Mindfulness – BYC Thomas O’Reilly
My name is Thomas and I am a member of the Brimbank Youth Council. Even after the difficult times in isolation that we have endured, it is just as important that we continue to maintain our mental health.
One way we can do this is by being mindful, which means to be aware of our present thoughts, feelings and emotions. As last month celebrated International Mindfulness Day, it also serves as a timely reminder that we explore some ways in which we can practise mindfulness.
Colouring in complex patterns trains us to forget about the troubles in our conscious mind, and to instead focus on the lines and colours on the page. “Mandala” drawings, deriving from the San-skirt word for circles, are an example of this and can help bring some peace and tranquility into the present moment for you.
Meditation can also guide people back to the present. Simply sit and relax; close your eyes, focus on your breathing and hone in on your awareness. When you experience a disruption, train your mind back to a place of stillness. All of this will take time and practise, so don’t worry if your first meditation experience turns out unmemorable. More information on meditation can be found on Headspace.
Taking a break is another great way to recharge your mind, and can also help to break up the activities in your day to day life. For example, if you have a busy school schedule combined with a variety of employment and afterschool opportunities, it’s important to take a little time to focus on yourself. Something as small as going for a walk outside or grabbing a snack could help change your mood and boost motivation for the remainder of the day.
Focus on your breathing is my final tip for mindfulness. Nowadays, it is all too easy to get anxious and worried, and our body can tense up. By taking the time to breathe, you can relieve any tension in your body and regulate your breath so you can feel truly relaxed. One breathing technique to try is the 4-7-8 technique: Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and then breathe out for 8 seconds.
Hopefully you can incorporate some of these things into your life, and stay tuned to our socials for more mental health goodness in the coming weeks as we continue to launch the final components of our project.
If you would like some professional advice on how to support your mental health, or you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, get in touch with Brimbank Youth Services for some support