How are you feeling about making plans as the COVID restrictions ease? For me, I’ve got excited about catching up in real life with the people who I love. Trying to maintain relationships online just isn’t the same and sometimes can be detrimental. But once I began to book a few things into my diary, I started to feel a cloud of depression creeping in on me. My mind whirled- now I have to make yet another lifestyle change. Now I have to learn anew how to manage a new lifestyle with actual physical people in it, not just faces on a screen or a disembodied voice on the telephone. Like me, you might be meeting these challenges with a looming overwhelming feeling , and no one would blame you, especially for us who live alone and have been living a shut-in lifestyle for over the past year. It took months for me to adapt to my new ‘shut in’ lifestyle. Contemplating months of aloneness and possible loneliness shook me to the core. I fought back with tears, anger then eventually docile acceptance. If you are interested in reading about my experience of how the practice of mindfulness empowers You to accept lifestyle changes – Keep Reading!
I finally adapted very well to my new lifestyle and found various ways to keep myself productively busy and happy. However, now the prospect of getting back to ‘normal’ causes butterflies in my stomach and overwhelms my happiness. I am nervous about facing yet another lifestyle change!
In this post, I want to share how I use mindfulness to help me through the overwhelm that a lifestyle change can bring. I share with you how I use colouring to help me through the overwhelm that each day can bring. This is not the whole story but a snippet from my new book about Holistic Living which features mindfulness. I am in process of writing it and will published and made available to you later in the year – so keep a look out for that!
· Self-soothing mindfully
Lifestyle changes can cause a backlog of overwhelming tasks to face. We feel overwhelmed one, day carry it over to the next and then carry that over to the next day or week. Before long, we have a backlog and run into all kinds of complications. We aren’t robots; we need time and space to wind down; we need to be soothed regularly. Living alone has advantages and disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is that I have no one to soothe me after a horrible day so I can relax. I have no one to soothe my brow, massage my shoulders or feet. There is no voice of comfort or encouragement to help me through a difficult situation. With living alone, we must learn how to do all of the above ourselves. Here are a few ways that I have found to soothe myself.
Face massager: I have a small handheld face massager that I run all over my face. It soothes a headache in my temples and feels amazing comforting as I slowly run it over my face. It has the added benefit of strengthening facial muscles and decreasing fine lines.
Hot wheat bag: I have Reynard’s disease and feel the cold bitterly. I put a wheat bag in the microwave for 3mins. When I am tired and strung out, I simply put my warm wheat bag on my shoulders, feet or hands- anywhere I need it to soothe my weariness away.
Cool gel bag: you may be someone who prefers the ‘cool’ approach rather than warm If this is the case, a cold gel bag is a tool for you to soothe your weariness away.
I do many other things to self soothe, which I will share with you in another post.
· Mediation- a mindful practice
Mediation works wonders during a lifestyle change! With change comes challenges that threaten to overwhelm us. Just taking 10 mins alone in meditation gives you a breather and can help you refocus on what is ahead of you. Mediation can help you sort your priorities and help you to see your situation more clearly. When your mind is rested and renewed, so is your focus and intention.
· Slow down and become mindful.
You are not a robot, so stop expecting yourself to run infinitely on an automatic pilot. Throughout our day, we encounter many changes, some of them we create, but at other times circumstance or other people create change for us. This all has a bearing on the ‘style’ of our day. I tend to set far too many daily goals. I use my computer for everything I do, and I expect things to run smoothly. But the truth is that my workload rarely runs without a hitch. There are many times more than I would lie when my computer is low. The broadband network might be overloaded, and the downloads or uploads take forever. This ties my computer up, and all I can do is patiently wait. There are times when my computer has crashed for no apparent reason. I use Dragon text to speech as it helps with my dyslexia, and to my frustration, it often refuses to open. Then I must take time out to make a call to customer service. All this puts a spanner in the works taking me away from my precious work schedule. By the end of the day, I go to bed feeling defeated, not having addressed most of my tasks which must be laid over till the next day. I looked hard and long at this recurring problem and decided to approach it prayerfully but also mindfully.
How did I approach this mindfully? I began each new task far slower than usual. I intensely focused on the task at hand and tried to resist the temptation to multitask. I did my best not to call to mind all the other tasks waiting for me, so I could concentrate on what was at hand. When my computer decided not to play ball, being in the mindful mode, I felt an inner calm and dealt with it in peace rather than panic. Being mindful helps me to roll with the wanted and unwanted changes in the course of my day. Slowing down and being ‘mindful’ of each task helps me to be one with that task achieving far more in less time.
Allowing myself to approach my lifestyle changes mindfully brings healing like no other and the courage and strength to help me today. The Lord tells us to be strong and of good courage. And it seems to me that God leaves it to us to discover how to be a solid and courageous person. I have found that Practicing mindfulness enables me to achieve what I want to and also ‘be’ the person that I aspire to.
Thank you for visiting me here, I hope this post was helpful. Please like, subscribe or like and feel free to leave a comment with any questions!
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HEAD OVER TO YOU TUBE and catch up with my latest VIDEOS and I see you in my next blog post!
Paula Rose Parish