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January can be bleak at the best of times. For this article, we are going to call upon the five senses with a few Mindful exercises to help us through midwinter.
Close your eyes for a few moments, breathing deeply in and out three times. Empty your mind and open your eyes. Look at your surroundings without acknowledging labeling them, drawing your awareness instead to the colours, forms and light around you. What do you see? Which combinations are pleasing to you? How different do distant objects look compared to those up close? Accept your current place in the world and relax into it.
Close your eyes and breathe in deeply. What can you smell? It might help to guide your nose with incense and candles, maybe even spare the time to bake something. Sit and simply enjoy the scent for a while, noticing thoughts or emotions it might evoke, emptying your mind and allowing your senses to take over. Relax into the moment.
Take a favourite treat and pretend you have never experienced it before. Pay close attention to how it looks, how it smells and how it feels in your mouth. Allow yourself to enjoy the treat as if you were eating it for the first time. How does it change as you eat it? How do you feel when it is gone? Savour every mouthful and recognise that you are allowed to unwind and simply enjoy the moment.
Sit back and take in the sounds around you with your eyes closed. Break apart the hubbub until you can recognise which sounds are close and which are far away. See how far away you can listen, ignoring the louder sounds and picking out the distant rumbles of traffic or weather. Bring your attention closer and listen to the shapes of the sounds nearest you. Do footsteps echo? How would you describe the sound of crinkling paper? What else can you notice?
Take up a favourite item in your hands and close your eyes. Feel the weight of it pressing against your palms, noticing how it manipulates the skin and the shape of your hands. How does it feel to touch? Try running your thumbs over the surface in time with your breaths, gradually taking in the shape and form. Understand the object on a deeper level and allow yourself some time to unwind.
We hope this has helped you to relax and enjoy winter as it draws to an end.
Love from Team Attic xx