Mindfulness & Self-Care Archives - Afea Care Services

The COVID-19 precautions we’re taking to protect our Clients and staff

We’re committed to protecting the vulnerable from COVID-19.

We heard recently in the Disability Royal Commission public hearings about reports of support workers in Victoria exposing people with a disability to COVID-19. Stories like this concern us all. At Afea, we’re doing our best to minimise potential exposure of our Clients, Carers and staff to COVID-19.

According to the NDIS, we “have an obligation to make sure that any support or service that is required by a person with disability to maintain their health, wellbeing and safety is continued to be provided. It is expected that the way in which some supports and services are delivered will need to change.”

We have introduced the following precautions during this COVID-19 period:

  • We have been following all of the recommendations and requirements of the government. This includes self-isolation after travelling or if we’re showing any flu-like symptoms.
  • We have heavily invested in extra PPE such as masks, face shields and even full-body suits. In some cases, we are also using gloves and shoe coverings as an extra precaution. All of this extra PPE has been provided by Afea so our Carers or Clients aren’t out of pocket.
  • We have asked that all staff get flu shots, and we have reimbursed the expense.
  • We have created videos with instructions for Carers. Included in these videos are proper handwashing, using PPE correctly and social distancing.
  • We have provided compulsory COVID-19 training for Carers.
  • We now conduct initial assessments and meetings with new Clients remotely where possible.
  • We have introduced remote services and shopping on behalf of the client (particularly at the height of lockdown).
  • To ensure continuity of support for our clients, we’ve introduced A and B teams in the office and conduct most of our meetings remotely. We also check everyone’s temperatures and ask them to log their visit when entering the office.

We’re also very mindful of the impact this period is having on mental health. The isolation and health anxiety can take a toll on us all. Which is why we have introduced self-care measures for our Carers and staff.

Here’s what we’re doing to ensure the mental health of our staff, so our Clients remain in safe hands:

  • We have created a private Facebook group for Carers and office staff to connect.
  • Our leaders have conducted Facebook live streams to connect with Carers and answer questions on COVID-19. Included in these sessions were questions about how to look after your mental health and how to be mindful. We’ve also given suggestions on how Carers can deal with tough situations to make sure they’re looked after and are comfortable continuing services.
  • We’ve had complimentary mindfulness sessions for all Afea staff via Zoom.

In this time of uncertainty, we all must do our best to take all the necessary COVID-19 precautions and look out for each other.

Get in touch if you would like safe support from Afea Care Services.

For more information about updates, training, alerts, and resources for NDIS participants and providers, visit their website.

It’s never been more important to ask R U OK?

What we’re doing at Afea this R U OK Day

It’s no secret that many of us are struggling this year more than usual. Many have reduced income, increased health anxiety and our friends in Victoria are coping with a lockdown that must feel never-ending.

At Afea, mental health has always been a focus but we’re placing even more emphasis R U OK Day this year. This year the theme is “There’s more to say after R U OK?”. Here’s what we’re we’re doing:

We’re wearing yellow

Thursday 10th September 2020 is R U OK Day. Everyone in the office and even some of our carers are wearing yellow. It’s the colour of the charity R U OK Day and is a visual reminder to start a conversation.

We started our day with mindfulness

There’s evidence that mindfulness-based programs can improve stress resilience, relationships and help anxiety and depression. We have long been advocates of mindfulness at Afea and often include it in our team training sessions. Today, for  R U OK Day, we began our day with a mindfulness session so we can get in touch with our emotions and start our day with a clear state of mind.

We’re keeping an eye out

At Afea, we’re committed to providing a safe workplace where everyone can be comfortable showing their true selves. We encourage all our staff to think about their colleagues and clients and to keep an eye out if things don’t look quite right. If we don’t think we’re the right person to offer support, we do our best to find help through our Employee Assistance Programme or the person’s family member.

We’re encouraging everyone to continue the conversation

If anyone has a concern about a colleague, family member or friend, we encourage them to start a conversation and follow up with them after today.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Ask – When you ask the question, make sure you’re somewhere private and quiet. You want the person to feel comfortable enough to say ‘No’ if that’s what they’re feeling.
  2. Listen – Instead of trying to solve the problem, the best thing to do is listen. Don’t judge them or make any assumptions. Acknowledge that the problem sounds tough and show the person you’ve been listening by repeating the key points back to them.
  3. Encourage action – Ask them how they might have solved the problem in the past or what they think might help. They may need some expert help from a GP or a psychologist so encourage them to seek professional help.
  4. Check in – the theme for this year is ‘There’s more to say after R U OK?’ and we’re encouraging everyone to follow up. Put a reminder in your diary to check in with your friend in a few weeks. Remind them that you’re there for them and want to help if they need it.

We’re encouraging everyone to think of others in their lives who may not be ok

In these isolated times, many people simply haven’t seen their friends or family so may not know how they’re doing. We’re encouraging everyone to check in with people they haven’t seen in a while. Send them a letter or even bake them something and leave it on their doorstep. Ask that important question – R U OK and follow up in a few weeks. You never know if it’s the conversation that might change a life.

Visit the R U OK website for more conversation tips.

Why it’s more important than ever to keep Australia beautiful

Did you know that this week is Keep Australia Beautiful week? The Keep Australia Beautiful movement was founded in 1968 and has been working towards a sustainable and litter free Australia ever since.

Never before has it been so challenging yet so important to look after our country. There aren’t any community litter cleaning events this year due to COVID-19 so the approach is a bit different. We need to focus on how to ensure litter doesn’t reach our bushland and waterways in the first place.

For us at Afea, having a beautiful country isn’t just about cleaning up. We believe our country is also beautiful because of our actions and the way we treat each other. Here are some things we can do as individuals and families to keep Australia beautiful.

Don’t throw litter on the ground

This is an obvious one. When you’re out and about, always find a bin for your rubbish and if there isn’t a bin, take it home with you. It’s particularly important to make sure we throw out litter away as it can help stop the spread of disease. Also, make sure don’t leave your cigarette butts on the floor. Aussie smokers dispose of billions of butts each year which could end up in nature.

Try not to use single-use plastics

Before this year, we were doing well at reducing single-use items – using a Keep Cup was becoming habitual and some restaurants would even allow take-away in reusable containers. That’s all changed due to COVID-19, as these reusable containers could be too much of a hygiene risk for restaurant staff.

However, we should still be mindful of the number of single-use plastics we are using. Try to make more food from scratch and when you do get takeaway, ask for eco cutlery that is made of wood or bamboo. Or ask for no plastic cutlery at all if you’re eating your meal at home.

Recycle where you can

You can recycle your single-use coffee cups at any 7-Eleven store. They take any cup brand (plus the lids) and upcycle them into meaningful new products. According to their website, used cups have been turned into outdoor furniture, garden beds and even a road.

Your plastic take-away containers can also be recycled but make sure you rinse them before putting them in the recycling bin. Food can contaminate other clean recycling and the whole lot could end up in landfill. Not what anyone wants!

Don’t put rubbish into already full bins

Don’t you hate it when you see birds or other wildlife picking out rubbish from an overfull bin and spreading it across the grass or road? It makes a huge mess and is a leading cause of litter ending up in our environment. If your bin is full, check with your neighbours and see if you can put a bag in theirs. It’s a bit inconvenient looking for another bin but it’s better than all our waste ending up in our waterways or bushland.

Rethink the plastic you use every day

Think about the number of single-serve items you buy and whether you could buy bigger serves. For example, could you buy bigger yoghurt containers rather than single-serve pots? Could you put your child’s lunch into a sealed lunch box instead of wrapping in cling wrap? Every time we use less plastic, the environment thanks us.  

Share the beauty of Australians

Sometimes, we get caught up in ourselves and don’t notice the beauty both in nature and the people around us. Next time you’re out and about, try to share the beauty of human connection. Say hello to the people you walk past and share a smile. You could even point out the lovely sunrise or comment on the weather. You could share your own beautiful nature by doing a good deed – pay it forward by buying a coffee for the person behind you or some groceries for a neighbour.

Australia is a stunning country with amazing people. It’s never been more important to keep Australia beautiful and be thankful we live in such a lovely corner of the world.

What’s your tip for keeping Australia beautiful?

Why company culture is so important at Afea

Have you ever worked in one of those jobs where you’re counting down the hours until it’s time to leave? Or where you feel stifled and unsupported by your manager? Of course you have, we all have!

Not at Afea though. We have worked hard on growing a positive and nurturing company culture. We believe having a good company culture is beneficial not just to our own happiness but to the happiness of our Clients.

What is company culture?

According to Frances Frei and Anne Morriss at Harvard Business Review:

“Culture guides discretionary behavior and it picks up where the employee handbook leaves off.”

Having a good company culture has always been important to us. After all, our jobs occupy most of our waking hours. We know our values and we try to make sure everyone who joins us matches up with them. We’ve even recently created a culture book which defines exactly what it’s like at Afea and what we believe in.

For us, there are three elements to having a good company culture.

1. We have a culture of empowerment

One of our core missions at Afea is empowerment. This culture of empowerment starts at the very top. It means our managers empower us to make decisions and use any mistakes as opportunities for growth. We have a culture of development, support and mentorship. We don’t feel afraid to speak our opinions and are trusted to manage our work in the best way possible.

As a result, we extend this empowering culture to our community. We help our Clients learn and grow to the best of their ability. We help rebuild confidence and improving lives day-by-day. Empowering people leads to amazing results, which inspires us to continue caring and helping.

2. We have a culture of good mental health

The mental health of our people is something we place a huge emphasis on. Recently, our CEO, Esha Oberoi ran a series of introductory meditation sessions for our Carers, explaining its benefits and how to start doing it.

We often run meditation sessions in the office and remotely for Carers. We believe we can’t truly take care of others without first taking care of ourselves. It’s this culture of prioritising our mental health that ensures our staff, Carers and Clients feel safe and nurtured.

3. We have a culture of fun!

At Afea we believe the office is a space for fun, not just for work. We jump at the chance to celebrate anything and everything we can, especially when it’s for a good cause.

In the last few months, we have celebrated:

  • Stress Down Day – we wore pyjamas to work to recognise the good work that Lifeline does in the community.
  • We were decked out in denim for Jeans for Genes Day, to raise awareness for children born with genetic diseases.
  • We love celebrating diversity by learning about each other’s cultures and often mark the occasions with home-cooked traditional meals.

What do you think makes a good company culture?

Esha Oberoi’s 5 tips for managing mental wellbeing

By Esha Oberoi, founder and CEO of Afea Care Services

Founder & CEO
Esha Oberoi

Work-life balance, clean eating, exercising, socialising on top of coronavirus is difficult for everyone. Unfortunately, the emotions we feel do not go away, they’re what makes us human. The good news is there are ways of dealing with them, without judgement. Here are my top 5 tips for managing mental wellbeing.

1. Accept sadness rather than suppressing it

After years of hardships, I was left suffering from depression and had to learn to embrace my emotions and heal from the pain I was carrying.

We become skilled at suppressing our emotions, believing we have recovered from negative events in our life, when often these traumas resurface if we haven’t properly acknowledged and worked on them.

Our natural response to failure, stress or rejection is denial. We deny those feelings that are negative by compensating our emotional bodies with alcohol, food, work or retail therapy and never actually make an effort to confront how we truly ‘feel’.

I was not immune to this. I took to drinking in my youth and as an adult became a workaholic – anything to distract from having to feel. I think we all have a tendency to block how we feel by seeking distractions. The thing is, these emotions actually never go away, they just build up until we start to see imbalances in our bodies, whether emotional or physical, such as sickness and stress. 

It’s incredibly important that we continue to work internally on ourselves, particularly now in the midst of a global pandemic when emotions and fears are high.

For me, that means spending time alone and evaluating how I feel. Am I centred? Am I out of depth? How do I want to respond to this situation? Giving attention to our internal selves allows us to stay connected to our emotions, keeping them in check and leading to better mental health.

When we begin to acknowledge our emotions, we learn to face our ‘failures’ and recognise the lessons in each. We can start accepting our imperfect selves and begin to celebrate our evolution instead of judging and criticising our mistakes and failures.

2. Find a place of mental stillness 

Have you ever rushed a decision that you later regretted? Being ‘busy’ is often worn like a badge of honour, when in fact more and more research tells us that multitasking isn’t effective and trying to do too many things at once is detrimental to our health, focus and outcomes.

Whenever I find myself feeling like I am rushing, I turn to meditation. It’s so easy to say, “I don’t have time,” but when a 5-minute meditation might lead to better decision making and less headaches down the track, it makes sense to make time.

Meditation has helped me stay in the eye of the hurricane – that place of stillness when there is constant chaos in life from rapidly growing a business and juggling a young family.

I also love meditation because it has given me space to allow all of my thoughts and emotions to surface in a safe and private place. The results come from being able to allow those aspects of ourselves to reveal themselves, giving us an opportunity to let go of them. Meditation brings the calm back into the chaos of life.

3. Reflect and journal your lessons

By writing things down, we can better reflect on what we have learnt and achieved. We often underestimate our value but can overcome these limiting thoughts through introspection and journaling. Write out all of the things you weren’t aware of before that you are aware of now.

Learn to listen to your inner dialogue and begin to re-write any negative scripts you’ve been telling yourself that are becoming your truth.

4. Make decisions using your second brain

Our second brain lies in our gut, which is why we often say ‘my gut instincts’. Use your instincts and tap into your emotions when making decisions. Seek to understand your emotions instead of blocking them out.

Even a negative emotion such as envy can give us so much insight into ourselves. Jealousy allows us to understand what our aspirations are and what we truly desire at that moment for ourselves.

Next time you find yourself feeling this way, use that insight to inspire action towards your wants or needs at the time. Then, let it go and release it, so you are not burdened by it.

5. Let go of attachments to outcomes

One of the best things I have done over the last few years is practised the art of going with the flow and letting go of any attachments to events, outcomes, achievements, people and places.

Never has this been so relevant. Coronavirus has thrown the world into chaos and brought many plans to a halt suddenly. It’s natural for us to want to be in control of our lives, but we’re all largely subject to outside influences beyond our control. Instead of fighting these with anger and fear, it’s important we learn to embrace the new directions our lives take us in.

I have deep aspirations for myself but I don’t attach to them. I visualise what I desire, but then let those thoughts drift and release any attachments. This is an incredibly powerful tool and something that is easy to practise.  

How I balance goal setting with the principles of detachment as an entrepreneur

By Esha Oberoi, founder and CEO of Afea Care Services

Founder & CEO
Esha Oberoi

We are heading into the end of the financial year and for all business owners and sales teams out there, with it comes a massive amount of pressure to achieve revenue targets and close opportunities. Whether they’re business or personal goals, here is how I manage my attachment to the end result.

I am heavily goals driven and love beating my own best score. My goals are pretty well defined, and almost always sit out of my comfort zone. Given the growth I expect from myself, I determine right at that the start to focus on the journey and not be deeply attached to, or disappointed with the outcome.

Because I am not caught up in attachment to the end result, I can make my goals a little harder, which allows me to keep fulfilling my potential and living up to the highest version of myself.

This isn’t always easy, however, I’ve developed some strategies along the way to help me enjoy the journey to my destination.

Having fun, being playful, and not taking things so seriously.

I like including playfulness in whatever I do. Often even my most serious meetings will start with a fun activity. It helps ease the pressure and creates the right energy to follow through on difficult tasks.

I also feel when we neglect any part of ourselves, we become resentful, so if we aren’t regularly having fun and balancing that with serious work time, we start to hate going into work.

When I meditate, I imagine attachment being like heavy bricks on my shoulders and I love visualising that I’m shrugging them off. This quick visualisation helps me manifest and attract freedom.

Freedom is such a powerful state.

It can do wonders for our mental health as well, and with any mindset shift, self-talk and visualisation are key for lifelong changes.

6 Mindfulness Myths

The practise of mindfulness and meditation are getting more and more accepted in everyday life. Large corporations such as Google encourage their staff to practise mindfulness to increase wellbeing and focus. Schools often use it to settle children after breaks, and many medical practitioners recommend its use to treat different conditions. But even so, there are a lot of persistent misconceptions about mindfulness and what it actually is. So here’s 6 myths about mindfulness for you to meditate on.

1. Mindfulness is emptying your mind

Probably the most common misconception about mindfulness, when the in fact, the opposite is true. It is about focusing all of your attention in a purposeful way. Thoughts will pop up, and the aim is to notice them come and go, without attaching any positive or negative feelings to them.

2. Mindfulness is meditation

Although they overlap, they are not the same. Meditation is taking time to focus your awareness, whereas mindfulness is a more broad term, referring to being aware of and focused on anything you’re doing at a particular time.

3. Meditation and mindfulness are spiritual

Although they are both big parts of certain spiritualities and beliefs, they are not inherently spiritual at all. The main ideology that focusing your attention on everything you do, and being present in every moment is about the self and is universal.

4. I have to sit awkwardly

Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, mindfulness and meditation actually works best if you’re comfortable. The more comfortable you are, the better you can start focusing your attention elsewhere. It is best practised in a sitting position or lying down.

5. It’s just taking time to rest and relax

Although the effects of meditation can be very calming, the practice itself it actually quite challenging. But don’t worry, it gets easier with time. It is recommended that beginners start with 5 or 10 minutes at a time. Experienced people can remain in focus for hours!

6. I don’t have time to practise mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way of being, it can be practised anywhere, anytime. The idea behind it is to focus on what you’re doing, in the moment you’re doing it, whole-heartedly.

Next time you brush your teeth, drive a car or eat a meal, try focusing on every movement you make. When other thoughts pop up, tease your mind back to the task at hand attaching positive or negative feelings to them. The better you get at this, the more you’ll be able to live and enjoy the moment, and be able to handle stressful situations level-headedly.

To give it a go, check out our blog explaining mindfulness, it’s benefits, and a little practice you can do anywhere, anytime.

Esha’s Self-Care Strategies

By Esha Oberoi, founder and CEO of Afea Care Services

Founder & CEO
Esha Oberoi

We are living in an incredibly overwhelming world at the moment with a global pandemic that is sweeping over our lives.

It was only 6-8 weeks ago that we had major uncertainties whether it was around will there will be enough canned food and toilet paper in the grocery stores or will I be home schooling my kids whilst managing work projects?

Naturally with the number of professional and personal commitments we all hold, these uncertainties are not just overwhelming but also stressful in our lives.

Before I started Afea Care Services, I was working as a Carer and over time I have developed a number self-care routines that I regularly turn to so I can avoid burnout. They have been invaluable for me in my journey.

As long as we live in this physical body in this human state, we are not immune to stress. Stress surrounds us in our everyday lives and in this sometimes over-stimulated world.

We are always switched on and we are not resting enough.

We are in a state of information overload, so we are constantly reacting, rather than living joyfully in the moment. We simply don’t have time to do so.

We have so many thoughts buzzing through our heads that it is hard to distinguish the meaningful, helpful thoughts.

I believe that positive stress comes from having a defined purpose, feeling empowered and living completely in the moment, with a balance of self-care and care for others. This type of stress is important, it comes from a healthy ego and it motivates us to look after ourselves and our society. It gives us enough pressure to want to expand out of our comfort zones and not so much that we break down.

Negative stress on the other hand is lethal.

Stress where you start to feel intense negative emotions is not healthy. Continued stress can have major impacts on all aspects of our beings. Understanding stress and where it comes from will help us keep the balance tipped towards positive stress rather than negative. Negative stress is when our thoughts and emotions become harmful and get in the way of our growth.

You are no longer making considered choices. We can even start to experience our body’s natural fight or flight response to fear and insecurity.

If you recognise you’re feeling this way give yourself some self-care and take time off.

The first step is recognition. If we let negative stress take over, it becomes a part of us and we may forget what it’s like to live without the mental fog forgetting how good it feels when we are functioning in a healthy way.

Admit that self-care isn’t selfish, it’s essential. Accepting this can be a challenge for a lot of people. My philosophy has always been that I have to care for myself. If I don’t, I am not useful to anyone, I cannot care for anyone. Once you come to terms with this, you can start to practice self-care and self-love which in turn, will open your heart more to those around you.

I look after the different aspects of myself equally: mind, heart, soul/spirit and my physical body. These are my top outlets for reducing burnout, healing and cleansing:

Journaling

I do a lot of journaling. Putting pen to paper helps clearly map out your thoughts and emotions and provides clarity in your situation. Taking this time to sit seriously with your thoughts can have a huge positive impact on your mental health.

Start to dissect the stress you’re feeling. Where is it coming from? Is it my own stress? Am taking on someone else’s stress? I find many times when I am speaking to my friends that they will share some aspects of their life that is really stressing them out and when we start to dig deeper, we realise that it isn’t even their stress! It is the stress they are carrying for something their parents, their partner or their child is going through. They feel obliged to accept it as their own stress. This is something I used to do for a long time, because it is how we are programmed.

If we look at this rationally, it doesn’t make any sense. I know it’s really hard to practise this without feeling like you don’t care or aren’t being compassionate. This simply is not true. I have found myself more empathetic, caring and compassionate without the energy of the drain by accepting another’s person’s stress as my own.

Mindfulness

I have been meditating now for 5 years and my daily meditations are an hour long, without compromise. If I’m really pressed for time, I will divide it into 2 sessions of 30 minutes each.

Out of all of the self-care routines, dieting, boot camp, trips to the salon, it is by far the cheapest (it’s free) method self-care that we know of, it’s pure bliss.

One hour might seem daunting to sit alone if you have never tried mindfulness. I started with 3 minutes a day, then 5 minutes a day. Over the months I found the time increased naturally because I loved it so much. I experienced peace. Not borrowed or taken from anyone. It is in us. In our hearts and in our connection with ourselves, our deeper selves.

Not only does mindfulness connect us with our minds, but in the silence, I have been able to also become closer to my hearts desires. In the stillness I get a lot of clarity in my thinking and decision making. It also allows us to connect our hearts and minds and truly feel into what is bringing us peace or hurt.

I think of mindfulness as being like the ocean, when near the shores the water is rough and mixed with sand so it becomes murky. As you go in deeper, the water is still and clearer. When go deeper into ourselves we can access the same clarity and free ourselves from the murkiness left behind. This is from the philosophy and teachings of Buddhism.

Finally, enjoy the little things

During this tragic pandemic we are experiencing, I’ve also found time to be grateful. I’m learning from COVID-19 that is that simplicity is key. We overcomplicate our lives with so many things. Whilst living in lockdown I realise that we can live quite simply without the need for such extravagance. For example, I have replaced going to the gym and yoga studios with discovering the neighbourhood with my family on walks.

We don’t need to travel for hours or push ourselves to make appointments and social gatherings to be fulfilled. I’ve rediscovered living simply and how much peace comes from the release of expectations we place on ourselves. 

Stay safe and take this time to truly get to know yourself and adopt some quick self-care techniques!

Check out our blog Mindfulness 101 for tips on how to start meditating.

Mindfulness 101

This month for Mindful in May, we’re sharing our advice for being more mindful in everyday life. Although ‘mindfulness’ is a bit of a buzzword at moment, it’s not a new phenomenon. The practice itself dates back centuries and is seen in many different cultures. The benefits have been backed up by plenty of modern scientists and medical practitioners too, but if you still need convincing, we’ve broken it all down in this blog.

What is mindfulness?

In a nutshell, mindfulness is paying attention. It’s a widespread misconception of mindfulness or meditation, that they’re about emptying your mind. When in fact, they’re the opposite.

The aim is to use all of your attention and focus purposefully. You may concentrate on a sound, a colour, a place in your mind, or even your own breath.

With our busy minds, it’s inevitable that we lose focus, other thoughts and feelings will pop up. That’s ok, mindfulness teaches our brain to be more aware of its thoughts, rather than not having them at all.

You want to notice these distractions ‘without judgement’. In other words, acknowledge the thoughts, but try to not let them take over, or label them as inherently ‘good’ or ‘bad’. It often helps to think of them as leaves in a stream or clouds in the sky that you’re watching float by.

What are the benefits of mindfulness?

Many studies have shown that mindfulness increases the speed of success in treating some mental health and even heart-related conditions, including high blood pressure.

A study by Dr. Sara Lazar from Harvard University shows a correlation between regular mindfulness and growth of the pre-frontal cortex, a part of the brain that regulates emotion and focuses attention. There are even some studies that suggest mindfulness helps build immune systems and fights age-related decline in the brain!

Practitioners promote mindfulness as a way of getting in touch with yourself. Recognising when thoughts are arising and controlling your reactions to them. Longer-term effects of regular practise can result in more focus, more patience, better decision-making abilities (the ability to use logic, over preconceived judgments) and even better memory.

So how do I do it?

Firstly, there is no one way of practicing mindfulness. There are different approaches depending on what you’re trying to achieve. Sometimes you might want to practise mindfulness to lower your heart rate when feeling nervous, other times it might be to sort through all of the thoughts in your mind to find a clear way forward.

A great way to start is by looking online. There are a free online guided meditations for specific purposes. Different approaches work for different people, try a few different resources, and see what works best for you. It’s like anything else we do, the more you practise it, the better you’ll be.

A super quick meditation for anytime, anywhere

This really simple method of mindfulness helps to calm yourself and reset a busy brain. It can be done with your eyes open anywhere.

Firstly take three deep, purposeful breaths, then silently think of three things you can see. With another three breaths, silently say to yourself with each “I can see thing 1”, “I can see thing 2”, and “I can see thing 3”. With another three breaths, silently name three things you can hear. Finally, name three things you feel. These can be physical, i.e. “I feel the chair against my back”, or they can be emotional “I can feel some butterflies in my stomach”. Take a further three breaths and you should feel calmer. This can be repeated for deeper effects.

This meditation acts as a ‘reset’ button for your brain. It allows you to pause all of the thoughts that are buzzing around your head, and focus on one thing at a time. The slow, purposeful breathing, will lower your heart rate, giving you a sense of calm.

In our next blog, we talk to our CEO Esha Oberoi about how she uses mindfulness to run a business, parent two young children and find time for everything else.

What Does a Successful 2020 Look Like?

Another silly season has wrapped up and society is starting to get back into their normal routine. As always, there is a lot of talk around new year, new me, but what does the new year mean to you? What did 2019 mean for you? We thought we would share this reflection and goal setting exercise with you to encourage you to make the most out of 2020. No new you needed!

Instead of getting to December 2020 and asking “where did the year go?”, we want you to proclaim “what a year of accomplishment!”. Ask yourself the following questions and see check in from time-to-time to see how you are progressing.

What made 2019 unforgettable?

This can be anything, whether it be positive, negative, or simply something that impacted you. This will help you think about what you value most and therefore what to prioritise this year.

What was my biggest win in 2019?

What are you most proud of? Think not just about the best outcomes you achieved, but also when you felt you worked particularly hard for something.

How did I grow / what did I learn?

Think about areas in which you may have matured, lessons learned, or areas in your life that evolved because of the actions you took.  

How will I use my talents in 2020?

Think about how to put your skills to use. This may be to help yourself, others or to progress in your professional life. Thinking about this will help you frame your next answer.

How do I want to grow / what do I want to learn in 2020?

Are there any skills that would benefit your day-to-day life? Is there any natural talent you would like to refine? This might be learning a new language, taking up art / dance classes or learning skills that may help you enhance your career.

What does a successful 2020 look like?

This may take a little more time than the others. Really think about it, and don’t hold back. When setting goals, it is best to be realistic yes, but throw something in there that may seem a little idealistic now, that may push you to actually achieve it. An example might be saving up for a big holiday, being promoted or reading 40 books in the year.

You don’t need to change yourself to be better, and you don’t need to stress about what you should and shouldn’t be doing. You only need to know what you want, and little planning goes a long way.