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Quarantine Mental Health Tip:

Mindfulness Exercise

Quarantine has caused a lot of anxiety and restlessness for many people. It has become hard to focus on the present day without worrying what will be happening a week or a month from now. This focus on the future only increases overall anxiety and takes away any contentment to be found in these times when we need it most. Using this simple mindfulness exercise can help us pull ourselves from this worry spiral and put us back in the present moment so that we can accomplish tasks or even just focus on talking with a family member or read an interesting book. If you find yourself with a lot of anxiety, try this simple Five Senses mindfulness exercise: Use this exercise to quickly ground yourself in the present. The goal is to notice something you are currently experiencing through each of your senses. What are 5 things you can see? Look around you and notice five things that you hadn’t noticed before. Maybe a pattern on the wall, light reflecting of a surface, or a knick-knack in the corner of the room. What are 4 things you can feel? Maybe you feel the pressure of your feet on the floor, your shirt resting against your shoulders, or the temperature on your skin. Pick up an object and notice its texture. What are 3 things you can hear? Notice all the background sounds you had been filtering out, such as a fan, birds chirping, or cars on a distant street. What are 2 things you can smell? Maybe you can smell flowers, coffee, or freshly cut grass. It doesn’t have to be a nice smell either: maybe there’s an overflowing trash can nearby. What is 1 thing you can taste? Pop a piece of gum in your mouth, take a sip of a drink, eat a snack, or simply notice how your mouth tastes. “Taste” the air to see how it feels on your tongue. The numbers for each exercise are only a guideline. Feel free to do more or less of each. Also, try this exercise while doing an activity like washing the dishes, listening to music, or going for a walk.
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