Maintaining Mental Wellbeing – Practical Techniques

Breathing and Mindful Techniques

Skills Focus have put together a free positive psychology resources for employers to help their staff adjust to the change and keep their ship steady. Social isolation and sudden uncertainty is enough to affect anyone’s mental wellbeing. We can easily move towards catastrophic thinking and other cognitive distortions, without the support of colleagues and our daily routines.

You may have a Mental Health First Aider in your business. Wellbeing and Mental Health is a lot better understood today. However, you will need to be sensitive to how you introduce these messages to staff and consider what additional home-working strategies you encourage people to do. Skills Focus courses offer awareness, tips and techniques to help you encourage Mental Health wellness in your business. As an employer you will need to look at your own situation and help staff understand the new world and changing demands on them whilst this Covid-19 outbreak continues.

These techniques look at how to deal with some of the challenges that face people, how we can develop negative thought pathways, that may lead to changes in our behaviour and develop cognitive distortions. and we offer some useful tips around Mindfulness and Resilience. These will help people manage become more aware of unhelpful (and inaccurate) thoughts and what to do about them, to help us maintain our overall mental wellbeing.

Video: Skills Focus CBT and Mindfulness Course – Cognitive distortions

Mental Wellbeing – Practical Techniques

There will be opportune moments in your daily busy schedule to bring in and integrate various mindfulness practices. For instance:

  • Take 5-30 minutes in the morning for yourself. This can be just concentrating on your breathing watching the birds, its about being quiet. Its akin to meditation and you can use the same techniques simply i.e. sit or lie down and be with yourself, gaze out of the window, listen to the sounds of nature or take a slow quiet walk.


  • If you are in a busy situation and its not possible to get 5 mins to yourself. Maybe you’re driving, take a minute to quietly pay attention to breathing and allow yourself to become aware of any tension in the body and consciously release and dissolve that tension. Choose perhaps to drive without the radio on and just be with yourself. Experiment a little, you can be fully conscious and in control of what you doing and still be mindful of your state of mind and if you are stressed and your mind is on other things, this can help maintain focus and lower your risk. Pay attention to your breathing, and re-focus on your task at hand.


  • Before going into work or sitting down at your home-work area to start work. Take a moment to orientate yourself to your workday. Use the moments before you step into your work life. Notice where you are and focus on some of the details, you’ll be surprised to see things you haven’t before. When you arrive at your desk, computer, etc., pay attention to your bodily sensations, consciously attempt to relax and rid yourself of excess tension. Practice kindness to yourself by taking your breaks and use them to relax. Stay off your phone, try taking a short walk instead, or sitting peacefully for a few precious moments, really taking in what your senses tell you. At lunch, try changing your environment. Go outside lunch instead or have a different type of lunch, take time preparing it for yourself.


  • Throughout the day. Take some time to consciously relax and just stop for a short period of minutes every hour. Take a moment to become aware of your breathing and bodily sensations, Orientate yourself to the moment and purposefully engage in your next task with mindful attention, whatever that may be. Use everyday cues in your environment as reminders to be mindful. Take the opportunity throughout the day to talk to colleagues about non-work related things. Eat one or two lunches per week alone without distraction; eating mindfully. At the end of each workday, review the day’s activities, acknowledging and thanking yourself for what you have accomplished and then make a list for tomorrow because you have done quite enough for one day.


  • Take a short walk. You may walk back across the car park to your car, or simply to a local shop – breathe in the fresh air, feel the sensations as it enters and leaves your body. Notice the cold or warmth of your body. Listen to the sounds. Slow down your pace as you walk, take time to notice more. When you arrive at your car, before you start it up, sit quietly and consciously make the transition from work to home – take a moment to simply be in this moment, enjoy it and then make the conscious transition to truly finish work for the day.


  • If you are rushing, notice what it feels like. Could you slow yourself down? Know that you have control over your life, more so than you might think. After you work day, at home, take a minute to orient yourself to being with your family and entering back into home life. Change out of work clothes, and say hello to each of your family members or to the  people you live with. Take a moment to look into their eyes. If possible, make the time to take 5-10 minutes to be quiet and still. If you live alone, feel what it is like to enter the quietness of your environment.


  • Truly be at home and become immersed, now, in your home life. When you are home-working its even harder to switch off. However, because work has finished for the day remember you don’t have to check that email, or finish that task. Know that it can wait until tomorrow. Be kind to yourself and have courage not to give in to demands that just don’t matter.


  • Early Warning Planning. In order to develop mindfulness as a ‘stress strategy’ it is important to recognise what happens to you personally when you become stressed and from there you can devise your own Early Warning Plan to reduce stress.


Sign-up for a free trial, and get a feel for our Mental Health First Aid and Positive Psychology training courses.

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