What Has Worked For My Mind & Self This Past Month
Last month, I shared some things each week I was trying out to help feed my mental health and practice self-care. Today, I am sharing what has been my favorite and most helpful over the past now 5 weeks! After trying out a wide variety, I have kept some in place and dropped others that didn't work so much. Thinking about sharing what didn't work in a future post, but for now - the good stuff!
In the book I'm currently reading (and loving), Gabby Bernstein's The Universe Has Your Back, she discusses your perception being your projection. Meaning the outer world is a reflection of what's going on inside. That you're projecting what you carry inside out onto the world around you. With this, taking care of our internal self creates a domino effect in big ways.
I recently started going to a Buddhist temple in town and thus thrown into a 25 minute meditation at the beginning of every service. For someone who's never meditated before and always feels their mind is working on countless cylinders, this has been a complete struggle but I continue to sit myself down, palms up, and shut my eyelids. It's included moments of peeking at my neighbors, accidentally cracking my ankles while silently telling them "I'm sorry", all while various hip hop songs are stuck in my head. I made the accident meaningful choice of listening to August Alsina's 'I Luv This Shit' before a service once and it just kept playing in my head the entire meditation. So, maybe that was my mind letting myself know it really does love this shit.
All in all, the last 5 weeks have been an exploration and discovery of tools that help soothe and align my mind's cylinders... That sounds weird. But you get it, right? Cool. Here they are:
This app has been wonderful in providing guided meditations when I go to bed at night. Relaxing and getting to sleep has always been difficult for me. Since I have started using this app (seriously almost every night), I have noticed a huge improvement in how quickly and peacefully I fall asleep. I also sleep deeper too! Which is great but also not easy to wake up in the morning.
2. Breathing Practices
I have had a long history of anxiety and have noticed different forms of breathing being really helpful when I start to notice it being triggered. This is one of them, also known as 4 corner breathing. You can do it with your eyes open or closed - basically hold 4 counts after inhaling and again when exhaling!
Inhale 2 3 4
Hold 2 3 4
Exhale 2 3 4
Hold 2 3 4
Where I live, it's pretty normal to walk everywhere for the most part. So when I say it takes 45 minutes to walk to work, it is within a pretty busy and well-walked area. I have been walking to and from and it has been a great way to have some quiet time to myself and also be moving. I like to listen to my audiobooks at these times too!
4. Listening To Audiobooks On Audible
As mentioned above, I love listening to audiobooks when I’m traveling or walking anywhere. The app Audible makes it so easy to have access to and read multiple books on any of your devices. I have it on my phone and laptop right now. When I'm in the mood for a different book I just select another one of out my library and it plays where I left off. I love it!! I love using the time I'm moving and doing little things to also catch up and continue my reading.
5. Each Day a New Meditations Book
This book gives you exactly what it sounds like. Each day there are quotes or passages along with a paragraph of meaning for the day. I try to read them in the morning so that I start out on a fresh and inspired note.
6. Google Docs
Though I do not journal consistently, I do sometimes like to write to get things out. Google docs lets me access my journal pages or create a new page wherever and whenever I want to!
7. Rearranging My Bedroom
I was joking with a close friend a couple days ago that I have been loving the act of feng shuing my whole life. Along with changes, comes the much-needed room rearrangement. You know when you decide to change your hair when you feel like readjusting a little? I feel like rearranging your room parallels that idea. It really works too! Rearranging physical pieces in my daily environment helps me make my own readjustments ever so slightly.
8. Putting My Phone On 'Do Not Disturb' Mode
I have often done this at night and/or throughout the day on the weekends. It helps me maintain focus on what I'm doing and also allows me to unplug for however long I want or feel I need to.
Hope some of these are helpful and let me know if you try any out!
Have a great weekend :)