25.03.2023 | “It’s Not Like It’s Something That I Think About Each and Every Day”

Lyrics: “Tell Tale Signs” ~ Frank Turner, 2013

It’s a sort of a platitude, but getting enough rest / sleep really does help with energy and mood all those things. If I now could just figure out why I wake up for a bit around 4 each morning, that would be ace. Anyway, a few late morning midday thoughts. 

State of Mind I – Meditation | In January 2023 I started with a more regular meditation practice using the Calm app. I’ve got a lifelong subscription from back in 2016, when it was still affordable. At least I considered it a very good deal back then as a one-time-payment, though I couldn’t tell you what exact amount it has been. I’ve not been the most consistent, which is evident by the amount of broken streaks from 4 – 5 up to 27 – 28 days. You might deduce, I’m not always good with keeping a routine. You might be right. The longest streaks have been 124 / 100 / 81 days ranging from 2017 to 2020. But meditating isn’t a competition – even just with myself – about doing it “the best way” as in the most amount of days.

This year I developed a personal ‘hack’ to not break the streak. If I feel like I don’t have the time in the morning for a 8 – 10 minutes of one of the Dailys in the app, I’ve turned to something I call my “coffee meditation”. Which is just simply watching the bit of foam and swirls on the surface of the coffee in the filter and/or focusing on the sound of the coffee dripping into the pot. It takes about 3 minutes for the coffee to be done, which I consider my minimum amount of time for a meditation.

Coffee filter
my very own quick meditation hack

I was working from home on Thursday so there was no need to rush through the morning – which to be honest there never ever is, I’m just soooo slow with everything. I think the Dailys didn’t appeal to me so I vowed to myself to do some other meditation later in the day and not “cheat” with my ‘coffee hack’. I went through my day and forgot all about it. The next morning I saw that I had broken my streak after 72 days. I was a bit disappointed in myself, but only for a short moment. The next thought was more of a “but at least you’ve achieved that many days in a row”, which hasn’t happened in a while (see above). Breaking this streak did not immediately make me go down a spiral of degrading or negative thoughts about myself. I just moved on. Which might seem like the easy, normal and healthy thing to do for a regular person. But it hasn’t been for me for the longest time. Especially in the last two or more years, my inner critic would have been giving me tirades full of self-loathing. But she kept quiet on this. And it’s been such a lovely experience to be able to just move on from something which at the most could be considered a set-back. But not a failure. Just moving on and not dwell on it and let it ruin my morning / day was quite the novel experience for me .

State of Mind II – Therapy | Which bring me to this 2nd prompt. About a year ago I shared the fact that I’ve decided to start talking to a psychotherapist with friends and here on my blog. By that time I had already been to a first in-person evaluation. It all moved forward rather quickly after that and I had the first (online)-session with my therapist about 4 weeks later. I started talking to her once a week, we’ve switched to every other week in December 2022. There are only a few prescribed / paid for by my health insurance sessions left, so we’ve agreed to do these every 6 weeks or so. These past few weeks I’ve already every once in a while thought “There is nothing really left to work through, what shall we talk about?”, so taking a longer period between sessions seems reasonable. I know I’ve still got a lot to work on / work through on my own and I hope I’ll keep up with it and not let myself slide back into this dark place in my head I have been in about a year ago. But it’s been so immeasurably helpful to be able to talk openly about thoughts and emotions about myself and my relationships with others, my late mum especially. To have that sounding board and to have someone tell me: all these thoughts and emotions are ok. They are valid. They don’t make me a bad / weird / failing human being. Again: this still sometimes feels quite novel to think about myself.

Social Media | I think I’m on a good path to using it less and less. I’ve managed to stay off Twitter on my phone (most days, unless it’s been such a busy one that I can’t be bothered to boot my computer and I check it via my phone’s browser). Instagram is still the one eating up most of my “socials on phone” time. I know a lot of people consider Instagram the worst for a variety of reasons. And while I think a lot of their arguments are valid, those arguments are of the general kind about how influencers push unhealthy mindsets / body image / products on Instagram and such. But that’s not MY experience. I’ve curated my own feed (via the Follow and Favourites tabs) and am only looking at those posts. Of either (online) friends, people I like, news / science shows, travel-related accounts. I do need to cut those feeds down a bit, because scrolling through them still eats up quite a bit of time. Which is my only issue with Instagram. It probably would be the reasonable, ethical choice to not use it all (as sign of protest against it’s practices maybe) but that goes for every other social media platform as well, right? TikTok can be equally time consuming, but I’ve got a better handle on that one. For now anyway.

Instagram-worthy (in my eyes anyway) pic from a quick walk between all the rain yesterday

brick wall of a former brewery
brick wall of a former brewery

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