Carers Australia

The voice for carers across Australia

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a way of being fully present and awake in every moment; a way of relating to all of life as it happens and changes.

Mindfulness invites us to observe and connect with our inner and outer experience in a caring and discerning way – to pay close attention to the present moment, noting thoughts, feelings, and body sensations with an attitude of curiosity and non-judgment.

The Program.

These 6 sessions (plus 2 bonus practices) have been put together by the director of  Simply Mindful – Canberra Mindfulness Center, Megan Layton. These were funded under the program Caring Through Covid by the Department of Health.

Session 1

Mindfulness to Reduce Stress & Anxiety.

Being a carer can cause stress and anxiety. In session one there will be information about how to interrupt the cycle of stress and anxiety, our brains, and our fight or flight response. With practice, we build the ‘mindful muscle’ which means we have a greater capacity to meet present moment demands with more skill and awareness, even if the present is unpleasant.

There are two practices in this session you may find beneficial.

Readings for session 1

 

Session 2

Mindfulness On The Go.

Carers are ALWAYS on the go. This session contains information about calming yourself with mindfulness on the go. Megan will look at attention, stress, the negative bias and training your brain, and how mindfulness can help.

The session contains two quick mindfulness exercises to use on the go.

Readings for session 2

Session 3

Mindfulness For Keeping Your Cool When Working with Strong Emotions.

As carers, we can often be dealing with high-stress and emotionally charged situations. In this session, Megan will discuss understanding difficult emotions, how mindfulness can help us manage emotions, self-regulation, and how tuning into our emotions and sensations helps prevent stress from escalating. As well as practices and techniques that are ways of interrupting high stress/distress.

Readings for session 3

Session 4

Mindfulness to Help You Sleep.

Caring responsibilities and worries can keep you from your best sleep and it’s really carers who need the most! This session will focus on how to get to sleep easier and what to do if your sleep is interrupted and you can’t seem to get back to sleep.

This session contains two practices that will be a welcome addition to your bedtime routine. Also, check out the bonus track Dropping into Rest!

Readings for session 4

Session 5

Self-Compassion for Carers – Being on Your Own Side.

Being on your own side when it gets tough can be difficult as a carer. This session is about finding that inner friend, helper, or coach instead of an inner critic or bully. Self-compassion reduces stress, increases the ability to problem solve.

This session contains one longer practice in self-compassion.

Readings for session 5

Session 6

How mindfulness works for me – carers sharing their tips.

The self-care tips in this session have been shared by carers for carers!

This session also contains one longer practice on kindness to the body.

Readings for session 6

Bonus

We have 2 bonus practices below on Dropping into Rest and Spacious Awareness.