With smart devices always a pocket away and how easy it is to see what is going on in the world, it’s no wonder that for some, the ills of the world are ever present and help contribute to our stress and anxiety. One way to help that are mindfulness exercises – an action that helps you be completely in the moment focused on one thing, and letting everything else in our head go so that we can reset and enjoy some clarity. Meditation is a fairly well accepted way of achieving this, but for those who want to be mindful but want to do it in a fun and relaxed way, here are a few alternatives to try:
Painting for mindfulness can be done in any number of ways and any number of formats – be it the act of painting watercolours of a landscape in your local park, using acrylics to paint a vivid scene, or painting miniature figures (my personal favourite) to the best of your abilities. You will find that by focusing on the act of what colour goes where and the physical motion and concentration required, that you will let go of the latest 24 hour news item or what people have been saying on social media.
Immersive Video Games
In modern times, video games have expanded far beyond their humble roots and become something that is accessible to anyone and caters to a wide variety of interests and skill levels. For us here at Roonee, falling into an entirely other world like in Minecraft, The Legend of Zelda or Skyrim can help us reset as we find ourselves more interested in the short term goals we set for ourselves while playing, and worry less about what’s going on away from the screen. A good tip here is to avoid mobile games, as the point of this exercise is to not let yourself get distracted by the myriad of notifications that you receive on an hourly basis – a Nintendo Switch is a great video game console for this reason. It retains the strengths of your mobile (very portable, easy to pick up and put down) but does not distract you with the many other social apps you would have on your phone.
When we say board games, we don’t mean Monopoly or Cluedo or those other family board games you remember as a child. Board games go so much further than that and can scale up and down in complexity to suit your mood. Playing a board game with your partner, your family or even by yourself (many board games now cater for single players) can be a great social exercise or just an opportunity to disappear into a rulebook and enjoy the process of learning a colourful little game – either way it has mindfulness benefits. There is something to be said for the calming effect of unpacking and laying out a game board and shuffling some cards – give it a try!