This week, I had hoped to find some strategies for dealing with the stress and lower mood I have been experiencing recently. I don’t think any of my strategies worked, but I have found my way out of the depths anyway and am returning to the land of Sunshine and Birdies Singing.
Sometimes we find the answers we were looking for. Sometimes we know what we need to do. This week, I think I knew what I needed to do…but I didn’t know how to do it.
I tried to drop having expectations for myself of what I should be, but I so often wasn’t even aware of having these thoughts and feelings that I don’t really feel I managed to make a significant difference to the pressure I was putting on myself. This was somewhat helpful for helping me not to strain against my moods and emotions as if I shouldn’t have them, but to allow myself to feel them without judgement. When I did notice that I was obsessively going over how I should behave in the future or how I should have behaved in the past, I at least made a conscious effort to remind myself that I didn’t need to be any particular way. I think I need to find a more powerful approach, though.
Attempting to meditate each day was an attempt to give myself a chance to breathe, to calm down, to feel rested and centred. I’d lost my centre. It is really surprising to me how hard I find it to set aside twenty minutes to meditate. I seem to be able to find hours to watch television or do things online, but twenty minutes of sitting and being seems really hard.
The funniest thing about my meditation attempts, however, was how they turned into naps!
I am not a daytime sleeper. I’m barely even a nighttime sleeper! It is usually only when I am ill that I find I can sleep during the day, and this is why my meditations on Thursday and Friday turned into sleeps instead.
But it did make me wonder whether perhaps what I need is not something that requires focus and practice and mindfulness and attention. Perhaps what I need is really, truly, to allow myself the chance to have afternoon naps, or at least rests. I rarely get a full night’s sleep, I rarely get a sleep that feels truly restorative. I have always known that I can’t sleep during the day, but perhaps what I have always known can change. I have always been reluctant to try to sleep because I don’t want to ruin my chance of sleeping through the night.
But if I’m not getting enough sleep, anyway, then maybe I should allow myself to properly rest when I can, whenever that is. Maybe I should just enjoy snuggling into a pillow in the dark, closing my eyes, and daydreaming.