Have I been doing self-love wrong this entire time?
Does anyone else feel like they're terrible at this whole self-care thing?
I know, our first pocket event focused on the very topic of self-care was no more than a month ago. I know, here at Wonder we advocate body positivity and a healthy mind and emotional health. But just because I try all these things, doesn't mean I'm any good at them. Despite my efforts to be, I decidedly am not. When I meditate, I find myself fretting instead of relaxing. No R&R session comes without a side serving of guilt, knowing I could have used my time being productive. I haven't gone on vacation without my laptop since time immemorial, and it's been three weeks since I last worked out. I'm clearly doing fantastically at fulfilling my resolution of working out twice a week. These days, I'm just too busy, too tired to even both. Do you feel me?
As you can see, I'm not exactly a beacon of practicing self-love. The dark circles under my eyes are solid proof of that. Honestly, I had pretty much written off self-love as something some people are simply bad at all around, until the concept of mindfulness came into my radar.
The internet has several definitions for mindfulness, but Mindful.org's seems to be the simplest to understand.
“Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present,
aware of where we are and what we’re doing,
and not overly reactive or overwhelmed
by what’s going on around us.”
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To focus on what you're feeling, to acknowledge your thoughts and to exist in the moment. That's what mindfulness is, and exactly what I haven't been doing. I'm a workaholic by nature and even by my ever-hustlin' Capricorn standards, am wildly critical of myself. You'd understand, then, that this whole mindfulness business sounds like a lot of work.
Regardless, in the hopes of grasping it and getting my emotions and inner workings in order, I did what any curious, wifi-equipped creature of the 21st century would: I searched for an app.
|According to MindFi, one of the apps online dedicated to achieving this state of mindfulness, there are multiple ways to become more mindful in the everyday. Meditation, to me, has always seemed like something I needed to prepare and carve out time for, but this tells me otherwise. Taking a few minutes to breathe deep, pausing to recalibrate and assess my mood, allowing myself to focus on a single task without distractions––all of these are little ways to be more mindful.
In addition, Mindful tells us that mindfulness isn't some elusive concept. It's “available to us in every moment, whether through meditations and body scans, or mindful moment practices like taking time to pause and breathe when the phone rings instead of rushing to answer it.”
Easier said than done, but we all start somewhere don't we? Meditation isn't going to work if you don't will yourself into having a clear mind, and your stress won't disappear unless you let it. Baby steps, hustler. You deserve a breather.
Art Alexandra Lara