I am on holidays. Yay! Well, somewhat.
I have finished my term of teaching two regular days a week. Now there are two weeks of school holidays before the final term of the school year, when I’ll go back to not knowing when I’ll be called in to replace a teacher. I also have a “study vac” week in the middle of my uni semester, so I will still have a lot of study to do, but hopefully this will be a chance to catch up and still have a relax.
It’s been a pretty full-on term and I’ve been quite run down. I’ve often been feeling as if I just need to get through the days feeling tired, sick, stressed and unmotivated. It’s been one of those periods where I’ve felt that I just can’t quite catch a break, and it’s been really hard to maintain any positive habits to feel healthy, positive and productive. I really want this week to be rejuvenating. I want to feel that I’ve had a chance to properly look after myself and to set some better habits in place. Drop one/add one has been a really helpful way to try to get myself through these challenging few months, but I’ve struggled to properly maintain some of the positives I’ve got from this.
My aim is for this weekend to be a really relaxing and positive start to the coming week, so, I’m going to drop late nights to bed. Often the weekend comes and I find myself wanting to use the free time and so I put off going to bed or let myself get distracted by things that mean suddenly it’s an hour after I started getting ready for bed! By getting to bed consistently at a decent time, it should give me a chance to take my time to unwind properly and give me the best hope of a long night of good sleep.
In line with the aim of really looking after and rejuvenating myself, I want to commit to at least one proper meditation session each day. I have no proper training in mediation and have only read books and downloaded meditation podcasts, so I may not get the full mindfulness benefit of someone who has Zen Buddhist techniques or similar, but I’ve never really got into the habit of meditating consistently. While having some kind of philosophical or religious technique could be very powerful, even basic techniques have demonstrated benefits for mental and even physical health.
One problem I have with meditation is allowing myself the time. It’s not as if I’m a highly productive person who utilises every moment of her day! (You’ve surely gathered by now that I’m definitely not!) However, my mind likes to nag and me and make me feel guilty for not being productive. If I’m reading or watching TV, I can tune out the incessant negative thoughts, and at least I feel as if I’m somehow doing something. It’s very hard for me to allow myself even fifteen minutes of really truly doing nothing. I think my recent trial of mixing up my routing has helped a bit with this. It’s lazy thinking to allow myself to spend time doing the same unproductive things each day that don’t make me feel better about myself, that don’t help form positive habits and that at best can be somewhat restful, when there are other restful things that could get me onto the path I want. Mixing things up meant that suddenly it was OK to take advantage of a patch of sunlight streaming onto my bed on a cool day and I enjoyed a cat-in-the-sun moment of nothingness. This weekend, I hope to make it even easier to allow myself to let go of all the other things and just meditate.