I often feel under a lot of pressure to be productive. Like 24/7. And I believe it’s caused me a lot of unhappiness. I hate generalizations like “we’re more stressed than we ever were before etc. etc. etc.” because I think that’s something often used by marketers to sell us shit we don’t need.
But I digress. I’m just going to speak about my personal experience. It’s come to my attention that, in my life, I can be rather like a bull in a china shop. I charge from one thing to another; rushing from the gym to a coffee date to a girls’ night in. Even the relaxing stuff is merely a thing to check off my list. I’m like, gym? Check. Social life? Check. Self care? Check. It really defies the whole point. It’s a slightly Type A habit isn’t doing me any favors, only making me exhausted and cranky. Every once in a while my body is like Nope. Nope nope nope. 100% nope and crashes entirely.
So I’m trying to hone the art of moving with more mindfulness; bringing some zen into my world, and taking some time to savor the moments in my life. Zen is defined simply doing something mindfully; being entirely focused and in the moment about what you’re doing. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no Deepak Chopra, and I’m a thousand miles from being a smiling, radiant yogi. But by god I try. Below are some of my favorite, perhaps unconventional times for mindfulness:
- Drinking my morning cup of coffee, in front of the TV or on my balcony.
- Making a good cup of tea. There’s something ritualistic about it.
- Putting liquid eyeliner on in the morning. It takes so much concentration for me that I’ve found a certain mindfulness in it.
- Making my morning porridge
- Doing yoga (obvious, I know)
- Staring out of the window on a train
This final one is a new favorite that I’m very protective of. I’ve seen so many adverts and read so many articles on how to Maximize Your Commute! Be Productive! You, yes you, can learn Chinese on the way to work! I get pissed off with the assumption that I want to maximize every minute of my working day. Fuck off with trying to make me productive!
Okay that’s not a very zen thing of me to say. If you want to learn Chinese on your commute, go for it, but personally after a long day I don’t even want to listen to music; I feel too overstimulated. A nice stare out of the window is just what the doctor ordered.
I’m only just learning to appreciate the value of mindfulness in my life, and I’m looking forward to where it can take me. (Swearing still included).
Do you feel pressure to maximize to the maximum? And do you do anything in particular to decompress?
Lots of love,