My Phone. My Lifeline.
Well, that’s dramatic!
These days I’m really focused on keeping my health in check. It’s been challenging, and I’m optimistic that creating a practice will help get me to relax. A couple of years ago, I took an MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) class at Copper Beech Institute under Amanda Votto. The course changed my life! My naturopathic doctor found my cortisol levels dropped significantly before and after the program concluded!
As life got busier, I integrated mindfulness into my life. There is no more multi-tasking, no more social media scrolling, and no more phone on the table while eating a meal. The mindfulness life I adapted worked!
So, why did I stop?
It wasn’t a cold stop.
It was an “I’d rather binge on Netflix (just for today).” Or “I’ll try Facebook again (just for these ten minutes in the car).”
All of these little innocent things sort of crept back into my life without realizing it. Now I’m caught. I’m currently hooked on Chicago Med any time I can sneak it in and the Daily Show by Trevor Noah on Instagram first thing in the morning.
Last month, I knew the election would drive me off the rails, so I started tracking my stress levels on the app Welltory again in self-care preparation. As I have high-stress percentages, it’s sort of cute in that it has these little sayings,
“A strainstorm is brewing!”
“Strain has got you out of the game!”
“Knock knock, who’s bare of self-care?”
I appreciate the app’s never-ending encouragement and goofy humor. It’s as if Siri became a comedian/life coach.
I also started using the Oura Ring. It grades my sleep, activity, and readiness levels. I even get phone notifications.
“Time to stretch your legs a big Janet?”
Ooh, so creepy, but oh so good.
For meditation and different types of breathing from the long exhale to the coherent) I use Instant Timer. There’s this one guided meditation called “The Healing Power of Darkness” I use right before I sleep, and I love it.
Also, on Instant Timer, if you type in Body Scan MBSR, those guided practices are challenging but worth the try.
There’s this app called MyLife for mindfulness, and it’s a great way to stop and name the feelings that we’re feeling at that moment. You know when you don’t feel fabulous, but you don’t know why? That’s where MyLife comes in. You pop in your feelings, and it gives recommended mindfulness exercises. Right now, I feel exhausted, so I will try the RAIN (calm challenging emotions) technique and the 8-minute Progressive Relaxation meditation that works great for me.
As I sit here today, writing to you, I’ve got my golden retriever, Skye, snoring next to me. It’s cold, but it should warm-up in a couple of hours, and I can take a nap (walk!). [Honestly, I wrote a nap without realizing it. That’s what my body wants to do.] My husband is upstairs, producing a football feature. My kids are quietly upstairs, doing their online schooling.
All is well.
Self-care is so important.
What are your go-to apps?
What are your go-to mindfulness practices?
We need you to be on your game so that you can enjoy life and help others. Please do your best to take care of yourself.
Janet Johnson is a small business advisor and author of My Money Pivot: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Finding & Making More Money and this educational blog. All views expressed belong solely to Ms. Johnson and do not represent the views of her employer.