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Neuro Café - Mindfulness, Relaxation, Exercise/breathing

Notes from the Neuro Café on17th February 2021.


Sarah had made a presentation earlier about being mindful and Conor resumed the theme. Mindfulness can involve meditation and seeking calm. Step back from the everyday stresses of life and be aware of the present moment.

You can train your mind to be mindful. 15 minutes of mindfulness can go a long way.

The effects of being mindful may have positive effects to the brain. More details can be found on slides in the Members’ Area of the LEGS website (please contact Victoria - if you need help accessing this).

A few suggestions for further investigation:

Mindfulness can be practised while eating - think about your food. Some of us eat in a rapid or absent minded manner!

Moving - walking - running; focus on your body and the task. Notice the feeling of your body moving.

Body scan: pay attention to different parts of the body - feelings of warmth, tension, tingling, relaxation.

What helps release tension? Being joyful, colouring and drawing, meditation, breathing, thoughts, sensations, yoga.

Pay attention, notice

Choose and return

Be aware and accept

Be kind to yourself

Take time out to focus and be with your own thoughts. Think about mindfulness as exercise for the brain!


We discussed being mindful while exercising. Become aware of your body. What are your feelings? Lightness, heaviness, discomfort?

Let go of your stress. Breathe in some fresh air, breathe out your stress.

Remember to strike a balance between exercise and rest; also to rest and recover.

Consider warming up, focus on breathing, 5-10 minutes before exercising.

Focus on the task you are doing, or just one step.

Being calm makes you exercise better.

Frustrations and anxiety can overwhelm us and make muscles tense.

Small gains add up and have benefits. We all enjoy the healthy competition, fun and supportive elements of exercising with LEGS groups and there is satisfaction in completing the tasks.

We are all on our own personal journey and we can all learn from each other.

Going Outside

Some people are venturing outside more now the weather is improving. If you are taking a daily photo you might consider taking in a deep breath of fresh air at the same time.

One LEGS participant had 10-15 minus of mindfulness every day when in hospital but finds it difficult to practise on her own.

Helpful suggestions included having a plan or schedule in the day and booking in a session at a particular time.

Falling asleep can be problematic. Chamomile tea was recommended but effects may lessen over time. Mobile phone lights may interfere with sleep.

Conor will collate the daily photos everyone gathered when they went outside.

Suggestions welcome for a new daily group challenge in March.

There was a mouthwatering discussion about favourite pancake toppings.

Perhaps we could make a ‘top tips for life’ booklet, incorporating even the bad jokes from the group?

A skydiving LEGS participant -‘try things at least once in your life’ - recounted that his wife made sure he had handed over his wallet to her before he embarked on his daring jump.

Earlier, we had noted that the 70’s dance troupe Legs & Co (see below!) were probably not connected to the present-day LEGS group in any way, excepting their enthusiasm and stylish moves, of course!

A LEGS participant reminded us that ‘Life is full of commas, not full stops’.

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