How to Stay Sane in Challenging Times

  1. Guard the Morning and start it gently. Train yourself to begin the day with a few gentle breaths and a smile, before even getting out of bed (or checking your phone). Make the intention to live every hour of this new day deeply.
  2. Savour your tea or coffee, slowly, as if it is the axis on which the earth revolves. Follow your breathing, relax the body, look out of the window, listen to your heartbeat. This is a meditation too.
  3. Enjoy every step of breakfast-making. Life is made of small moments. Imagine there is nowhere to hurry to, nothing to get done. This is it! Enjoy the wonder of having enough to eat.
  4. When you’re ready to work, work. Free yourself from distractions and cultivate a focused mind. But don’t forget to take care of your body while at the computer. Set an alarm so you can stretch every 30 minutes or so.
  5. Take time to walk mindfully (there are instructions on how to do this on www.mindfulnessandmountains.co.uk). Either go outside and get in touch with nature or you can practice slow walking meditation indoors, a powerful way to release tension and anxiety.
  6. Take a nap after lunch for 20 minutes or so. Practice deep relaxation and do a Body Scan (a led meditation is on my website). Even just 10 or 15 minutes of releasing tension can set you free and refresh you before returning to work.
  7. Nourish yourself. Nothing can survive without food. Fear, anxiety and despair may be “fed” by what we read, see and hear In the same way that our gratitude, compassion and trust can be fed by choosing inspiring books, music, podcasts and conversations.
  8. Exercise. It is essential to circulate our energy, to stay health, to release tension and feelings that are stored in every cell of our body.
  9. Reach out to loved ones. Let them know you are there for them. Ask them about their hopes and fears. Write them a love letter. Forgive those who need forgiving. Do not miss this stark opportunity to heal wounded relationships.
  10. Listen to guided meditations first thing in the morning or last thing at night.

Adapted from Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings.

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