In this episode I share my mental health self care experience with meditation.
Self isolating was initially a hard experience for me. I struggled with anxiety on a daily basis. Over the first three weeks of self isolating I began to experience more and more anxiety at times leading to overwhelming levels.
I struggled with regular daily tasks and was challenged by mood swings as well. This made life hard for myself and also for my partner Zay and the family I live with.
These feeling of anxiety were compounded by daily misgendering from the family members I live with. But the point where I began to really have a downward spiral came when my family had friends come stay in mid March.
Days after they left, we received a call from them saying that they had contracted covid-19 while in Melbourne. They advised us that we would need to isolate for 2 weeks as we were at risk due to having had contact with them.
I remember thinking to myself at the time that I couldn’t believe this was happening. What was I going to do.
I decided I needed to really focus on something that would be beneficial for my mental health and stop focusing on my anxiety. So I took my own advice (thanks for the insights past Bowie) and chose to set myself a goal to do just one thing each day.
My goal was to meditate very morning. It would be my one thing that I could do to help ground me and give the start of my day a bit of purpose.
I use Insight Timer to help me with my meditations because it was an app I already had and also because they do a bunch of amazing free meditations.
Each morning began following along to a guided meditation focusing on managing anxiety.
At first it wasn’t easy at all to remove my focus from my fears. The more I showed up each morning for myself, the easier it became though.
About a week and a half in to my meditations, I listened to an interview Russel Brand did with a person named Wim Hoff aka the Ice Man.
Wim Hoff has spent many years learning about the benefits of deep breathing on the body. They call him the Ice Man because he can do incredible things like climb Mount Everest in shorts, without needing oxygen and swim under ice water without protective layers on.
He links it all to a certain breathing technique that he has developed. If you want to learn more about it you can go here.
I was intrigued and wanted to learn more as I know the benefits of breathing when connected with training.
So I began to follow his breathing method which is coupled with a cold shower… That has been interesting and so far has not gotten easier.
Over the past 30 days meditating each day, I’ve felt a huge change in myself. I have become far more grounded. My anxiety is at less than a 1 on a 1-10 scale.
I’ve identified thought patterns I would have that would cause me to get caught in a loop of thoughts that just fuelled my anxiety.
To be honest, I never expected any sort of drastic change when I started this. I just wanted to do something different because I couldn’t keep going the way I was or I really wasn’t going to be ok.
For me, the past 30 days have changed many things. Some of these changes have come from external factors that are far beyond my control but many of the changes have come from things within myself that I can control.
Meditation may not be for everyone, but I am experiencing it’s benefits and would encourage any person that is curious to give it a try.
If meditation isn’t your bag, there may be other things out there that you can try out. Finding one thing that you can do each day that makes you feel ok, can really help.
We are all experiencing things beyond our control. How things will look once this is all over is anyone’s guess. One thing I do know is that regardless of what the future holds I know what I have control over (my own shit) and that’s what matters.