• Nicole Bentley, LCSW

How a Therapist Practices Mindfulness to Remain Grounded During a Global Pandemic

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has been ongoing for a year now and it has impacted every person in significant ways. While we are grieving what we missed out on over the last year, we are also navigating what it means to have hope for normalcy again and re-adjust to a more social lifestyle. It is more important than ever to remain connected to the present moment so we can effectively navigate this change. Here is how a therapist practices mindfulness during this ongoing pandemic:

1) Intentional “Off Screen” Time

Working from home has been a privilege during this pandemic, however it does mean much more screen time than I was accustomed to. Between professional screen time and recreational screen time, it can seem like I am focused on a screen for most of the day. To combat this, I have implemented intentional “off screen” time each day. Working in the kitchen (cooking, doing dishes or cleaning) is designated as “off screen” time, as well as time with my daughter in the evening. This designated time helps to find some balance and remain more connected to myself and my environment.

2) Looking out the Window

Whenever I pass a window (and I’m not in a big hurry) I make it a point to stop and look. I observe the scenery outside and find gratitude for what I am seeing out the window. Sometimes that gratitude is easy to come by, like on a sunny day for example. Other times it is more of an effort to connect, observe, and find a moment of gratitude. In these situations, I find it helpful to take an extra moment to describe what I am seeing to further connect to the present moment.

3) Calming Evening Routine

Creating a routine is a great way for mindfulness to be woven into daily life. I have done this by keeping a calming lavender lotion on my nightstand so I can apply it before bed each night. The smell is luxurious, and I make sure to take my time to be mindful as I am applying it.

4) Utilizing Hand Fidgets

Having an item in my hand can feel grounding, especially during moments of high anxiety. With my heart rate increasing and my rational thinking skills on the decline, reaching for a simple hand fidget (my favorite is a mini slinky) can help me to focus my energy and relax my mind and body.

These strategies have helped me to feel more connected with the present moment, and more connected with myself during such a trying time. By weaving in small moments of mindfulness throughout my day I am more likely to follow through on these practices, and less likely to make an excuse for why I don’t have time for self-care. The pandemic has left me with less cognitive and emotional reserves, so this strategy has made it possible for me to remain connected to my mindfulness practice in a realistic way.

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