Revisiting my mindfulness practice

A 30 day challenge to create a successful routine

Getting back on track

To say my mindfulness practice has gone completely off track isn’t fully accurate. I am still practising regularly though mainly to ease my anxious mind in the evening so I can get a few hours worry free sleep. What I needed to step up is my practice for my overall well-being. I needed to restart my morning practice to start my day less anxious and more in tune with myself.

So following on from my post 60 Days of Mindfulness I have decided to set myself a 30 day challenge using my Headspace app. I’ve chosen the ‘managing anxiety’ section as, next to my chronic pain, this is affecting my life in a huge way. I wake up every morning with my heart racing and that sinking butterfly feeling in my tummy. Every morning. It’s there with my pain waiting to greet me as I struggle to come out of an unrefreshing sleep.

So morning mindfulness practice is needed. I’m also going to change a few things about my morning habits to make this a successful part of my routine.

The new routine

1) No checking social media or reading the news. I am allowed to check the weather as Little Pea and I do this as he gets ready for school. I am allowed to check to see if Mr Pea has text if he is at work
2) Let myself wake up unhurried, drink water with my tablets and have my morning cuppa.
3) Determine my pain and tiredness levels. Can I sit up and stay up for 15mins or should I just stay lying down? This is important, if I am uncomfortable or in too much pain I won’t persevere with practice I will be way too distracted.
4) Stay awake! On a bad day, of which I have way too many, it’s all too tempting to go back to sleep once all the monsters have gone to school and college. I can go to sleep after I’ve practiced.



Day 1 of Mindfulness

I woke up with the evil butterflies in my tummy, even more so today because yesterday I wrote a to-do list. I have a love hate relationship with lists – I love writing lists, I need to write lists because of my poor memory (thanks Fibro!) but they are also a source of anxiety.

Lists mean I have things to do. Not too wobble inducing, being able to do things is a plus as it means I’m having an okay hour, morning, hell occasionally I even get an okay day! They also mean I can’t escape what I have to do, the more I put it off the more anxious I get. Forgetting things lessens the anxiety short term but usually this means it builds up subconsciously so I write the lists. Then those lists stare at me – I can’t escape them, I have to attempt to do them.

This weeks list includes speaking to people. I have to cancel some subscriptions/Direct Debits over the phone which means I have to know what to say, I have to expect what I might be asked. Anxiety anxiety everywhere! The person on the other end of the phone doesn’t know why I’m a rambling wreck. I write down what I need to say but you just know they will ask something random or try to sell me something I don’t need.

After practice

Routine in place, I did 15 mins mindfulness, of acknowledging my thoughts and returning to my breath. I felt calmer. The evil butterflies were still there, meditating doesn’t banish them it just helps make them flutter less aggressively. Once I was done I opened my list and worked through my phone calls. Taking a few minutes after each one to sit, breath and congratulate myself on getting through it.

I managed 3 phone calls and an email in an hour.

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