So you have anxiety but you've never tried meditation!
I have tried meditation multiple times throughout my journey through mental health, mental wellness and my own personal journey through anxiety and depression. I was never good at it and it drove me crazy!
I always wondered how something that is supposed to bring me back to center can cause me more anxiety and/or manic episodes. Yet, I still try.
I have been really intentional lately about re-centering myself, re-centering my mind and focusing on clearing my mind in a way that allows me to be functional on a daily basis. I specifically wanted to master a bedtime routine and a morning routine that I can do consistently. I started with a bedtime routine because with a toddler my mornings can be very different. Thanks to my cousin, I was able to purchase the book, Heart Talk by Cleo Wade along with the 52-week of self-love, self care, and self-discovery journal!
I wanted something that will bring my thoughts to something more soft and simple right before I go to bed so that I can do just that - go to bed! So far I’ve been going to bed maybe 30 minutes to an hour before usual.
I also recognized that I needed a better morning routine and it needed to include re-centering. So I went back to my sis Shelah Marie and downloaded her meditation mixtape. I've been following Shelah Marie for years now. In my head, she's one of my closest friends and the fact that she lives in Miami makes it even more real to me! I've always wanted to go to her retreat (I was pregnant the first time and then just had a baby the second time). Nonetheless, her guides to meditation are everything!
Now, again I have seen/heard lots of meditation tapes. I have downloaded meditation recordings on Audible and viewed meditation clips on YouTube and nothing really got me to focus the way this mixtape was able to get me to focus! In Shelah Marie’s intro she says,
“I wanted to hear guided meditations from a voice that sounded like mine - so I made them myself!”
I resonate with that because as soon as she said it on her mixtape I shouted, YES (probably not something people do during meditation). However, I immediately felt comfortable with her, my breath, and my mind. Thank you, sis!
Having found this mixtape, I’ve been able to listen to it and embrace the silence and the focus of breath so that I can start my day off better! I've even found moments throughout the day where I needed to just stop and play a track.
If you have anxiety and have tried meditation you probably know how hard it is to start meditation. The first few times you are probably still thinking about a thousand things at once. You may be able to ground yourself and focus yourself on your breath and center for maybe five seconds before a thought comes back into your head reminding you of something that you need to do or something that you didn't do while you're sitting here meditating. Shoot, most of the time, I’m thinking I really hope King doesn’t wake up before I finish. This is something that I have experienced multiple times which is why meditation was discouraging for me, even though I was able to encourage others to do so.
Before the year closes, I'm committing to active and consistent meditation so that I can be my best self for MYSELF. Sometimes we forget that self-care means also taking care of your mind and giving your mind up to 10 minutes to just be with itself! I'm learning and have learned through my meditation mornings that I cannot talk about self-care without talking about caring for my mind. But most importantly, I can’t talk about it, if I won’t be about it.
If you'd like to hold yourself accountable to meditating, feel free to download the DO NOT DISTURB - Meditation in Progress sign and Steps to Starting Meditation PDF by clicking here.
How are you caring for your mind?