This is the third and last post about my daily routines. You’ll find part one here and part two here. The third one is an “extra” because someone wanted a post about how I practice my mindfulness skills. I’ve also decided to share my “structure list” the way it looks on my phone notes, just to sum up and make it clear and listed, what I’ve talked about earlier. You find the list in the bottom of this post.
So, mindfulness! You’ve all heard about it, and it has it’s history and there’s lot to say about it. I’m not going into that part since you can find it so many other places. But what you can’t read any other places is how and why I approach it. The reason why I startet to practice this skill I will make as short as possible in my rambling way: I always work on improve myself, to be the best of who I am, because I have some extra challenges when it comes to dealing with how I can think, feel and act. I can loose myself totally sometimes. Emotions or often constant extreme thinking is my worst enemy. It keeps me away from function in a so called ‘normal way’, and it challenges me a lot. Every day, it’s my life. If you have experienced, or do experience, something like it, you know what I’m talking about. Let’s make it simple and call it hell.
But I can, and will, get better. I have decided I will! And finally I feel healthy enough to take it a step further: practice mindfulness every day. If you struggle a lot and have huge challenges in your life, please seek professional help. And if you know someone who struggle, please don’t come with ‘great advices’ like you should read this or that book, or just download that app. Even though you want to be kind (hopefully), you’ll probably just be the one who doesn’t understand. And you don’t…
So this is for those of you who are in a state of mind when you feel ready, capable of getting further with an easier approach. I started off by reading a book about mindfulness (…but I had two years in therapy before I even considered to take this step…). There’s like thousands of books to choose from, and it’s a good idea to choose one that appeals to you. Some of them are written of specialists in both mindfulness and some kind of mental or physical diagnosis, and it can be clever to choose one of them if you have certain challenges. I did so, and I don’t dare to think of what my days would look like if I hadn’t!
So first I read a book, and I used a highlighter trough it. So glad I did. And one of my main tasks in August was to read it again and write notes at the same time. It’s the 31st of August today, so I have to admit I haven’t even started. But September, please give me a chance. The plan is to read it again and start to use more of the practices in it. They’re more rough and challenging, so for now I’ve choose a more general and basic way to get started with a daily routine: an app. Sounds too good to be true, and it would have been only a couple of months ago. I would get annoyed by seeing it, provoked. But now I know that every time I practice I make it a little easier to process thoughts and emotions.
The app is called Headspace, and it’s simple, smart, cute and kind. You can try it for free, but of course you want more, ha ha. I tried it for free for less than an hour before I knew this was one of my ways to make a mental healthy routine. So I bought it for a year. Just like that. It felt much better than to buy a lamp I was thinking of buying the night before! Headspace has several basic courses with ten sessions each. Every day at 9 a.m. I get a notification to give myself some headspace (you can choose not to get a notification), and during the day I get several “mindful moments” which are reminders that I love to get (you can turn them off, or choose to just get one. I want five!).
There’s so much I could say about the app, but I choose to tell you it’s built up by starting with the basics and then there’s lots and lots of themes in ‘minis’ (really short ones 1-3 minutes with restore, refresh, focus, unwind etc), ‘singles’ (sleeping, falling back to sleep, stressed, frustrated, difficult conversations, how to walk, eat and cook with an mindful approach etc) and ‘packs’ (30 sessions with themes like anxiety, stress, depression, pain management and more, or 10 sessions with anger, regret, restlessness, acceptance, kindness, self-esteem and much much more…), and I’m super excited. I felt so amazing the second I was ready to go for this, that in itself is a big step. It’s not the place to start if you’re at the bottom, then you need professional help. I did, and sometimes in my life to come I will might need it again. I know that might happen.
Last words before my structure list: There’s nothing wrong with thinking, but if it keeps causing us discomfort then we need to find a way to alleviate that. Learn to be at ease with them. Imagine a world in which we witness thoughts without becoming them and experience feelings without being overwhelmed by them.
My structure list (the one I have on my phone to remind myself…):
Main tasks for this month:
Paint the outhouse
write notes from mindfulness book
(paint the stairs and hallway)
Fresh air/ outdoors/ swim in the lake
Tasks from the physical therapist
One hour housekeeping
One of this months main tasks
Plan the day/ week/ month with my husband
Photograph, edit, write blogposts, Instagram
If I want to:
Listen to vinyls
Paint a room/ ceiling
Write down ideas (and mail them to myself)
Bake something good, spend extra time on the kitchen
Bathtub (and green clay face mask)
Do less when my daughter is here