Together We Give Hope

Back-to-school mindfulness tips

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By Taryn Chong

The summer is coming to an end, and many will return to familiar patterns and routines such as school.  Developing or re-invigorating an existing mindfulness practice can help relieve stress, increase focus and clarity, improve your memory and support a richer and more meaningful life experience. Though it can feel like there is no easy transition returning to set, scheduled days, here are a few tips as a reminder that practising mindfulness is possible regardless of the upcoming fall stress.

Stop multitasking, and start single-tasking. 

Try and prioritize what needs to be done first and act as though it is your only project to be done. Task by task you will be able to eliminate the items on your checklist. If you find yourself rushing to do multiple things at once, notice, stop, and refocus on the present task-at-hand. Validate yourself each time you come to completing a singular task.

Put your phone away and reward yourself for it.

Set a timer on your phone for 30-minute ‘non-phone’ intervals to avoid added stress and sensory overload. Adam Atler stated in a TED Talk, Why Our Screens make us Less Happy, that during specific events each day, you should make your phone unavailable. Consider putting your phone on airplane mode for the weekend or for dinner so it’s available just as a camera. With each of these ideas, you’ll be more equipped to focus on one thing at a time and complete your task, enjoy your meals, weekends and relationships, wholeheartedly. 

Listen to your body

Be aware of the needs of your body: eat when you are hungry; rest when you are tired. Most importantly, take time to listen to your body and validate what it’s telling you. Whatever arrangements you make with your body, be sure to follow through. Notice how listening to your body may help increase energy, inspiration and overall well-being. 

To learn more about how to bring mindfulness and self-care into the classroom and daily life, consider one of the mental health and well-being workshops offered by the Crisis Centre for youth and adults. These workshops provide  strategies on how to cope with stress, build self-awareness and resiliency and incorporate self-care practices into daily life.