#AtoZChallenge — Dalai Lama

This post is part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I am challenging myself to reflect on other A to Z posts that I come across. 


 

sleep-dalai-lama
Quote image from Lingering Visions.

I occasionally struggle with mild insomnia — yet another thing that runs in my family, woohoo! It’s usually just a matter of not getting my brain to shut up. I try to distract it by reading fanfiction or playing games until I’m tired enough to just conk right out, but that doesn’t always work.

Several years ago, when I found a therapist that I actually liked, she got me into meditation. At one point she ran a small anxiety group that focused on trying out different meditation techniques throughout the week and then discussing how they felt and whether or not they helped with our anxious feelings. It was very cool, and something I keep meaning to get into but somehow never find quite the right headspace to do so.

Anyway, what helps me (when I can remember it) is to lay on my back and relax into some breathing exercises. In four, hold four, out eight. The more I relax the more I begin to sink into my body, sink into the mattress, and consciously let go of whatever tension I’m still holding from the day.

Going to sleep totally is the ultimate meditation.

Monday Musings #12 – Coffee Shop Self-Care

I don’t often sit in coffee shops. While the free wifi that’s pretty commonly available these days helps, I always feel self-conscious and anxious when setting out to do so. What if I can’t find a comfortable place to sit? What will I do with all my stuff when I have to go to the bathroom? What do I do about food if I’m there for a long time, take snacks (if I have any) or just spend money there? If I take my laptop, what if I can’t get a seat near a plug? Or what if I do, but lose it as soon as I get up to use the bathroom? And let’s be honest, do I really even want to use a public bathroom?

But today I’m just on my phone, and while I’m vaguely concerned about the battery I am temporarily without a charger besides the one in my car so it doesn’t matter if there are seats near the outlets. I ended up with one of the comfy chairs. The music has settled into a tolerable background noise. Today is a paid day off thanks to the holiday, and I have nowhere in particular to be. Well, at least not yet.

So I’m spending the day just chilling. This mornings I woke up at (gasp) 6:30am to have an early breakfast with my brother and parents, and see him off before his drive back to Nevada. Then I went back to bed. When I woke up again, I dusted off one of the half hour yoga recordings and did a (mostly) standing series of meditation stretches. Although that was mildly exhausting it returned to me some of the sense of unwinding that I felt after getting that massage the other week – where the masseuse recommended I do neck and shoulder stretches before bed and first thing every morning. This is the first time I’ve actually done so and I’m going to try and do it more often.

Over the past few weeks I feel like everything has been set to Fast Forward. Work feels as though it’s demanding that I move at breakneck speed, although I feel as though everything I do is more like treading water and I cannot explain that contradiction to myself – I’m pretty sure it’s all in my head. I’ve recently read the suggestion that one of the symptoms of depression is becoming a workaholic, and that seems to ring true because I feel so frantic to get something, anything done and that’s the easiest arena for accomplishment. In my personal life, situations keep escalating in the blink of an eye – this one I know this is all in my head and I’m spacing through a lot of what’s happening for various reasons.

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