It’s part two in our series on slivers of recovery: small opportunities to give your nervous system a break. If you’d like a bit more of an introduction, you can read last week’s post here, it was all about napping! These small opportunities can really help to improve your wellbeing, particularly if you’re feeling stressed or overworked. So, this week is all about doing something that is meditative – and that doesn’t necessarily mean meditate!
Give Yourself A Break
For some people, this might actually be five or ten minutes of meditation. There are some great apps out there like Calm and Headspace, or you could just set a timer and sit quietly, letting your thoughts come and go. But you might be surprised to learn that doing something that is meditative is not limited to just sitting and meditating. So, if you’re not ready to actually meditate yet, or you have and it hasn’t worked, there are plenty of other things you can do for the same effect. It doesn’t need to be for very long, either. Just a couple of minutes: enough time to give your eyes a break from the screen, or give the nervous system a break from whatever you’re focusing on.
Finding The Right Fit
Years ago, I worked with a lady who unknowingly did two things that were slivers of recovery. The first was that she would knit in between meetings. She was very senior – almost at the top – and would do this to gather her thoughts. And that was her sliver of recovery: just a few clackity clacks of those knitting needles. It had been always been a hobby of hers, and she found that introducing it to the workday helped her to decompress and prepare for what was next. What’s more, she’d occasionally go off and do retreats, such as oil painting, with other like-minded people. Of course, this is much bigger – a weekend or long weekend – but still a great example. As a result of doing both of these, she felt much happier.
What Will Your Meditative Activity be?
The point I’m making here is that she found something that was meditative for her, that wasn’t meditation. So, what is that thing for you? Is it taking a short walk or simply daydreaming out of the window? Is it folding paper, origami style, or reading maybe just a few pages of a book? Think about it, and how you can make it a regular part of your day. And see what difference this makes to your perceived stress levels and nervous system at the end of each week.
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