October brings with it not only the first frosts of Fall and everything pumpkin- there’s also midterm season and pre-holiday planning that may have minds spinning. As we’re all hoping to get cozier in the Fall weather (when it arrives), we can also practice mindfulness to help keep us afloat. It is easy to practice mindfulness in many settings, but here on the Anschutz Medical Campus one of the best places is the Health Sciences Library.
For one thing, you may already be here. Between our specialized computer workstations for statistics and VH Dissector, our many anatomical models and sleek laptops available for checkout, it’s likely that this is where you study already. Take a study break now and then and find a comfortable spot on any of our three floors to practice some mindful relaxation:
With a straight back, both feet on the floor and your hands resting comfortably, breathe in through your nose for a count of five, hold for two counts and exhale through your mouth for a count of five. Repeat this ten times, trying to think only about your breath. If other thoughts arise, let them go and re-focus on where your breath is in your body. Sometimes all it takes is a few minutes to re-charge.
For a walking mindfulness meditation- perhaps on your way to one of the Keurig stations or the coffee machine- be conscious of each step. Try to hold in your mind the reality of being present in the moment as your feet move. Notice that many muscles in your body are reacting and moving in time with your steps. The rhythm of walking can help your mind regain focus by noticing these small details of everyday reality.
Enjoy the library!
For more meditation and mindfulness exercises, check out these free apps available for both iPhone and Android users: