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Mindfullness at work – Creating calm amid the chaos

Lots of us are struggling during these times of uncertainty, crisis and start thinking about mindfullness at work.

Add to that the difficulties of big changes in our work and life routines and it’s a recipe for anxiety and stress.

LiveTiles’ Chris Lukianenko from the Intelligent Workplace Podcast caught up with Nina Purewal, author of the bestselling mindfulness book Let That Sh*t Go.

In her own words, Nina’s backstory is “not so happy”. At 16 she experienced a significant tragedy, losing her brother and father. She bravely confronted her trauma head-on, emerging strong, resilient, and with a mission to help others find their calm.

“That’s where my whole mindfulness at work, meditation, spiritual journey began. I had various therapists and counsellors, but it was just the one thing that always kept me grounded,” she said.

“I continued life as normally as I could, went to high school and got my business degree and had a great career in sales and marketing, worked on many global brands.”

The journey to mindfullness at work

In 2010, Nina had enough of the corporate grind and decided to do something drastic.

“I left my career and moved to California and studied spirituality, mindfulness at work, and meditation for an entire year, completely unplugged, got rid of the addiction to my email.

“I decided I really wanted to combine my corporate experience and the learnings I had on mindfulness, meditation, and how to really find that calm in all the chaos.”

“I started my own business and I now do mindfulness workshops for numerous companies, and recently launched a book, which is now a bestseller.”

With her co-author, Kate Petriw, Nina founded a company focused on mental health. The pair is continuing to spread the word and “trying to keep everyone calm and peaceful in this crazy time”.

Here’s Nina’s key insights into how we can all find some inner peace.

1. Awareness is the first step

“We’re constantly going down a rabbit hole with our thoughts. The first step is to be aware of what is swirling in your mind,” Nina said.

“Doing that gives you a little bit of space between all the thoughts that come through and all the stress that induces. Once we become aware of them, we can do something about it.”

2. Limit your media consumption

“People are checking their phones the first thing they wake up in the morning and before they go to bed,” Nina said.

“Keep informed with the facts and the data that you need, but don’t inundate yourself with all the media frenzy that’s going on right now.”

 3. Acceptance

“So much of our life, especially right now, we cannot control. When we ruminate about things that we can’t control, it just adds to our stress,” Nina said.

“If you can’t control it, then just put it in that bucket and let it go. When I studied in California, one of my teachers categorized thinking about things we can’t control as dead thoughts. They’re not going to propel you forward in any way. So just let it go.”

4. Feel it to heal it

Nina and Kate are huge advocates of ‘feel it to heal it’.

“Right now, there are so many emotions going on with people, there’s lots of stuff coming up for people.

“So, feel it. Honour it. Kate and I are huge advocates of this. If you need to have a good cry or write in a journal or talk to someone or vent, whatever it is, do it.”

5. Limit your Judgement

“Don’t judge yourself if you couldn’t get to that home-school lesson today or you were planning on working for seven hours and you worked for five hours,” Nina said.

“Don’t feel like a bad employee. Don’t feel like a bad mom. Just do your best and keep moving forward.”

6. Schedule and flow

“I know it’s easier said than done, but if you have a bit of a schedule, then you won’t feel so scattered throughout your day,” Nina said.

“I also think it’s important to be in a state of flow. There’s a lot of yoga practitioners that are talking about this now. Just listening to your body and listening to your mind.”

7. Have perspective and gratitude

“There’s just so many things to be grateful for if you really focus. Have you ever watched terrible news story or gone to a funeral and suddenly, you’re so grateful for your family or for life itself?” Nina said.

“Perspective is a really great to focus on, and gratitude is an escalator to joy.”

8. Take your forgiveness “to go

“If you think about takeout, I mean really quick forgiveness. So right now, everybody is living in close quarters, everyone’s a little on edge,” Nina said.

“This is the time to not stew on things. When you’re holding onto stuff, it’s affecting you, not the other person.”

9. Create a calming corner

“We have a little spot in our house now where I have little kids’ books on meditation, mindfulness flashcards, aromatherapy, crystals, anything calming,” Nina said.

“Have a little spot in the corner of your house and anytime you notice emotions are running high, just go there and take a few deep breaths.”

10. Breathe…properly

You’ve probably heard of sleep apnoea, but what about email apnoea?

“Someone did a study which proved that every time we open up our email, we actually stopped breathing for a few seconds. We go into stress mode. Breathing connects us, grounds us, and we have forgotten how to breathe,” Nina said.

“If you have a meditation practice, meditating is a really good tool right now.”

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