The focus of my week has been on mindfulness.
Various people have been encouraging (nagging 😉 ?) me to be kinder to myself. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to be kinder to myself, it is more that I have felt unable to. Not only has it been easier to keep myself busy so I don’t have to think about scary or awful memories, I have also been punishing myself. Irrational, I know, but that’s strong emotions for you.
Last Saturday I popped in to town seeking out a book a friend had recommended. I couldn’t find the book – it wasn’t in stock, so I ordered it, but while I was browsing in that section these two books caught my eye.
Mindfulness is another way of saying what my psychologist is trying to help me achieve: to feel ok about and accept however I am feeling, whether that feeling is happy, sad, or anything in between.
On Sunday, all the chatter over social media about Christmas preparations was, quite frankly, doing my head in, so I disengaged from it all and spent time looking through Hugo’s photos. As I’ve described in this post, doing such a simple thing was a revelation for me.
Drifting off to sleep last night, I hatched an idea: I would be mindful every day, and to hold myself to account I would post a photo on Instagram of something that had made me smile. If nothing had made me smile, I’d draw a picture that represented my mood and take a photo of that, instead. So, #31daysofmindfulness was created.
With Christmas being for me this year, being mindful is giving me something other than baring my teeth at festive joy to focus on.
Mindfulness has brought be some benefit this week: on Tuesday I did something unprecedented since I came home from hospital in London after Hugo died – I turned off my laptop and put the telly on. At 10.30am. It took a while to relax and get in to it, not just because daytime telly isn’t much good, but relax I did and I felt so refreshed for it.
Christmas can be a stressful time for many people for all sorts of reasons. The pressure to be happy and full of joy all the time can get a bit much, so it can be good to have a bit of an outlet for the stress and feel able to say you’re just not feeling the joy – as well as being able to take a mindful breather amongst the hustle and bustle of gift buying, parties and all the other festive activities.
I am delighted that other people have chosen to join in, and are saying it has helped them, too. This gives me an additional happy feeling – I set it up thinking it was something I wanted to do, and if others wanted to do it too that was a bonus.
The moral: if you have an idea, go for it!