Wellness with Ajarn Katie

Online learning can all get a bit overwhelming for staff, students and parents, so we reached out to our resident Wellness expert,  Katie for her top tips! Here is her quick guide to being more mindful during this time.  We have also created a video to go along with this on our Prem YouTube: CLICK HERE
1. Connect to the Breath:

The first and easiest thing we can do to get present and calm the mind, is to focus on our breath. It is a tool that we always have with us. You can simply notice how the breath feels in the body, count the lengths of your breath, or practice inhaling more deeply by filling your belly like a balloon.


2. Fully Relax the Body:
Sit or lay down comfortably. Scan your body from head to toe and see what muscles you can relax. We often hold tension in places that we don’t realize! Relax your eyebrows, your shoulders, your fingers, your stomach… When we purposely slow down the breath and rest our body, we send the message to our brain that we are safe and can be at ease. 
3. Recognize Your Feelings:
Take a moment to ask yourself, ‘How am I feeling?’ And then, ‘What else am I feeling?’ Often when we pause to ask ourselves this question, the mind and heart will give us a real answer. Naming how we feel is a critical part of understanding ourselves and being able to create balance. 
4. Prioritize Your Mental Wellbeing:
In the times when you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, checked-out, or just down, remind yourself that your mental wellbeing is one of the most important things of all. When you are well, your family and those around you can also be well. As much as you need or can, take some quiet alone time, even if it is just five minutes with the bathroom door locked. Give lovingkindness to your sweet self and allow yourself to press pause. Space + Self-Compassion = Healing
5. Try Some Acceptance Practices:
We can influence many things in our lives, but there is much, much more that is out of our control. The only concept that is guaranteed is that things will change, in one way or another. Change and uncertainty are simply parts of our reality, and if we can accept these tricky truths, we will find ourselves more flexible and with a greater sense of peace. Easier said than done, but practice can help! 
6. Build-In Screenless Time:
Screens – your phone, computer, tablets, televisions, smart-watches, and more – can cause eye strain and higher levels of anxiety. Create intentional blocks of time that give you a break from the screens. It is sometimes just as important that we be under-stimulated. Ideally, when we must use screens for school or work, we can follow the screentime rule of thirds: 1/3 of the day with screen-use, 1/3 of the day off-screen (think: eating, hobbies, relaxation, family time), and 1/3 for sleep (thats a full 8 hours)! Get creative and think of ways to get the whole family involved. 
7. Connect with Nature:
Get grounded by getting back to nature. ake a bird-watching walk, play barefoot in the grass, listen to the sounds of wind in the trees, or simply spend time watching a butterfly. You only need the tools of observation and curiosity to tap into the generous gifts of nature all around us. 
8. Name Your Gratitudes:  
Even when times feel tough, there is so much to be grateful for. Look around your home and community, what do you feel fortunate to have? Spending time to point out what is going well or what makes us lucky helps us to build resilience and optimism. Even in times of isolation or lockdown, we can find many conditions for happiness. Check out our Gratitude in Isolation bingo card and see how many you score. 
A big thank you to Katie for all of her insights above and we are sure that this will help us all to take some time to focus on our well-being.

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