Amy Rutledge is a certified Meditation Instructor from the Nalanda Institute of Contemplative Sciences in NYC. She teaches in the corporate setting at various companies, virtual group classes, private 1:1 virtual sessions, children’s meditation, and In-person classes and workshops. She teaches a variety of meditation types including Mindfulness, Loving-kindness, Creative Visualization, Sound Meditation using Tibetan Singing Bowls, lavender aromatherapy, and various holistic information for living a mindful and healthy lifestyle.
As most of us are adjusting to being home for days/weeks at a time, it’s important to take care of ourselves and our mental health. Here are some of Amy’s tips for self care and mindfulness at a time when we need it most.
Meditation is crucial because it helps us to relieve our suffering. We are constantly in our heads reliving past events, circulating thoughts of regret and guilt or we are projected into future anxieties, fears and chasing after the next thing that we think will make us happy. Meditation gives our mind and body a chance to rest in the present moment, which offers us profound peace and happiness. It also helps us to release judgement of our experiences and instead offer ourselves compassion and kindness with whatever arises in our lives, whether good or perceived bad. We are able to observe our life experiences, thoughts and emotions, and allow them to pass without identifying with them.
Do what feels good in the moment
Consistently asking yourself: What would feel good in this moment? Maybe it’s to take a nap, or bath, or maybe even punching a pillow.
Don’t feed into fear and panic
Staying informed is important, but limiting news and social media to protect your mental health is essential. I highly recommend staying away from electronics if you can, especially an hour leading up to bedtime. It’s essential to get good sleep to keep our immune systems safe and healthy in these times and if we are reading news and panicked before sleep we will not get good rest if we are operating on fear.
The 5-4-3-2-1 method is a mindfulness practice you can use at any time when experiencing great anxiety to help bring yourself back to the present moment and out of your head. Take time to focus and really take everything in by listing:
5 things you can see
4 things you can feel/touch
3 things you can hear
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste
Lavender aromatherapy is great to help calm and destress. Lavender can also help if you feel restless and need a good night’s sleep.
Try mantra walking
Get out in the fresh air by taking a brisk walk and repeating positive mantras on repeat. It’s a wonderful way to reset and offer yourself some positivity and love. My favorite mantras are:
“I love and accept myself exactly as I am.”
“I am healthy, whole, and complete.”
“Love is everywhere and I am loving and lovable.”
“I trust that everything is working out for me. I am being taken care of.”
About the contributor
Amy Rutledge is a Meditation Guide, Artist, and Actor living in Jersey City. Amy found meditation as a way of healing from Lyme disease, PTSD, depression, and anxiety when all else failed. She became passionate about becoming a meditation teacher because it was a wonderful way to help others relieve their suffering. She loves helping people, animals, creating and is grateful for a second chance at life and all the healing she has received!