Here at etc. we know it’s important to be in a good mindset when heading into Monday. We’re starting a weekly post that features different areas of mindfulness to help prepare you for the week ahead.

It’s Sunday night, the Monday morning fear might be kicking in and you’re dreading the thought of tackling the week ahead. We’ve all heard the term ‘mindfulness’ be thrown around a lot over the last year or so, especially in situations like these. Mindfulness is at it’s height here in 2019. In a time where the burnout has just been recognised as an illness and the being overworked isn’t an uncommon situation (at all), we’re constantly told that we need to be more mindful.

So, what exactly is mindfulness? Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, told the NHS that mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment. “It’s easy to stop noticing the world around us. It’s also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour,”

He explained that “An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of a banister as we walk upstairs. Another important part of mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment. It’s about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.”

So mindfulness is essentially the basic human ability to feel present in the moment. We say basic, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to do. That’s why it’s called a practice, we learn on the journey, we get better and we sometimes fall off track. But the beauty of that journey to being wholly mindful is that it’s yours, and it won’t be the same as anyone else’s. Your mindful state might be different to your friend’s or your brother or sister’s. It’s a personal thing.

Every Sunday night we’re going to post about a different aspect of mindfulness to help set you up for that awful Monday morning feeling. Featuring activities from meditation to writing lists and thinking about what you’re eating. Believe it or not, they call count as practices. We’ll approach them separately, but eventually they will all hopefully come together as part of your daily lives. This is as much a journey for us as it is for you, and we’re very excited to get in touch with ourselves.

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