The experience can be deeply relaxing. No wonder that studies show that meditation reduces insomnia. And it can help sufferers of chronic pain, too.

And who wouldn’t like to take the heat out of the family bedtime routine? Body scan meditation for kids is a great exercise to share with your little ones. It can help your child to relax and find sleep. And it sets them up for healthy sleep habits in the future.

Thinking of giving it a try? We’d love to hear how you get on. Please share your experiences in the comments below.

And if you’re interested in more ideas for getting in the mindfulness habit, we’ve got you covered. Our Thirty Days of Mindfulness course has them in spades. Find out more.

Mastering Mindfulness For Sleep

Matering Mindfulness for Sleep

Have you seen the meme about the early bird, the night owl and the permanently exhausted pigeon? No wonder it resonated with so many people. Almost three-quarters of Britons sleep less than seven hours a night and 12% get less than five hours shuteye. Mindfulness for sleep can help.

What’s stopping us from getting a good night’s rest? The top reasons are stress and worry (45%), our partners (25%) and noise (20%). And it’s not just drifting off. A third of people experience poor sleep most nights, so staying asleep is a challenge for many.

Little surprise then that we’re looking for solutions. 42,000 Google searches happen every month for phrases like ‘how to get to sleep’ or ‘how to fall asleep quickly’. One of the answers is mindfulness meditation for sleep. It makes sense: breathing slowly lowers the heart rate. Concentrating on our breath or our bodies calms racing thoughts.

Want to give it a try? We’ve got you covered.

Mindfulness for sleep – Guided sleep meditation

Ever put your head on your pillow only to find that your brain goes into overdrive? You’re not alone. Mindfulness can help you to let go of the day – and everything that happened. A guided sleep meditation is a great way to learn these techniques and we have several for you to try. Just click on the link.

Guide me to the land of nod

Improve your odds

Tired all the time – it even has its own acronym (TATT). Once someone reaches this stage, all kinds of unhelpful things happen. Over-relying on caffeine, eating unhealthily, no energy for exercise, stressing out of kids and work… It’s a vicious cycle and is unlikely to help anyone get back into a healthy sleep routine. So, what can you do to put the sleep odds in your favour?

Switch off

Light is a powerful signal to the body to stay awake. Blue light from electronic devices suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin and makes it harder to drift off. Give yourself an hour before bedtime to wind down and keep screens out of the bedroom.

Alcohol doesn’t help

A quarter of us are turning to the bottle to try and get some sleep. There’s a gotcha. While booze can help us fall asleep, it has a terrible effect on sleep quality. It reduces rapid eye movement sleep – the sleep stage that contributes most to feeling rested. So ditch the alcohol (and coffee, obvs) and turn to a hot milky or herbal drink instead.

Journaling to the rescue

Mindful journaling is a form of meditative writing. It helps you to understand your thinking habits so that you can take more control of what’s going on in your mind. And it’s a firm base for trying mindfulness for sleep.

You may also find it helpful to make a to-do list for the next day. Once you’ve committed thought to paper, you can relax safe in the knowledge that you’re not going to forget the cupcakes for the bake sale (or whatever it may be).

Active body, peaceful mind

It can be hard to exercise when you’re already tired (or maybe stressed), but it is a natural sleep aid. In fact, even ten minutes of regular aerobic exercise can have a dramatic effect. What can you do to be more active?

All about the habits

There’s nothing worse than being unable to sleep, while you think of your heavy schedule for the next day. But getting worked up is going to have the opposite effect. Build a calming bedtime routine, starting at around the same time every day. This will take time to take effect, so don’t expect immediate results.

Switch off. Journal. Relax. Meditate. Rinse and repeat. If it hasn’t worked on your first attempt, don’t give up. Start again from the beginning and then go back to bed for another attempt. Keep it up for a month and we’re confident you’ll notice the difference.

Looking for some tips on journalling? Does it seem a little daunting? We found this great (and very aesthetically pleasing) video that helps with how to fill out those blank pages like a pro!

Are you new to mindfulness for sleep? A master of the practice? Let us know how you get to sleep in the comment below – we’d love to hear from you.

Still struggling to get into ‘zen’ mode before sleeping? Try out one of our free guided sleep meditations on our resources page.