In times of stress, it’s not always easy to tune the mind for concentration. If you have been finding lately that your eyes struggle to stay on the page when studying or reading a book, or that you can’t concentrate on things that you feel are supposed to be productive, then fear not. Now is not a time to be placing extra pressure on ourselves to perform, but for those who want to keep busy in a way that contributes to lower levels of cortisol, these soft and soothing activities could be worth exploring when it comes to lowering anxiety levels.
If you remember losing hours of your childhood to poring over a picture with your coloring pencils then you will understand the allure of mandala coloring. In Sanskrit, the term mandala means circle or center and capture the mood of being in flowing harmony with nature and the universe. Whether you draw the mandala yourself from a guided practice online or invest in a mandala coloring book, sitting down and engaging in the pure practice of coloring is hugely healing for the mind. Not only will your mandala coloring practice soothe frayed nerves but it may even spark some creativity and works as a reset button for those who struggle with meditation.
Stretch, breathe and repeat – it may be an old cliché but daily yoga practice truly brings you back to simple intention and works wonders for your body, mind and soul. Daily yoga practice is less about the exercise and results and more about the mindful art of a daily practice. Even if you just take 5-10 minutes in the morning or afternoon, it can be a life-changing routine that lends you space to get in touch with your body and soothe the mind. Right now, feeling thankful for the body can be a truly beautiful practice to grow.
Those with gardens can dig their fingers deep in the earth, connect with nature and bring a flush of health back to being. There’s a reason people say gardening is therapeutic. Whether you start to nurse seedlings, plant some herbs, grow some flowers or just make a well-tended space; the fresh air, the dose of Vitamin D sunlight, and the practice of being one with nature is sheer healing stuff. If you don’t have a garden, don’t fear – create a herbal garden on your kitchen windowsill, tend some plants, or even build a beautiful mini Zen garden for your desk out of a picture frame, some sand and a teeny dose of greenery.
Springtime is here for some people across the globe and if you are still able to step out for a walk, this could be an amazing opportunity to rustle up some wild foraging as you go on your way. Otherwise, you can also look to your own patch of garden to see what grows there. Nettles for soup, wild garlic for pesto and dandelions for a sunny salad – these are just a few wild edibles ripe for picking in spring. Be sure to do your research first, but for those seeking ways to connect with the world around them right now, foraging for food and tea is a highly humbling and soft practice.
Whether you take it seriously or turn to tarot for a bit of fun, it can be a great practice to play with the cards and try to decipher the turn of the future. We can feel anxious when untethered, but the tarot reminds us that everything shall pass and that the future remains full of possibility. Whichever card you pull, there’s always a positive slant to be had and right now, a daily dose of positivity can make all the difference.
Which practices are you turning to when trying to banish monkey mind? Share in the comments.