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Looking after ourselves

Daisydreamer
Community Manager

Mindful Mondays: New activity every Monday

As we approach the new year, we will be starting a ‘Mindful Monday’ activity to help increase our awareness of feelings and emotions, how these impact us, and build up our self care resources.

 

Everyone is welcome to join in- whether this is your first time practising mindfulness, something you practise regularly, or something you have tried in past that you might be interested to do again. We heard from many  discussions on the forums that mindfulness has been an important part of many people's recovery- we hope to build on this with this regular activity! 

 

You can also choose your level of participation- do what feels right for you! 

 

Below is some more information to help you get a sense of what this weekly activity is all about, and how it will work on the forums 🙂 

 

How will this work? 

Each Monday a SANE Staff member, Community Guide, or member of the Forums Community will set a mindfulness activity for those who wish to participate. Check back in throughout the week to let us all know how it went, and how it felt for you. 

 

What is mindfulness?  

Mindfulness is the quality of being present in the moment and fully engaged with whatever it is we are doing. I really love the picture below, because it helps visually show what a mindful moment looks like: 

 

Mindfulness | University Health Service

 

You can read more about Mindfulness here via headspace: https://www.headspace.com/mindfulness/mindfulness-101 

 

What's the benefits for mental health and wellbeing?

Mindfulness has been shown to:

  • Decrease stress and anxiety
  • Decrease feelings such as sadness and anger
  • Increase focus
  • Reduce pain
  • Improve sleep
  • And so many more! 

What will the Mindful Monday activity look like?

Mindfulness, like a muscle, takes time for us to exercise and build. What we will be doing is providing some small and easy-to-engage-with activities that can help you build mindfulness into your wellbeing activities. 

 

You can also modify the activities to suit you!

 

You might like to try the mindful attention awareness scale (MAAS) to gauge where you sit in terms of mindfulness and how you could potentially get more out of these activities! 
https://ppc.sas.upenn.edu/sites/default/files/mindfulnessscale.pdf 

 

How is this different to meditation?  

Meditation is mindful but it's broader and takes us beyond our minds. Mindfulness is a form of meditation, but it doesn't have to be meditative, meaning you can incorporate it more easily into any aspect of your everyday life. The important aspect of mindfulness is being in the moment.  

 

Acknowledging the experiences that can make mindfulness harder for us to engage with:

We would like to acknowledge that mindfulness is not for everyone and can feel distressing for people living with a history of trauma. We invite you to participate in this if you feel comfortable to, and take from it what you like. You know you and what works for you best Heart

 

Some helpful things to remember when practicing mindfulness is to exercise your right to choose and only do what feels right for you, take breaks, and make an external anchor point, such as a sound instead of the internal world, if that is too overwhelming for you. Sometimes opening your eyes and focusing on an external object can be helpful. You can find more information about this here https://davidtreleaven.com/  

 

Want to be tagged in the Mindful Moments activities as they are posted?

Mindful Monday will start on January 10th 2022. If you would like to get involved and want to be tagged in new Mindful Monday activities, click the "support" button below. 

 

So many of our community members already have amazing mindfulness activity ideas, and we invite you to lead an activity! Let us know at team@saneforums.org or tag us in this thread to let us know if you would like to lead a mindfulness activity- we will make a roster so that everyone can have a turn sharing their favourite mindfulness practices 🙂 

 

Quick Mindfulness Tricks to Deescalate a Terrible, Stressful Day – SheKnows

 

I look forward to sharing, learning and practising mindfulness together as a community 🙂

19 REPLIES 19

Re: Mindful Mondays: New activity every Monday

Tagging members of the forums who have spoken about mindfulness or made threads about mindfulness in the last month or two 🙂 We would love to invite you to join our new, weekly Mindful Monday activities, and even lead one if you like!

 

You can find all the information above, and please feel free to tag other members who might be interested!

 

@pinklollipop15 @Fluttershy1 @Ma60 @BPDSurvivor @Arizona @Spirit_Healer @BlueTrane @Gwynn @Jynx @Emelia8 @mantaray @Krishna @mmarks1 @Jorge @AussieRecharger 

Re: Mindful Mondays: New activity every Monday

sounds awesome @Daisydreamer Smiley Very Happy

Re: Mindful Mondays: New activity every Monday

What an awesome idea @Daisydreamer !

 

I love the fact that it is regular - it means I can schedule it in as a weekly event 🙂

 

I'd be happy to lead one. I've been attending weekly mindfulness sessions so i've got plenty of resources.

 

Hi @WIP @BlueBay @Lani @Fluttershy1 

Re: Mindful Mondays: New activity every Monday

Hi @Daisydreamer 

I think having Mindful Mondays on the forums is a great idea! Well done for starting this up in the new year- I look forward to participating in this weekly event and I'll be sure to schedule it in my new diary! When I was unwell in August and September, I did start to investigate the topic of mindfulness and am very glad that Sane has chosen to taken this up as it is something I'll very much like to participate in. 

See you on a Monday forumites for this new weekly event!

 

Judi9877☺️💐

Re: Mindful Mondays: New activity every Monday

@Daisydreamer  this sounds really great! Thank you! 🙂

 

I volunteer on Mondays in person, so I was wondering if I could read it on Tuesdays, or will it not work that way?

Re: Mindful Mondays: New activity every Monday

Re: Mindful Mondays: New activity every Monday

Hello everyone sounds Gold and Happy have saved this as a favorite 

looking forward to add and listen and read Thankyou form Clawde 👏

Re: Mindful Mondays: New activity every Monday

Hi @NatureLover,

You are more than welcome to read and participate in these Mindful Monday events any day of the week that suits you 🙂

Re: Mindful Mondays: New activity every Monday

OK to kick off our first week of Mindful Mondays I’m mixing a little creativity in to our mindfulness activity.

WEEK ONE: NATURE OR FOUND OBJECT MANDALA ACTIVITY 

Unknown-1.jpeg

Just a little context - What is a Mandala?

The word Mandala is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit and loosely translates to mean “circle”. It is a symbolic diagram which depicts patterns, shapes & motifs usually within a contained circle.

Various cultures, traditions and religions have representations of mandala creations in various ways. Also we may notice these ‘mandala’ like patterns that occur naturally in our every day life. For example a spiders web, flower formations etc.


Creating mandalas have been a mindfulness activity that I have personally used over the years in different ways. One of the ways I’m sharing with you today is through the use of found/foraged objects.

 

Helpful preparations before you begin:

  • Perhaps see this as permission to give yourself the gift of time, curiosity and presence.
  • Allowing time to: a) gather your materials b) design your pattern c) reflect on afterwards.
  • You will need a dedicated space that has a flat surface to build your design on as well as sit or stand comfortably at.
  • Suggest a read through of the whole activity below before you start.

Just some tips:

  • Literally anyone can do this, but make any adjustments for yourself if needed.
  • Don’t over think things – Keep things simple so to speak
  • Experiment by following your impulses and give it a go 😊

 

There are 3 parts to this process
Part 1: Mindfully gathering materials

Part 2: Forming your mandala

Part 3: Contemplation

 

Part 1: Mindfully gathering Material

You can either forage natural objects like I did on my daily walk – or if you are unable to get outside draw upon objects you may have in your own spaces.
(Key is to don’t over think it! – Try & go with your natural impulses and have things that are in multiples)

Standing in your environment and for a few seconds perhaps noticing your body contact with the ground underneath you.

Then, check in with your surroundings – what do you observe, or feel or hear?

Does anything obvious stand out to you?
Seeing what types of things catch your eye or feel to touch, maybe it’s a bunch of leaves, rocks, bark, twigs, flowers etc. Or maybe at a home setting it’s pegs, toothpicks, teaspoons, buttons, etc. Collect those objects you find sparks something and bring them back to the area you will make your mandala pattern.

Unknown-2.jpeg

 

Part 2: Forming your Mandala

Just as you did before starting your scavenger hunt, collecting your materials, I offer a suggestion to take a moment to check in with yourself, however that looks like of you.
For me, I take a few conscious breaths in + out while I observe any kind of sensations I might be present in my body.
But that will look different to everyone.

Having your materials in your dedicated space with a flat surface, notice the different shapes, textures, colours of the objects.

It has been helpful for me to start from a centre point, choosing what my centre will be, but you can always mix that up.
From which ever place you decide to start, centre or not, experiment with repetition and playing with shapes using the materials.
Perhaps having a general idea of a circle formation in your mind as a guide, if you like.

Continue until you have come to a place where it feels complete.

 

Part 3: Contemplation

This is some time dedicated to being present with your mandala. I quite like to note down thoughts b/c I will often forget later. This part of the process can be likened to a reflective practice. Where you might walk away with new insights or ideas afterwards.
Some examples of doing this can be by using a journal, a voice recording, notes in your phone – if that calls to you & in whichever way you’re drawn to.


So, by giving you a moment with your mandala after it’s assemblage, you can jump right into any observations or thoughts that came up for you, either during the process or afterwards.

They may be to do with emotions, inspirations, or challenges that came up at ay time.
It could be that you don’t have words but notice shapes or textures that have an impact on you in some way. It’s only for your eyes, so it doesn’t even need to make sense to anyone else.

If you are willing to share any photos or thoughts about this activity, please feel free to do so here. I would absolutely LOVE to see the different takes that people create with this process.

I will leave with some more examples that might inspire you 🌸 ❄️ 🔆

 

Unknown-3.jpegUnknown-4.jpegUnknown-5.jpegUnknown-7.jpeg

 

Tagging those Members who have supported this thread:

@Gwynn @FiFi85 @Anastasia @NatureLover @Appleblossom @Snowie @Paperdaisy @Rhye @BPDSurvivor @Clawde @Shaz51 @Bow @Emelia8 @StuF @BlueBay @Judi9877 

 

Others who might like to get involved due to their previous interest in mindfulness threads in last 2mths

@pinklollipop15 @Fluttershy1 @Ma60 @Arizona @Spirit_Healer @BlueTrane @Jynx @mantaray @Krishna @mmarks1 @Jorge @AussieRecharger 

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