As part of my 30 goals before I am 30, I made a pact to try out some mindfulness techniques. It only took 1 and a half years, a minor breakdown and lots of self-intervention to make a start! Hooray! So, obviously I am not the authority on mindfulness, but this is more of a… beginner’s experience.
I have had little to no luck when it comes to mindfulness and I’ve heard that it can be a struggle. For me it’s nearly impossible – I actually took a day to myself where I could do nothing, alone, and lasted well… you can see for yourself.
I cannot stand silence. When I come home before Netflix plays in the background, or if my music disconnects accidentally in the car, I just can’t handle it. The void makes me nervous and I need to fill it with something or I get very down for the evening. This is why I tend to fill my time as much as possible – I can’t stand the idea of a wasted evening.
I go for months being busy as much as I can until I burn out and then take a few weeks of recovery. It’s just what I’ve always done, and surprisingly it’s not the busy periods that cause me stress; it’s the quiet moments when my thoughts start to flood in and consume me. The negativity can often press down on me if I spend even one night alone.
So how did I start to feel more positive?
I began with a MyndMap. A book that helps you to focus on the small positive changes you make within each day and work towards a bigger goal in small steps. It’s literally just a way of assessing where you’re at, and where you want to be, and identify small changes you can make. This is the kind of thing that I like; it seems productive but also encourages reflection. Within 90 days, it claims, it will help you feel more positive – and it seems to be working so far!
Something it told me to do is to try to relax and spend time to myself, reflecting on emotions and things that may be having negative effects on my life – and what better place to do that, than in the middle of nowhere!
The Stunning Hoar Cross Hall Spa Day
I was given a spa voucher so I set off alone to spend an afternoon just, well, not doing a lot. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if you met me… you’d know it is. I never, EVER, switch off. I run at a million miles an hour, filling my time with friends and activities, to the point where I barely have time to watch TV, let alone do absolutely nothing. So I arrived at 1pm, full of optimism and excitement at doing nothing and having a chill…
The spa was absolutely gorgeous so I rushed off to get changed and got into the pool. I spent some time hiding in a dark cave in the pool, I floated around, swam around the aqua-jets, explored the detoxing and aqua-therapy sections, explored the hydrotherapy pool, thought about every single one of my friends and what they’d do if they were there with me as I chilled out and people watched in the Jacuzzi. Then I wondered what the time was…
HOW was it only 2-pm?
Only an hour had passed?! I never realised being alone was going to be this slow but I decided to try and make the most of it. I booked a 4 hour session in the spa but was done in 2 .5 hours. (Even that had included a minor nap in a hanging basket and a mini photo-taking spree!)
The whole time I wished I had my notebook with me so that I could write ideas for my blog. I had so many good ideas for posts but hey, they’re gone now… You’ll have to deal with my normal content. Sorry about that!
One thing is for sure though, I did feel super relaxed and I did have a wonderful time. So much so that even though I drove home for 2 hours through rush hour Nottingham and down the M1. I didn’t even swear once! (But seriously…) It’s definitely healthy to spend some time doing nothing and grounding myself. I’ve started this mindfulness journey now – let’s see if it becomes a habit!