A Mindful Break

The past month has been overwhelming, rewarding, challenging, beautiful, frustrating, joyous, confusing and everything in between.  I finished my first semester of graduate school, but lost my sense of mindfulness along the way.  I intend to find it again and am working on tools to help build it up so I don’t lose it again at the end of the next semester.  Most waking moments recently were filled with everything I had to finish and work on and always my mind was jumping to the next thing before I was done with the first.  That is no way to live and thus the reason that I turned to negative coping behaviors in the past.  I didn’t make it through this period of stress perfectly- recovery is never perfect- but I am very proud that I made an effort every day to put recovery first.  Looking back, this was one of the most stressful semesters of school for me ever, but it was also one of the most rewarding and I love what I am doing.  Now that I have a break, I am fully embracing self-care and being mindful of the now.  I feel a weight lifted off my chest and I know I need to practice being mindful every day, not just when it is convenient.  How am I going to embrace mindfulness over holidays?

  1. Slow down. Especially when it comes to meals.  Lately I have been running out the door with whatever I can grab and eat as quickly as possible.  Not very rational for someone recovering from an eating disorder and I know sometimes that is better than having nothing, yet I know at my best I am mindful of meals.  I intend to do a lot of cooking and trying new recipes as well.
  2. Family time. I intend to spend a lot of time with family and friends and be present with them.  Have meaningful conversations and genuine laughter.  I look forward to both family coming in to visit and going to visit family away from home.
  3. Training. Getting back to a regular gym routine for me is key to my health and success as an athlete.  School for me will always take priority and it has over the past month, so I intend now to get back at it.  I am learning to find the middle between not working out at all and pushing myself to an intense level.  Any form of physical activity, even for a quick ten minutes helps to reset my mind and brighten my day and that is something I am learning to be mindful of.
  4. Creativity. I am very excited to get back to coloring, writing, and reading for fun.  I have done more reading than I can remember over the past few months, but there is something a lot more rewarding picking up a novel instead of highlighting journal articles!

These are just a few things I am working towards and want to continue even when things pick back up again.  Even if you don’t have a long break now – how will you live out mindfulness in your day to day?  What are some small things that you can do to ground you in the moment?


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