Mindful Musings: A crucial ingredient that’s helping me survive lockdown

In the Mindful Musings series, Dr Elise Bialylew discusses a crucial ingredient that’s helping her survive lockdown. Got your own question about meditation? Send your questions to Elise here.

I sit down to write to you today, and I realise it’s been a long while.

For those of you reading in lockdown with small kids, you’ll understand what I mean when I say, I haven’t had a spare moment.

The past few months here in Melbourne have been challenging. We all have our unique stories and specific stresses that have manifested during this pandemic.

The pervasive sense of “bleh” is slowly lifting here in Melbourne as we get closer to some greater freedom and normality.

I’m sure in the future they’ll discover that our brains change in lockdown and we become less motivated and more fatigued.

In this context I’ve recently turned to a simple practice which supports a healthier mindset. This practice involves setting a daily intention

For example, in the last few days my intentions have included:

“Today I will meet the day with ease and not push through when things are feeling too hard”.

This mantra is an anchor for me to remember to breathe and redirect when I’m hitting resistance. Whether it’s my daughter resisting homeschooling or my own pushing through a task that needs to be done. This mantra helps me stay connected to self compassion and kindness to myself at a time that is really challenging.

“Today I will consciously recognise the joy and benefits that can be found in this time”.

This mantra is one that supports me in keeping my attitude and mindset in check. Even in such challenging times there is so much to be grateful for, I get extra time with my kids, I get to walk and notice the small pleasures, the smell of spring flowers blooming, the sunsets. I’m also really trying to spark novelty in my life in small ways to keep my brain stimulated and engaged.

What I’m reading…

Having been a very committed non-fiction reader, I recently joined my first book club to try and read more fiction. Our first book was “The Last Thing She Told Me”. It was a quick, suspense filled read, if a little bit lacking in depth. Next up isHamnetfor me.

What are you reading that’s inspiring you? Let us knowon the Facebook group here.

I’m also still reading non-fiction, and recently completedThe Future is Faster Than You Think by Peter Diamandis. A completely compelling and fabulous read that gives you some food for thought about the future and the rapid changes we should expect with the collision of so many new technologies including artificial intelligence, quantum computing, nanotechnology.

What I’m listening to…

I’m loving tuning into theWomadelaide playlist on Spotify. Pre-covid I used to go to the world music festival every year. I love taking myself to other countries through different styles of music.

What I’m eating…

I hit a wall with cooking, too tired, not enough time for fancy. But recently I’ve become re-inspired. Making a new meal feels like a splash of novelty in a very locked down kind of existence. Here is a divine cauliflower salad I made the other day (I suggest adding cranberries).

I hope wherever and however this email finds you, it can be of use.



P.S We’re in HIRING mode here at Mindful in May. If you know anyone who’d love to come on board our time and has brilliant digital marketing skills pass this email on! They can learn more here.


"If we wish to be healthy, happy and clear-minded, we need to upgrade our “inner technology”of attention to meet the demands of our increasingly complex world. That's where mindfulness comes in.."




Elise Bialylew is the author of the bestselling book, The Happiness Plan, and founder of Mindful in May, the world’s largest online global mindfulness fundraising campaign.

A doctor trained in psychiatry, turned social entrepreneur and mindfulness expert, she’s passionate about supporting individuals and organisations to develop inner tools for greater wellbeing and flourishing, and offers workshops and training at The Mind Life Project.

Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times and on Australian Television. She was recently recognised by the Australian Financial Review as a 2019 AFR Women of Influence.

Keep in touch with us

Sign up to access additional resources, mindfulness tips and to find out about upcoming events.

When you submit your email you are opting-in for our emails and relevant upcoming updates from Elise. You can unsubscribe any time.