Mindfulness is so simple to know how to do it and so difficult to remember to practice it. My favorite way to practice it is to notice everything in the present moment that I can take in with my five senses: touch, vision, hearing, taste, and smell.
The first thing is to breathe. The best way to take a deep breath is by first breathing OUT
completely. Then as you breath IN notice how the air feels and sounds as you breathe in through your nose or mouth. Notice the sensation of air filling your lungs and watch your chest rise. If you like the sensation of relaxation that comes with breathing deeply, you can place a hand on your belly and notice the sensations as your diaphragm expands and contracts.
Other sensory details are feeling your clothes on your body, or noticing your legs as they touch the chair you are sitting in. Hearing whatever sounds are around you such as airplanes, voices, or machines humming. What colors and textures are in the room with you as you really look at your surroundings with mindful consciousness? Are there any tastes or fragrances, such as a vanilla candle in the room?
You can be mindful and present with the loved one you are caring for, even if they are not awake or conscious. Can you feel the warmth of their skin as you hold their hand or touch their arm? Look at the color of the eyes or the lines on their face as if you are seeing them for the first time. Listen to the rise and fall of voice as they talk to you or as you say something soothing to them. To enhance your time together, share a cup of tea or a family favorite treat and savor the taste and aroma.
The greatest challenge in mindfulness is to stay in the mode of observation rather than thinking, evaluating, labeling, and categorizing. Your mind will likely drift to thoughts after a few moments as this is what our minds love to do best! If you would like more guidance in using Mindfulness while caregiving, check out our upcoming workshops.
I am a health and happiness psychologist. I had an amazing opportunity to care for my late husband with dementia that brought everything into focus: love, purpose, healing, self-care, and living without regrets. You can read more of my story here.
Yes, I love comments and feedback from readers! Feel free to make a genuine connection with me. I love the personal contact of phone calls, so call me already :) Or email works well too. Find my contact information here.