Mindful Moves: Elevate your day with simple mindfulness exercises

Embarking on the journey of an apprenticeship is a great way to kickstart your career – but navigating the stressful word of learning and working comes with its fair share of challenges. You are not just employees, but students too, and maintaining your wellbeing is key to your success.

Let’s explore some fun and effective mindfulness practices, as recommended by the Mind charity, to keep your mind sharp and spirits high during your apprenticeship.

1. Relax your body

This is a crucial aspect of mindfulness because physical tension often mirrors mental stress. By releasing tension through relaxation exercises, you signal to your mind that it’s okay to let go.

What do I do?

  1. Choose a clam and comfortable environment where you won’t be disturbed.
  2. Inhale and exhale slowly, letting go of stress with each breath.
  3. Starting from your toes, tense and release each muscle group, working your way up to your head. Notice how this feels.
  4. Gently stretch your muscles, holding each stretch for a few seconds and then release.
  5. When you’re ready, stand up slowly.

2. Draw calming circles

The repetitive motion of drawing circles helps direct your attention away from distractions and helps focus your attention on the present moment.

What do I do?

  1. Use your fingertips to draw gentle circles on your palm.
  2. Maintain a slow and rhythmic motion. Focus on the sensation of your fingertips on your palm. How does it feel?
  3. Inhale as you move in one direction, exhale as you complete the circle.
  4. Be fully present in the experience. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring your focus back to the sensation of drawing circles on your palm.

3. Take a mindful moment in nature

The sights and sounds of the outdoors ground you in the here and now, and nature often has a calming effect on the nervous system. Spending time in green spaces promotes relaxation, making it easier to let go of stress and tension.

What do I do?

  1. Choose a peaceful location such as a park or garden.
  2. Take a deep breath, feeling the air fill your lungs.  Hold for a few seconds and then exhale slowly.
  3. Take a few moments to observe your surroundings – what can you see and feel?
  4. Engage all your senses. Feel the breeze on your skin, listen to the sounds of nature, and notice any scents in the air.

4. Connect with your senses.

Your senses work in the present moment. By focusing on your senses, such as sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell, you anchor your awareness to what is happening right now, reducing mental chatter.

What do I do?

  1. Inhale for a count of 4, then exhale for a count of 4. Repeat this for as long as you need.
  2. Look around and notice five things you can see.
  3. Pay attention to four sounds you can hear.
  4. Feel the textures of three objects around you. Notice the sensations on your skin.
  5. Name two things you can smell around you.
  6. What is one thing you can taste?

Your apprenticeship journey is a mixture of learning, challenges and most importantly growth. By incorporating these useful mindfulness activities into your day-to-day life, you’re not just surviving – you’re succeeding. Remember, a healthy mind is your most important assets on this adventure, so embrace mindfulness and let it help you reach your goals.

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