Today I will share a little more of my story and how Mindfulness has helped me recover from a traumatic event.
If you are following me, you will know that this is not the whole story of course, but a snippet from my new book about Holistic Living, which features Mindfulness and issues around mental health. that I am in the process of writing. It will be published and made available to you later in the year – so keep a lookout for that!
Also, If you struggle to make self-care a priority or do not know how to start your holistic mindfulness journey, check out my course, which will be available in the Summer of 2021- subscribe free to this blog to get updates on this!
So let’s get to it!
After I completed my Master of Arts in counselling at university, I went on to read social science on a |PhD level. I was working full time and opted to study for my PhD part-time for six years. My dream was to earn the postgraduate award in my 60th year. It was an achievable goal and a great birthday present to myself.
I was three years into research and could no longer endure my abusive marriage after I spent time in hospital as a result of an attack. Against advice, I decided to put my studies on hold and took a long break from work so I could try to salvage what was left of my marriage. Over the next couple of years, the abuse would continue, despite a series of reconciliation meetings, counselling sessions and eventually, a divorce ensued.
All this left me to burn out, feeling hopeless, defeated, and helpless. I did not want to face the future so I extended the deferment of my studies.
Even without the relationship problems, if you forget to schedule time for activities that care for and nurture you – then you may be at risk for burnout.
Eventually, when I felt stronger, using mindfulness to recover, I attempted to enrol to continue my studies but sadly, the limit of deferment had been reached therefore I lost all my scores. Three whole years of hard study, tuition, and research came to nothing. I had to start from the beginning if I wanted to earn a PhD. However, the fees increased dramatically, and I could not afford 6 years of study. Through all this, I was burnt out – yet again. I felt as if I was in a desert wandering around aimlessly with nowhere to go. My dream of a PhD had vanished. My marriage which held so much promise of happiness, love and hope at one time, was a thing of the past.
Your Mindfulness Well- habits
If you are recovering from a traumatic event or if you’re a hyper-focused, motivated, achiever, then I know you can successfully apply yourself to create a better balance in your life. At times, life sucks and isn’t fair or kind. However, there is hope on the horizon. Mindfulness is a wonderful tool to help you to succeed on your journey. However, to live mindfully, you must develop what I call- Well-Habits.
Unlearning bad habits and learning new ones is not so easy. We know this because most of us fail to keep our New Year’s resolutions. Usually, it’s because most of us start off far too big. We decide to launch into a whole new lifestyle all at once- it’s all or nothing! We think we’re just going to get there by the sheer exercise of willpower and come up disappointed.
Well-Habits are formed bit by bit, day by day through disciplining yourself to put them in place and practice them. Right now, get out your calendar and schedule a daily slot of time to spend on your health and happiness. Learn to build systems to prevent further burn-out. I have found that by scheduling my well-being as a priority in my diary, by promoting my personal well-ness activities at a regular time each week, I’m building healthy habits for wellness.
The more you plan, organise, to create good habits, you increase your answerability to yourself for your behaviour, it will be easier for you to improve your work-life balance and recover from trauma. It will give you a structure that will help to make you feel secure and that you are progressing forward positively.
Mindfulness is about intention, to enable meaning and purpose. Intentionally planning and organising your daily activities will give you a reason to get up in the morning to live purposefully throughout your day.
Build a growth mindset. You can grow as a person, change, and improve the way that you want to. It means that you are not born successful but become successful as you work through ‘stuff’. As part of your Well- Habit development, ensure that you also practise self-acceptance and self-compassion – stop being so hard on yourself. Remember, no one should make you feel bad about who you are – not even you!
It’s important to establish boundaries. What does this mean? It means that you decide what is acceptable to your goals, values and lifestyle. Once you establish what is acceptable for you, you must be assertive in upholding your own needs – Because no one else will.
I hope this post was helpful. If it was, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact me and share any thoughts you have. And if you enjoyed reading this blog, please support it by subscribing to my FREE newsletter and receive your FREE thankyou gift! Regardless of where you are on your journey, I hope you will find something useful here- if so, please let me know down in the comments.
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Paula Rose Parish