Use your senses to practice presence this Fall.
"Mindful" and "Mindfulness" are words that gets thrown around quite a bit these days. The act of being mindful simply means to practice being present, to notice. A practice in mindfulness can be super beneficial to your health and well being. When you practice being in the present moment you essentially give up holding onto the past (depression) and let go of anticipating and/or worrying about the future (anxiety), thus when you choose to practice mindfulness you will find yourself feeling more calm and relaxed.
Similar to Yoga, a Mindfulness practice is just that. A daily practice.
There are different ways to infuse a mindfulness practice into your routine, but one of my favorites for both adults and children is to tap into your senses.
The next time you are outdoors allow yourself at least 5-10 minutes to experience everything Fall has to offer through your 5 senses. Notice what you see, the changes of the leaves on the trees, different colors, perhaps animals. Notice what you hear, rustling of leaves, again different types of animals/insects, crackling of a fire, etc. Notice what you can smell. Bonfires, any scents of baking, grills. Any tastes? And lastly, what you can feel/touch. Grass, leaves, pine cones, acorns, etc. As you work through your 5 senses be sure to allow enough time between each sense to really process and be present, notice and observe. You might even make this a daily practice and journal about it after!
A Silent Fall Scavenger Hunt:
A fun activity to do with kids!
Have fun creating a mindfulness journal with your children or students. You can take paper and fold it in half and create your own cover. Have children walk around outside silently and observe. They can write down or draw pictures of things that they can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. They can also write down words or draw emojis next to each item expressing how these things made them feel.
If you are confined to the indoors you can do the same thing but set up a senses adventure for them. Use the following ideas to activate your senses this Fall:
Smell- Cinnamon, Pumpkin Scents
Taste- Candy Corn, Caramel, Apple Slice
Touch- Pumpkin, Gourd, Leaves, Acorns, Pinecones
Hear- Play sounds of Rustling Leaves, River Flowing, Crackling Fire, Owl
See- Pumpkin, Gourd, Leaves, Acorns, Pinecones
I am sure you will be able to think of some other Fall items to add to your senses lists as well!!
Have fun! and practice presence this Fall!
Berkleigh, Happiness & Health Motivator