All of my 2020 goals have one main theme: Living a happier, more mindful life. And one month into the year, I’m already feeling the effects of putting these goals into action.
A good example of this is on weekday mornings. The morning rush alone with a toddler can be intense. Getting her fed, dressed, and out the door can lead to meltdowns, spills, and a host of other fun activities like time-outs. For the last two years, I would wake up and move move move, rushing her from her room to breakfast to out the door as quickly as possible which caused stress on both of our parts.
Now? I get in bed with her and we snuggle and read for 10 minutes before even getting up. That simple 10 minutes of calm and connection sets the tone for the next 2 hours. Instead of feeling rushed and anxious, Amalia feels a connection to me that makes her more trusting and willing to cooperate on every other step of the way. This one mindful moment can quite literally change the entire course of our day. And guess what? We get to school on time far more often than we used to. Taking 10 minutes to slow down creates more space for us to move quickly later.
Another thing I do for 10 minutes is meditating (almost) daily with Headspace which I’ve shockingly not only stuck with but *gasp* enjoyed! I know, I know. Me and meditation, who da thunk?
TBH, I really hated it at first. I thought I might even have to drop out of my campaign with them because it was so hard for me to get into it. But so many people that I love and trust swear by it and recommended it for me because of my struggles with anxiety. So I stuck with it and after two weeks, something finally clicked. I finally realized what the hype is all about.
It’s been over a month now and do I want to meditate every single day? Nope. But I try to do it regularly because it really does help my mood and my sleep. It’s like exercise which I also have a love/hate relationship with. I hate doing it, hate getting to the gym, hate even scheduling it in, but when I finish I always feel 1000x better and the whole day that follows is improved.
Meditation is exactly the same for me. The other day Anel said to me, you seem happier lately, what’s going on?
The key for me to stick with it, I’ve realized, is to meditate at the same time every day, working it into my daily routine.
Realistically this has only been happening on weekdays since our weekends are all over the place. I do my 10-minutes right when I sit down at my desk to start the workday, around 9:30, after dropping Amalia at school and walking the dog. I’ll usually write out my to-do list first so that’s not going around in circles in my head, and then I site comfortably in my desk chair or on the couch and turn on Headspace.
I had to ease into that routine, though. I started out with the Headspace mindfulness exercises where you can walk around (I do these while I walk Boots) and the exercises for mindful eating. For some reason, the fact that I could “do” something else while I listened to meditation made it feel more worthwhile for me. But once I saw how powerful those were, and I got into the swing of it, I started to get more comfortable with the meditation courses.
I have enjoyed completing “courses” like the happiness course I talked about last week. Now I’ve moved onto “finding focus” because I’m still having a hard time getting back into the swing of work after the long holiday break. Each course is 10 days and features daily 10-minute meditations. I used to think 10 minutes felt like an eternity but I’ve gotten used to it now and even look forward to it.
What I find the most interesting about practicing regular meditation is that I end up using some of the techniques in real life. For example, in one meditation I listened to (in the sleep series), I learned a grounding technique to focus on your out-breath while breathing deeply. So from beginning to end, think about what happens in each out-breath. How does it start? How does it end? It doesn’t sound all that powerful, but I find myself doing this whenever I start getting stressed or anxious either during the day or when I can’t sleep. It makes a difference.
The Headspace team has asked me to commit to a 10-day challenge and I’m asking you to join me too!
Headspace is committed to advancing the field of mindfulness and meditation through clinically-validated research and this challenge was inspired by research that showcased the benefits of Headspace within just 10 days. For example:
– Headspace reduces stress in 10 days
– 10 days of Headspace increased happiness by 16%
– 10 days of Headspace reduced irritability by 27%
Join me in this challenge: We will meditate every day for the next 10 days. I’ll be sharing one lesson from each meditation on my Instagram stories during this time whether it’s a breathing technique, a feeling I’m feeling, or a quote that inspired me.
What do you think? Will you join me?
Thank you to Headspace for sponsoring this post. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own.