How are you? Have you taken time to ask yourself that question? In fact, have you EVER asked yourself that question? Or have you just been moving from point A to B so quickly that you forget about yourself? And then…BOOM…one day you wake up and look in the mirror and you just don’t recognize yourself anymore.
It’s currently 9:30pm and I feel the need to ask myself this question. How am I doing? It’s been three weeks since I’ve been home with my children ‘homeschooling’ as well as conducting online classes for my students.
At the beginning of the school term we had a workshop about Mindfulness. I thought it was going to be another boring workshop that could have been a memo 😫 but the moment I walked in – I was actually late 😬 and heard the young lady address the room about what mindfulness is, I slowly realized that I was neglecting my state of mind. As a result I was definitely not performing to the best of my ability. Surely I had been giving my best for the last 11 years, or at least I thought I had.
As I learnt more about mindfulness I finally realized that in some ways I had taken the first steps to being mindful. I joined the gym towards the end of 2018 and made it must to train all of 2019. That was and still IS my non-negotiable. Exercise is the one thing I refuse to miss out on, because it gives me peace of mind, I forget about everything, all the deadlines seem far away and I am in a state of exhilaration! For some people it’s reading a book when the kids are asleep, going for a drive with the music blasting, an hour or two by the sea…it can be something different for everyone. The main point to this activity is that you feel happy and stress free afterwards. Killing some calories doesn’t hurt as well 😉
In my profession I realized that I also have to understand that my students also need to be mindful. They are also stressed and placed under a lot of pressure by parents and teachers alike. So I tried something new with my home class. Every Monday we start the week with our journal, and we write down three weekly goals, three things we are grateful for and three things we want to change about ourselves. If by the end of the week none of the goals have been met, we write them down again. Every Tuesday that we have contact time we fill up our gratitude jar. By the time we stopped classes our jar was half full 🤗 I don’t talk about lessons and work during that time. It’s in those 40 minutes that I want them to feel less stressed and more comfortable with being themselves.
But now we are all at home, so I ask once more, how are you doing? What are you doing for yourself tomorrow? The main point I gathered during the workshop was that being mindful is simply taking a pause! Yes! So simple isn’t it? Are you angry because your child messed up a maths question? Your toddler spilled all her milk? Take a pause! Breathe! Let your mind wander, because it most definitely will! But then bring yourself back to that moment of calmness. And then you can tackle the issue with clarity and not with anger.
Meditation is probably one of the best steps you can take to mindfulness. I for one still haven’t mastered that step 😂 I sit in silence and my mind wanders the entire time. Trying to bring myself back is never easy. But that doesn’t mean I should give up. I started getting up at 5:30am 😫 to work out and sit in complete silence before the chaos of waking up my daughters would start. I must say, for the length of time I did that, it really helped. I didn’t even feel tired throughout the day.
I urge you to make time for yourself! It’s so important that your mind as well as your body is OKAY. Try something small such as sitting quietly for 3 minutes before the kids wake up. As I mentioned, your mind will wander, let it do so, and then gently bring it back to that silent state! And once you have found your ‘zen mode’ introduce it to your children. Perhaps when you’re both having a bad day, take that pause together and then see how you both come out of it.
I watched this video during the workshop and it’s such a simple way to explain what mindfulness really is and why it’s so important!
Headspace is such an awesome app! The videos are simple and the kids love it! I know my 9 year old enjoys falling asleep to the guided meditation! My 3 year old…not so much! 😂
Another video shown to us during the workshop. Breaking down the benefits of meditation
I have shared the above videos for your own viewing pleasure and perhaps to encourage you to look deeper into the topic! You may find that once you start taking care of your mind, everything else you have been working so hard at trying to achieve will fall into place!
P.S You can always check out this local website, M.O.V.E. They are slowly trying to educate people about mindfulness! One of the members hosted the workshop I attended! So don’t take it from me…take it from the experts 😉