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Covid 19 Psychological Support: Mindfulness

Support for HSE staff during the Covid 19 emergency

Mindfulness Exercises

Mindfulness practice is a great way to help you relax during stressful times. Since there is so many different mindfulness practices available, with many of them being almost 30 minutes long, we decided to record you a few short and snappy mindfulness exercise. Below are recordings of the practice and easy to follow descriptive steps on the practices:

Rectangle Breathing Exercise – This practice will help calm you down by regulating your breathing. This exercise requires you to sit down and observe a rectangle shaped item.

Dropping the Anchor – This practice will help you centre yourself and connect to the world around you. This practice requires you to stand up.

Face Scan - This practice can be useful to centre yourself and help you connect with your body in the here and now.  This practice requires you to scan your face.

Breathing Exercise to Get Sleep - This is a mindfulness yoga breathing practice, which promotes relaxation and can help you with getting to sleep and returning to sleep

Mindfulness Practice - Expressing Gratitude

Mindful Movement 

Progressive Muscular Relaxation (PMR) – This type of practice helps you to relax and slow down your autonomic nervous system, in turn, reducing physiological symptoms of stress.

You may find PMR practices here: https://stresscontrol.org/relaxation-mindfulness/

(see the third practice down on the left entitled ‘Deep Relaxation’ and the first on the right entitled ‘Quick Relaxation’).


Mindfulness Meditation Apps:

  1. ACT Companion  (act stands for acceptance commitment therapy)
    http://www.actcompanion.com/ this App is available free  of charge  till June 2020 with the Promo code: TOGETHER
  2. Insight Timer
    A free mindfulness app with short mindfulness practices for any mood. Get it in the App Store here https://apps.apple.com/us/app/insight-timer-meditation-app/id337472899​ or on Google Play here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.spotlightsix.zentimerlite2&hl=en_IE
  3. Smiley Mind
    Another free mindfulness app with short and long mindfulness practices. Requires you to create an account but only to takes a few seconds.Get it in the App Store here https://apps.apple.com/ca/app/smiling-mind/id560442518 or on Google Play here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.smilingmind.app&hl=en_IE
  4. Calm
    This app promises to help users sleep better, boost confidence and reduce stress and anxiety. The app incorporates guided meditations, soothing music and bedtime stories from Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley and Mathew McConaughey. However, Calm will cost you €35 a year but you can sign up for a free trial. Get it in the App Store here https://apps.apple.com/ca/app/calm-sleep-meditate-relax/id571800810 or on Google Play here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.calm.android&hl=en_IE
  5. Headspace
    Headspace is a well-known mobile app that teaches meditation and easy to use mindfulness skills. Map your journey, track your progress, and reap rewards in your overall health and wellbeing. You can even ‘buddy up’ with friends and motivate each other along the way. Although you have to pay for Headspace their website has some good free mindfulness practices for coping specifically with COVID-19– See here: https://www.headspace.com/covid-19
    G​et it in the App Store here https://apps.apple.com/ie/app/headspace-meditation-sleep/id493145008or on Google Play here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.getsomeheadspace.android&hl=en_IE

National Health Library & Knowledge Service. Health Service Executive. Dr. Steevens' Hospital, Dublin 8. Tel: 01-6352555/8. Email: hselibrary@hse.ie

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