My mind is full. Very full. On our anniversary, my husband and I each got a 30 minute massage. I thought about 300 things during those 30 minutes. He said he thought about nothing.
I think about my children, my family, my worries, my business, my mistakes, my to do list, my hopes, and my dreams.
It all gets rather exhausting. My husband said he’d go crazy if he thought about so much all the time.
There’s just so many things I want to do, so many things I’m responsible for, and only so little time to get it all done.
So, I’ve been trying to practice mindfulness lately. Here’s what has worked for me.
1. Hot Yoga
Slow yoga does not work for me. It’s too quiet, too calm. My brain can’t do normal yoga. Hot yoga on the other hand is just about the only time during the week that I can actually shut my brain off. I don’t know what it is. I think it’s because hot yoga is physically challenging for me. I have to concentrate on what I’m doing so I don’t fall flat on my ass. It’s demanding physically, but I like it. My legs burn and my brain fights it and it’s just a whole exercise in focusing on breathing instead of focusing on the other 100 things I want to focus on.
2. Limiting Facebook
In the last 10 year of having Facebook, the site itself has never bothered me. I never looked at people’s photos or experiences and felt jealous or annoyed. Maybe it’s because we lived in the Caribbean for 3 of those 10 years and people looked at our photos wishing they were there. But now, since moving back to the US, being on a tight budget, and having two kids, it’s hard for me. It’s hard when other mothers post their children’s milestones and my preemies are still catching up. It’s hard to see friends my age buying a home when that phase of life for us is so far off. It’s hard to see people out at dinner, shopping, and traveling when it’s been a while for us. Now I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s. I know that our time will come, but still Facebook gets me down from time to time and fills my mind with negativity, of things I want but can’t have and of things I had but can’t have right now. So, I turn it off from time to time and limit my interaction. It helps clear the mind.
3. Remembering To Recharge
I go about 100 miles per hour all the time, but I’ve come to learn quite a bit about myself over the years. My personality type is very prone to introspection and introversion, despite appearing outwardly outgoing much of the time. If I have a day where I am on a 1 hour Skype call, for example, that takes just about all my energy for the day. I don’t like to talk too much after something like that. I require a lot of time to sit by myself to recharge in order to be sane and enjoyable to be around. It’s part of the reason why I like being self employed so much, lots of time to do my thing by myself. If I find myself getting cranky or annoyed or just over-stimulated by the world in general, I remember to recharge. It clears my mind.
I’ve learned it’s very important to take care of yourself, otherwise you can’t take care of anyone else.
These, of course, are all things that work for me. What works for you when it comes to clearing your mind?