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THREE GREAT BOOKS TO HELP YOU BRING THE ART OF MINDFULNESS HOME…

A Mindful Day – 365 Ways To Live Life by David Dillard-Wright £10.99

From the author of A Mindful Morning and A Mindful Evening comes a guide with 365 positive affirmations and short meditation exercises you can do to relax and unwind at a moment’s notice, A mindful Day.

With all the struggles of modern life, it’s easy to get lost in a whirlwind of stress, worry, and indifference. Between work, family, and day-to-day tasks, it can be hard to find a moment of peace. By taking just a few minutes a day to meditate, you can improve your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

A Mindful Day is an easy way to quiet your body and mind. With 365 affirmations as well as soothing mindfulness meditations, you can learn how to take a break from your day and find peace whenever you need it the most. Simple exercises like focusing on your breathing or listening to the sounds in nature can calm your nerves and melt away the demands of modern life.

Spending time to get in touch with your soul can help you achieve true balance and tranquility. Let A Mindful Day help release your stress and find the peace you deserve. Or, treat someone you know could really benefit from this book for Christmas.

I Am Peace – A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde for children, £9.01

When the world feels chaotic, find peace within through an accessible mindfulness practice from the bestselling picture-book dream team that brought us I Am Yoga. Express emotions through direct speech. Find empathy through imagination. Connect with the earth. Wonder at the beauty of the natural world. Breathe, taste, smell, touch, and be present.

Perfect for the classroom or for bedtime, Susan Verde’s gentle, concrete narration and Peter H. Reynolds’s expressive watercolor illustrations bring the tenets of mindfulness to a kid-friendly level. Featuring an author’s note about the importance of mindfulness and a guided meditation for children, I Am Peace

With our world in a difficult place at the moment this book would be perfect for any child who seems to be struggling with everything to do with the pandemic.

For the skeptic – The Mindful Geek – Secular Meditation for Smart Skeptics by Michael W Taft £9.99

The Mindful Geek details how to derive the benefits of mindfulness meditation without having to join a religion or drink metaphysical Kool-Aid. In the book, Michael Taft gives you step-by-step instructions in the powerful and reliable techniques of mindfulness meditation, and outlines the psychological and neuroscientific research underpinning these practices.

An excellent book for beginners who are atheists, agnostics, and skeptics of all stripes who want help with anxiety, depression, and to enjoy life more.

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HOW TO RELAX AND BEAT OFF STRESS THE NATURAL WAY…

The Japanese who live no where near any countryside just find a wood and use a technique called ‘shining-yoko’, also known as ‘forest bathing’ to help them relax and beat off stress the natural way.

It involves spending time in the woods and the idea is to let nature enter through all five senses. The practice is said to help lower your blood pressure, fight depression and beat stress.

The Guardian writes ‘ it is believed that time spent under the green canopy is critical in fighting a number of diseases and conditions’. Some Japanese spend a regular few day’s in the forest and Forestry England Forest bathing, which despite its name does not involve water. Forestry England have some top tips and activities to get you going, which include,

  • Turn off your devices to give yourself the best chance of relaxing, being mindful and enjoying a sensory forest-based experience.
  • Slow down. Move through the forest slowly so you can see and feel more.
  • Take long breaths deep into the abdomen. Extending the exhalation of air to twice the length of the inhalation sends a message to the body that it can relax.
  • Stop, stand or sit, smell what’s around you, what can you smell?
  • Take in your surroundings using all of your senses. How does the forest environment make you feel? Be observant, look at nature’s small details.
  • Sit quietly using mindful observation; try to avoid thinking about your to-do list or issues related to daily life. You might be surprised by the number of wild forest inhabitants you see using this process.
  • Keep your eyes open. The colours of nature are soothing and studies have shown that people relax best while seeing greens and blues.
  • Stay as long as you can, start with a comfortable time limit and build up to the recommended two hours for a complete forest bathing experience.

They want you to let us know how you get along!

The NHS have a social prescribinglist which includes volunteering, sports activities, and gardening as a way to feel better. Forest bathing is a chance for people to take time out, slow down and connect with nature. They describe ‘social prescribingworks for a wide range of people, including people:

  • with one or more long-term conditions
  • who need support with their mental health
  • who are lonely or isolated
  • who have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic this year camping has become extremely popular. In fact my respective family and child have always camped but this year was their first one with my young (12 month) granddaughter. Every time they camped my daughter would say she would ‘go out like a light’ when put to bed.

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SEVEN STEPS TO DEVELOPING THE PRACTICE OF DEEP BREATHING ON A DAILY BASIS FOR YOUR HEALTH…

Here is a great infographic from Develop Good Habits which I found on Pinterest and which explains in simple terms a seven-step process on how to develop the practice of deep breathing on a daily basis, something I think we could all benefit from during this COVID-19 outbreak.