Professional Development

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Three Mindful Walking Activities to Restore Your Sense of Focus

Tuesday, 14 April 2020 00:00

Mindfulness, according to mindful.org, is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around us. Mindfulness is our awareness of what is going on both inside us and around us—the awareness of our physical, emotional and mental states.

Mindful walking is an excellent way to restore a sense of focus and a great excuse to get outside. These mindful walking activities can be done solo, with kids or as a family.

SELfie Walk

At the core of social-emotional learning, aka SEL, for kids and adults is self-awareness. One way to practice self-awareness is through mindful walking.

StopBreatheThink.com recommends the following steps:

1. As you walk, notice how your body feels.
2. Pay attention to how your legs, feet and arms feel with each step you take.
3. Feel the contact of your foot as it touches the ground and the movement of your body as you move into your next step.
4. If you become lost in thought as you continue to walk, use the next step as an opportunity to start over.
5. Now, using your sense of sight, look around and try to notice every detail.
6. Using your sense of smell, notice any aromas or scents.
7. Are you able to notice any tastes as you walk? Can you taste the air?
8. Now using your sense of touch, notice the solidity of the earth beneath your feet.
9. With openness and curiosity, notice any sensations, thoughts, or feelings that arise, without lingering on anything.

Start by walking slowly, breathing in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth. Repeat as desired for the duration of your walk. When you're finished, stop and stand still, taking a few moments to breathe slowly as you stand at rest.

Rainbow Walk

Start by walking slowly, breathing in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth. Bring your awareness to things you can see around you. Then, slowly bring your awareness to naming things you can see, hear, smell, or feel, for each of the colors of the rainbow. For example:

Red: Firetruck
Orange: Construction sign
Yellow: Caution tape
Green: Grass
Blue: Sky
Indigo: Car
Violet: Flowers

Repeat as desired for the duration of your walk. When you're finished, stop and stand still, taking a few moments to breathe slowly as you stand at rest.

Take 5 Grounding Walk

Start by walking slowly, breathing in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth. Then, slowly bring your awareness to naming:

Five things you see.
Four things you could touch.
Three things you hear.
Two things you smell.
One emotion you feel.

Repeat as desired for the duration of your walk. When you're finished, stop and stand still, taking a few moments to breathe slowly as you stand at rest.

Courtesy of NAA.