During this time of exam preparation (and the added stresses of isolation and CV19), it is important for us all to take a moment to stop, reflect and re-focus. Preferably several times a day. Doing this is not only important for our mental health and well-being, but it can positively affect our physical health as well.
Now I’m not proposing that you adopt the lotus position and chant “AUM” for 3 hours. All it takes is a few moments, one or two minutes is enough. Find something to focus on, this can be an action like washing the dishes (or your hands!), stirring a pot of food, rhythmically rubbing your hands together, or even staring at a flower or candle flame. Whatever it is you are doing, or choose to do, be fully present in it for those few moments, try not think about anything else, let that action be your focus. Then think about the good things in your life (there is ALWAYS at least one!). Your health, those close to you, a roof over your head, ... Things that you are thankful for. Even in these trying times, there are silver linings that can be found. It can even literally be that silver lining you saw today when the sun came out from behind the clouds, even for a split second. We forget these all too quickly and take them for granted. By taking a moment to re-focus and remembering what is good in our lives, we can re-balance the stress and madness of the world, both within and around us.
You may call this mindfulness, meditation, prayer, reflection – whatever you are comfortable with. But taking those few moments every day, are important to remind us of the bigger picture and that the current situation we find ourselves in, is only a fleeting moment in the journey of our lives. Even though it may seem stressful right now, it will pass before you know it. By taking these moments to be thankful, they can pull us out of the craziness of our own minds. I am reminded of a quote from the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, “Everything will be alright in the end, so if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.”
Also remember that during these stressful times, we are not alone. There are always friends, family, and university tutors that we can reach out to. If you would rather speak to someone anonymously, there are many organisations who are there to offer support, here are a few, just click on the links.
Be safe and be kind (especially to yourself).