MAKING OURSELVES is our monthly series focused on finding and creating more time to nurture and prioritize ourselves, our passions, hobbies & health. You can read all the posts HERE.
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It's been a while since our last Making Ourselves post and boy have I missed it. A few months ago I suffered from two back injuries and it took me down for a while. I'm just getting back into regular work again and I'm super excited to finally get to write another MO post! I'm so happy that some of you have been using the MO hashtag and writing to ask when the next post is! It makes me so happy!
Several things have happened since our last MO post and I'm happy to say that I've continued to work on myself and my work habits. I definitely noticed that if I hadn't of been doing all the exercise and healthy eating I started in December (I'm down 15lbs now), I wouldn't have recovered as quickly as I did. I surprised myself and my chiropractor with how quickly I was able to bounce back. All the determination to not slide back into old habits and routines was definitely helpful.
It's taken me a while to get back to where I am now (and I'm not 100% yet). I did any physical activity I could throughout my recovery. I just kept moving as much as possible and stuck to my eating plan and it worked. Thankfully even while I was healing, I was able to continue to lose weight. I paced my house, did the stairs etc. I wasn't allowed to sit much and that led to me being able to at least keep as mobile as possible.
Defeating negative thoughts.
I noticed that I felt really defeated and down the first week or two of my injury. All the negative thoughts came rushing in - things like I was going to fail, never get stronger, continue to be unhappy with my body etc., but I quickly realized that this wasn't the right way to handle it. I did my best to turn my negatives into a positive and just put all that negative energy into healing and getting stronger. I became quite proficient knitting standing up...lol. I knit and designed BRADWAY while injured and it definitely lifted my spirits!
After experiencing how powerful an affect that way of thinking had on me I started to find myself drawn to reading and learning more about positive thought. I was still feeling a need to eliminate more stress from day and the struggle to balance work/family. So I started researching on what else I could be doing for my body, my work, my mental health and my kids. That led me to meditation.
My meditation journey.
After dealing with some personal issues I found myself being strongly drawn to meditation. I have always had an interest in it but had never found the time to learn about it or try. I decided it was finally time to give it a go and just jump in. I went online, I read articles, I did research, I downloaded apps, playlists etc. I even have programs for my kids.
What do I think? I love it. It's changed my life, my way of thinking, and slowly but surely, I'm starting to chip away at old issues and bad habits. I try to do a meditation at least 1-2 times a day now. Sometimes I do short ones throughout if it's a particularly bad day. Sometimes I just do 1 really long one. It depends on my thoughts and feelings each day but no matter what, I always feel ten times better and happier when I'm done.
My oldest daughter and I have both been finding it wonderful. She can now go to her quiet place and do her meditation when she "feels" she needs it or we do it together. I've noticed a change in her as well as myself, and she's slowly learning to become more in control of her emotions (which she struggles with) and so have I.
It's given us a whole other way to talk about our feelings and emotions together and allows me to be a better parent and her to communicate more clearly with me when she is dealing with something. Breathing and positive thinking has been helping with mood tantrums, sass talking, sibling arguments and more. Don't get me wrong - there are still these things going on, she is a kid after all, but I'm learning how to teach her to control her anger/frustration and for me to not react so quickly when she does express those emotions.
If you've been curious about meditation for kids I highly recommend looking into it. There is lots of great information online and apps, books as well. I think as the years go by now you will see this become more mainstream and a play a larger role in parenting in the future.
How meditation has helped me.
1/ PERSONAL LIFE. One of the best things I've learned from meditating is to see all sorts of situations differently. I look at them, think about them and handle them in a much different manner now than I have in the past. Don't get me wrong, there's still days where my old habits stick hard, but I am able to see them more clearly now and try to do better the next day. It's even been helping with the anxieties & phobias I have. There are a few things I have stopped doing that I enjoy in life due to my phobias and for the first time in years I'm starting to feel like I can get back out and enjoy them again. This is truly a wonderful and freeing feeling.
I've also been really trying to "live in the moment". To take each experience in as fully as possible. To just be present. I've struggled with this off and on since becoming a mom and working at home. My mind is always on what things I should or need to be doing instead of enjoying the moment I'm in. So I'm getting better at just taking a breath and letting myself let go and have more fun.
2 / WORK LIFE. When it comes to work the meditation has also helped. I always have a mind that's going a mile a minute. I'm always creating and chatting away in my head. It's hard to sleep at night. I find myself more focused on my work now when I am doing it and I'm also much more efficient at bringing new ideas into reality because I'm not distracting myself with the ten other new things I want to get made. This has been particularly hard for me to change and I'm still working on it. I've only just begun on a long journey for this portion but overall it's definitely helped my creativity and to reign it in and be more focused on the things I love to do.
I've learned to try to not sweat the small stuff so much. I've realized that I can't do everything and that I'm only one person. I can't do the job of 5 and be healthy and happy. This realization has helped me to prioritize better. Sometimes things won't get done and I'm learning to be "ok" with that for now. I'm trying to learn to continue to make time for myself to have down time and relax and enjoy life as well as my work.
3 / STRESS. I've also found myself drawn to stress releiving and relaxing activities. Such as adult colouring, sketching, enjoying the quietness, reading, swimming etc. I'm now learning to carve time out in my day to enjoy these things to help keep me calm and focused. I promise to talk more about the adult colouring really soon! I've been LOVING it! I've got lots to say on that subject so stay tuned!
So far it's been a start to a wonderful new journey and one I hope will help me become a better version of "me".
I'd love to hear from you guys. Do you meditate? Do you enjoy it or have always wanted to try it? Do you have any tips/resources you recommend? I'd love to put together a great list for us.
I can't wait to hear from you! Please leave a comment below! xoxo
Have you been joining in on MAKING OURSELVES? I'd love to hear about it! Leave me a comment below so we can chat! Be sure to tag your pics with #makingourselves on social media so I can cheer you on too!
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