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How to use Mindfulness to Cope with COVID-19-Related Stressors

mindfulness

In the past few weeks, the Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed many of our lives. During these uncertain times, it’s important to find ways to manage fear and anxiety to help alleviate day-to-day stressors.

Mindfulness and meditation practices can help you acclimate to your new normal as you learn more about coronavirus and how it will impact your daily life. 

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a mental state you can reach by focusing on the present and is often used as a therapeutic technique.

It’s a way of deepening your awareness, paying attention with curiosity, being more compassionate, being present without judgement, and letting go.

With mindfulness, you can simply be without doing anything.

Three areas of mindfulness focus

Mindfulness is most helpful when it’s intentionally practiced every day, throughout the day. This helps your body and mind learn how to best respond to reduce stress and enhance well-being.

Take time during the day to focus on:

  • Your body -- Check in with your body. Pay attention to how your body feels and how it is carrying stress.
  • Your breath -- Breathe deeply and fully. Release tension and breathe in and out slowly in a rhythmic pattern.
  • The present -- Relax and focus your attention on the present moment.

Two meditation exercises to practice mindfulness

Meditation is a great way to practice mindfulness. Here are two mindfulness exercises to help jumpstart your journey.

Meditation Session – Block off time on your calendar in the morning and at night and practice in a location that works best for you.

  • Find a comfortable place to be still – preferably on the floor or in a chair
  • Close your eyes
  • Follow a guided meditation five to 30 minutes. Apps like Calm or Headspace can help you get started.
  • Repeat as often as you like.

Mindfulness Pause –  Practice pausing anytime you are feeling tense, distracted, or upset.

  • Take three deep breaths
  • Check in with your body, relax and let go of tension
  • Check in with how you’re feeling. Are you sad, angry, afraid or anxious?
  • Check in with your thoughts
  • Breathe deeply, release and let go
  • Stay present and focus on positive thoughts, including kindness, acceptance and ease

To learn more about mindfulness meditation or other supportive services available at Pennsylvania Hospital, call 215-829-6466. For services at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, call 215-615-0534. 

Learn more about the variety of support services available for Abramson Cancer Center patients and their families.

About This Blog

The Focus on Cancer blog discusses a variety of cancer-related topics, including treatment advances, research efforts and clinical trials, nutrition, support groups, survivorship and patient stories.

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