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News: Car­ers Week – 5 sim­ple mind­ful­ness exercises

Please note: This news story may contain information that is no longer current or up to date.
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Car­ers Week is an annu­al cam­paign to raise aware­ness of car­ing, high­light the chal­lenges unpaid car­ers face and recog­nise the con­tri­bu­tion they make to fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties through­out the UK. It also helps peo­ple who don’t think of them­selves as hav­ing car­ing respon­si­bil­i­ties to iden­ti­fy as car­ers and access much-need­ed support. 

This year, the theme is Make Car­ing Vis­i­ble and Val­ued, aim­ing to recog­nise the con­tri­bu­tion car­ers make to their fam­i­lies and local com­mu­ni­ties, work­places and soci­ety, and that they get the sup­port they need.

Our Well­be­ing team share some great tips for short mind­ful­ness activ­i­ties here. We hope they will be ben­e­fi­cial to any of you who have car­ing respon­si­bil­i­ties, to help you relax and boost your wellbeing.

1. Mindful eating

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This involves pay­ing atten­tion to the taste, sight and tex­tures of what you eat. For exam­ple, when drink­ing a cup of tea or cof­fee you could focus on how sweet it tastes, or how hot it feels. 

2. Mindful moving, walking or running

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Notice the feel­ing of your body mov­ing. You might notice the breeze against your skin, the feel­ing of your feet or hands against dif­fer­ent tex­tures on the ground or near­by sur­faces, and the dif­fer­ent smells that are around you. 

3. Body scan

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This is where you move your atten­tion slow­ly through dif­fer­ent parts of the body, start­ing from the top of your head, mov­ing all the way down to the end of your toes. You could focus on feel­ings of warmth, ten­sion, or relax­ation for example. 

4. Mindful colouring and drawing

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Focus on the colours and the sen­sa­tion of your pen­cil on the paper, rather than try­ing to draw some­thing spe­cif­ic. You could use a mind­ful­ness colour­ing book or down­load mind­ful­ness colour­ing images. 

5. Mindful meditation

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Sit qui­et­ly and focus on your breath­ing, your thoughts, sen­sa­tions in your body and the things you can hear around you. 

Try to bring focus back to the present if your mind starts to wan­der. Many peo­ple also find that yoga helps them con­cen­trate on their breath­ing and focus on the present moment. 

This page from men­tal health char­i­ty Mind has infor­ma­tion on types of alter­na­tive and com­ple­men­tary ther­a­py (includ­ing infor­ma­tion on doing them safely). 

Different things work for different people

If you don’t find one exer­cise use­ful, try anoth­er. You can also try adapt­ing them so that they suit you and are eas­i­er to fit in with your dai­ly life.

Use the drop-down menu to see more tips

  • Pay attention to how it feels.
  • Notice where your thoughts have drifted to when your mind wanders.
  • Choose and return , meaning choose to bring your attention back to the present moment, usually by focusing on your breathing for example.
  • Be aware and accept – notice emotions or sensations. Try to observe and accept these feelings with friendly curiosity and without judgement.
  • Be kind to yourself – remember that mindfulness can be difficult and our minds will always wander. Try not to be critical of yourself.

Our cur­rent Not­ting­ham Col­lege stu­dents can access advice about well­be­ing sup­port on the Well­be­ing Hub on the stu­dent intranet, or speak to their Achieve­ment Coach. 

Published on:
  • 10th June 2021 (4:30 PM)
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