You all know how much I love “check ins”, right? Checking in with yourself about your progress on any recovery goal is important. So, I thought that my first post after returning from my vacation would be a check in.
Prior to vacation I had written about my goal of being as mindful as possible while away. I planned to stay in the moment and not let worries, anxieties, and fears (especially as they related to eating and exercising) get the best of me and prevent me from enjoying myself. So, how did I do? Well, I’ll give myself a B+ for effort. All in all, I noticed the times when my mind was drifting to the past or the future, and at least tried to bring myself back to the present. I also shut down the voice of “Ed” whenever he started whining about eating too much or exercising too little. I had a lot of great in-the-present moments as a result. So, that’s a good start!
Of course, it’s no surprise that my inner critic wants to give me an F for mindfulness simply because I didn’t start each day with five minutes of mindful meditation, like I had set out to do. (That inner critic of mine is so “all or nothing”!) I don’t know why I didn’t start my day with meditation. Maybe because I’m out of practice. Or maybe because it didn’t happen the first two mornings, so I just never thought about it the rest of the trip.
The first two days we were staying with my college friend and her family, so both days began with breakfast and then time spent playing with her 2 1/2 year old daughter. Now that I think about it, although it wasn’t mindful meditation, it was certainly present-focused. Try NOT being mindful while playing with a toddler. It’s impossible! Each activity is fleeting and everything is new and wondrous. One moment she was hiding under a blanket and calling it her house and the next she was pulling all of her fake veggies off the shelf and stuffing them into an empty oatmeal can that served as a soup pot. Then we were throwing rubber balls to each other (or rather, she was throwing balls over my head and squealing with delight as I crawled after them on my hands and knees!). Then it was time to “feed” the animal finger puppets I gave her; they had to eat the “noodles” (fake paper grass) that I had used as packing material for the puppets. Anyway, every moment offered something new to focus on (and I became increasingly aware of my achey knees and dwindling energy levels!).
So again…checking in with myself seems to reveal that I did a decent job of staying mindfully aware of the present while on vacation. I was able to shut down my fears and anxieties by countering negative thoughts with more realistic ones and I was able to be aware of my emotions without getting swept away by them (except on one occasion when I screamed at my boyfriend while he was driving and then sulked in silence for twenty minutes…nobody’s perfect!).
What are your recovery goals for the week? Be sure to take time to check in with yourself as you progress towards those goals. It’s worth it!
Peace, joy, and health,