Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Freeing the mind in three easy steps

Here's my first lot of resolutions.  I started with this lot because I was thinking too hard and trying to phrase them perfectly & trying to make them into SMART goals…. Then I realized that I was at risk of not posting any resolutions until sometime in the summer.

I don't consider myself an overly anxious person, but I am prone to stress and anxiety like anyone else.    And like everyone else, I don't much care for the way it makes me feel - overwhelmed, pulled in too many directions… it feels like I'm in one place and my mind is in another.  I have a few ideas for how to slow things down, calm my mind and really feel that I'm living in the present.

Free the Mind!

1. Meditate for at least 5 minutes every day.  I can do five minutes every day, and I can probably do longer too, but this is where I will start.  While I was pregnant, Derek introduced me to a 6-week pod-cast "Introduction to mindfulness meditation."  I thought it would help me through labour (it did!), but it also helped calm anxieties in pregnancy & since Finley was born.  I've fallen out of the habit lately, so I plan to start again.

2.  Reduce screen time.  I pick up my phone a lot, and I mean a lot.  It's like a reflex.  I  check my emails, surf the web, look at my messages, etc.  Sometimes I literally just pick it up, stare blankly at it, and put it back down.  I would probably cringe if I knew how many times I pick up that stupid thing every day.  Why do I do it?  I'm not sure.  I certainly do not get enough emails that they need to be checked every 15 minutes.  I am certain that my time could be spent in better ways than constantly looking at my phone (or iPad or computer.)  10 years ago I had no such device in my life, and now it's practically glued to my hand.  So, the plan is: no checking phone while I'm hanging out with people, turn off my phone when I'm out socially.  I'll check email in the morning and in the evening - no checking in-between (unless I'm expecting an important/time-sensitive email which pretty much never happens.)  More time living my real life, less time living my virtual life!

This includes blog posts.  No reading and re-reading.  Write, proof-read, post!

3.  Let go of perfection.  (NB: not that I think I'm perfect, far from it!) Have you ever heard of someone making a resolution to do fewer dishes or less laundry?  You heard it here - kind of.  I'm not actually resolving to not clean my house, I'm just resolving to let go of the need to feel like everything needs to be perfect: super doctor who runs her busy clinic on-time, yet still makes it home to her spotless house in time to feed her baby home-made organic quinoa snacks. You will never find photos of my house, my office, my cooking or my family on Pinterest!  I have no idea how to make that into a SMART goal, but I'm going to let go of making into a perfect resolution and just go with it!

This includes my resolutions.   Make 'em, post 'em, break 'em!

Here is a bear who knows how to relax!

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