The practices I know support me best seem to have gone out of the window when I most needed them.
I like to think I have a solid wellbeing routine which includes waking up before 6am, yoga & meditation, eating well, walking in nature and all the things I’ve integrated into my life over the years. It helps me feel vital and brings me closer home to myself.
And yet last week, "life happened", and it all went out of the window.
It was an atypical corona week: my partner tested positive for Coronavirus, and though asymptomatic, what followed wasn’t light.
The change in our dynamics was the least of our stressors: we’d seen people over the weekend and feared he might have infected them. In addition, news from my family wasn't great either: my cousin is fighting against the virus as well.
I know that this, compared to others’ life threatening situations, is a minor thing. And yet, it made me wonder:
Why is it so hard to put our most effective tools into practice when we most need them?
Until now, I had always been able to keep my practice and my wellness routine throughout stressful situations. Actually, I had relied on them time and again. So, why was this time any different?
According to my partner, it’s “because it’s no longer fun when you need it, and you lose motivation”. Might be?
A friend of mine would “dwell in her misery”, turning it into a vicious circle (of junk food, aimless scrolling through the internet, etc.), that goes on until she finally manages to get herself moving again.
I’m a type A personality, a Pitta - if you’re familiar with Ayurvedic doshas - who doesn’t mind the grind if I know the result is what I need. I get these rationales, but they don’t resonate much with me.
Interestingly, last week I had committed to practicing “observation” - becoming a witness to my actions, feelings and thoughts without judging them but getting curious about them instead - a core #mindfulness practice. (Could these events come at a better time?)
Technically, I was feeling “fine”, and yet I wasn’t. I understood it wasn’t due to a pain of physical origin, but an emotional one instead. Not just the emotional distress of the week’s events, but the accumulation thereof.
I slept and did nothing else than rest. I had no energy left for much else than what needed to be taken care of and in the back of my mind there was the guilty thought of failing at taking care of myself. Only worsened by the fact that I’m a specialist in this matter!
So, here’s another way of looking at this: I was forced to allow myself to finally “Rest and Repair”.
In hindsight, I needed this tough reminder to acknowledge that this is also the mindful practice: to recognise what each moment has to offer and allow for what we need, from moment to moment.
Rest is as important as any other active practice, it’s how our parasympathetic nervous system helps us to repair and recover. And we shouldn’t ignore it because only when we’ve filled up our cup, can we help others ❤️.
These are my takeaways that I’d like to share with you, hoping they are of help:
So, back to the first line - it might be that sometimes, instead of doing more, we just need to give ourselves permission to just be.
I hope my experience inspires you to be kind and self-compassionate whenever you feel like life is too much.
Let me know if this resonates with you, I'd love it if you could share your impressions.
Please feel free to text me if you need help finding a realistic routine that supports you daily or would like to explore the tools that can help you revert the negative self-talk when things don’t go as expected.
With love and kindness,