I have heard so many excuses over the years about why people cannot dedicate just 10 minutes of ME time a day and I used to be one of them! “I am too buys with work, I am too busy with the kids, my calendar is chocker, I am too tired, my symptoms are too bad, I do not know how to do it” and many more excuses!
Trust me I totally get it as I used to be like this! In fact these are all the excuses I gave! Also I think I was in total denial about my mental health issues for quite some time! Found it very hard to admit I had a problem with anxiety and depression. Back in 2013 at my worst time with these awful conditions, I never dedicated any time for ME, I never slotted in time for meditation or mindfulness. All I was concentrating on was being consumed by horrific symptoms and trying to still run the house, keep my business afloat and be the best mother I could for my twin girls. My mind constantly was in a ‘racing’ ‘hectic’ state, making it highly over sensitive to everything around me. My mind was in overdrive, trying to battle through the day and just come out the other side alive.
I could have gone on for years like that and never getting any better until…..my VRT specialist and CBT therapist told me that I really needed to dedicate some time for ME, as my symptoms were so bad and if I was to stand any chance of improving. Thank god they did say this to me as it did me a favour. After I resisted for some time and kept telling them they were talking nonsense, I decided to give it all a go. I was actually willing to try anything at that point to release me from the hell I was living in.
I know I have blogged about this subject extensively but I do feel that it is one of the main reasons why I have recovered so well now. So I am happy to write about it once again to try and help others out there feeling the same as I felt in 2013. I started using an app called Headspace which I had on my iPhone. I signed up and started to do 10 minutes every day before bedtime. After using headspace for a number of years I went on to do Insight Timer for a stint, then found my own way of doing meditation and I also started mindfulness affirmation based pilates in 2016 which has been the most amazing journey.
I have a lot of people say to me, “But I cannot switch off my mind when I am meditating, all I can think of is what I need on the next supermarket shop!” “My symptoms are too bad, I am swaying with my dizziness and it disturbs me” or “My mind races I cannot rest it or quieten it down”. I honestly think its practice, in my case for certain, the more I did it the more my brain got used to that state of relaxation, however its taken years! Not an overnight thing at all. Also I think if you do have thoughts pop into your mind when mediating, I welcome them in, acknowledge them and then they seem to disperse, I try not to fight against those thoughts. Same type of situation when my anxiety pops up! If I have the anxious thoughts, I invite it in, embrace them and not fight against them, then they dissipate.
So a lot of people I know that had started meditation, gave up before they even got into it because of the hectic thoughts or for some of the reasons above or other reasons. Also people just cannot see the value of meditation if they have never done any and they don’t see how it can work. Trust me it helps! I know 100’s of people who I have supported that have got better through meditation. For me meditation is just one part of the recovery treatment puzzle, I dual it with my clean diet, water intake, connecting with nature, exercise etc.
I believe if we can calm the chatter of our minds and do more ME time and mindfulness activities then it will help with physical and mental symptoms. All it takes is 10 mins every day or even every other day. Surely its worth a try?! I did and it paid off. The main thing is to do meditation/mindfulness even if you are feeling better, even if your symptoms are not so bad one day or you are not going through a relapse. I believe it should be treated as maintenance and should be done regularly and long term. I will never stop meditating and doing mindfulness activities, I am too frightened to stop as if I did I know I would go backwards, plus I now really enjoy it – double bonus!
So if you are reading this and thinking about starting dedicating some time to YOU, then DO IT, give it a go, but remember its not an overnight fix, it takes practice, so stick at it. Have faith in your body and mind and you will win through. Also meditation does not have to be doing apps or guided meditation, you can do your own or I find just getting out in nature is enough to zone me out into my own calm world and a tree hug is even better. Even if you just have 10 mins on your own lying down in bed or on the sofa, whatever you do just try and factor in some ME time. Some people find exercising a great form of mindfulness, I certainly do, releases endorphins and is great all round, I have found exercise amazing for my vestibular symptoms.
Look after yourself and remember if you help yourself wonderful things can happen. xxx