Hi everyone! Something different from me today. Whilst I usually stick to talking about books and my bullet journal on my blog, there are other areas I would love to explore and feel passionate about. Part of that will hopefully mean some more discussion and personal type posts, we’ll see how it goes.
I’m going to be writing a little mini series of blog posts under the title of ‘Mindfulness & Me’. Mindfulness is a word I saw being passed around a lot towards the beginning of 2018 and was certainly a word I become familiar with during 2017. The last few months of 2017 were not easy ones for me: I faced a tragedy that was unexpected and still hard to process now, let alone the spiral it sent myself and lots of other people in my life on. It meant that I felt out of sorts for quite a while. I cried a lot, I had awful anxiety and I felt grief like never before. But what I learnt from that experience ended up being invaluable and I definitely grew from it.
I was lucky to find that I had people to turn to when I needed to talk about said event whether that be my wonderful family, my incredible friends or the fantastic team of people I work with. I spent many hours talking to these people, realising that how I felt was okay and, given the circumstances, normal. Whilst some commented that it seemed to have hit me harder than others, I don’t think that grief is something that can be comparable. Grief brings to the forefront thoughts, feelings and emotions we don’t always realise we are burying and that’s where I found myself. I’m not ready to go into the details of that yet and I will probably never talk about what actually happened on my blog as it is so personal to all of us who were involved, but it did make me realise that I need to take more time to look after myself mentally and emotionally than I was doing. That’s where mindfulness comes in.
Most people will have seen or heard the term ‘mindfulness’ being used online, maybe in the media or by their own friends, families and colleagues. It is something that seems to be much more commonly spoken about nowadays than it ever was before but I still think that mindfulness is completely individual. To look at a definition, this is what mindfulness is:
For me, mindfulness certainly is about putting myself in the present and not letting myself get overwhelmed. On a more personal level, when I talk about mindfulness, I’m talking about finding peace of mind. We all have those days where life can become overwhelming in many different ways. In my work life, I have a pastoral role which means I am often managing pupils’ emotions and difficult wellbeing situations. It can be really difficult to put myself first when I take on so much from others, but I also wouldn’t change that for the world. It is part of my character and always will be. What I have done, though, is realised that by looking after myself a bit better, I can do even more to support those around me.
So, what does mindfulness mean to me?
To me, mindfulness is finding peace with myself. Sorting through the things in my brain that are at the forefront. Those things that stop me from feeling like I can breathe easily. Unlocking emotions is a key part of this. Enabling myself to sit calmly and reflect on what is making me feel so anxious or what is making me feel overwhelmed. Is my brain playing a trick on me? Am I actually feeling stressed/anxious/overwhelmed? Or can this easily be broken down? These are all questions I ask myself. More often than not my mindfulness is something that I undertake individually but sometimes I have to ask myself the question, can other people help? For me, mindfulness is about finding myself, my soul, my emotions and reminding myself that things are okay and will be okay.
Next time I’ll be sharing with you the things that I do to help me find mindfulness and help me to achieve that inner peace that I often so desperately need.