Hello everybody! I have decided to take on a month of mindfulness challenge where I will take the time to practice mindfulness every single day for 30 days!
We all hear about how great mindfulness is, but most of us don’t take the time to do it. I don’t want to miss out on those great benefits, and I don’t want you to miss out either and that is how the challenge was created. I chose 30 days because it’s long enough to be able to see some definitive affects from it, and it’s long enough to make it a daily habit – win win!
This journal is a reflection of my experiences through the challenge to both act as a record and reflection for myself, but to also share with those of you who are curious about the effects and how to incorporate it into your everyday life. I’m so happy to have my friend Dylan from Phruitful Dish join me for the challenge. Side note, she has tons of amazing healthy, plant based, gluten free recipes that are sure to get your taste buds flowing. So check her out if you haven’t already, and be inspired by her amazing smoothie bowl art!
So please, join us in the challenge and bring a more calm, mindful mindset to your everyday life. For this challenge I am primarily using the app Headspace for guided meditation. If you have any questions please comment below or reach out on social media. I’ll have a full mindfulness post coming after the mindfulness challenge next month.
Another side note, some of you may have seen from my Instagram Stories that I had some website difficulties. Everything is back up and running, but I lost this post. I’m recreating it on Day 6, sorry if my memory is a little fuzzy for the first few days, but I’m sure you’ll find day 1 hilarious.
I was very excited to start the challenge. I had the house to myself so I sat at my computer desk, put the app on, and and settled my mind. I felt calm and relaxed until I suddenly heard a water pouring noise, aka one of the pups peed on the floor! Needless to say that broke my concentration, but I cleaned it up, and went back to the mediation which left me feeling much more relaxed than I normally would when dealing with doggy accidents.
First thing in the morning while still in bed I put on Headspace. This was a fantastic way to start the day, and my favourite way to practice mindfulness. I was nice and cozy, and felt relaxed and calm, and ready to take on the day.
I forget why, but I believe I had a hectic day and left my practice until later in the day. The dogs decided to play while I was meditating with all of their grunts and growls, but I didn’t let it stop me. It was a challenge to to concentrate on the meditation, but I also found that I wasn’t concentrating and focusing on them playing as much as I may have if they were playing while I was working. I felt nice and relaxed after.
Unfortunately I don’t remember too much out my mediation for this day, but I do remember that I began noticing affects of mindfulness. I had to grab a pot and some soil for my new basil plant Fred and found myself calmly looking around the shed in a very similar way to a body scan in mediation. I wasn’t super rushy like I normally may be, and I was able to take stock of everything in the shed and find everything I needed.
Meditated first thing in the morning in bed. Again, seriously the best way to start the day! I did find it a little hard to focus and that my mind was wandering, but I also found that I was able to easily pass through all of my thoughts, rather than focusing on them.
This evening was also extra difficult for me. This is when I had the major website issues. I could have got super stressed out to the point that I felt the anxiety in my chest, but I was able to keep relatively calm and work through everything that needed to get done. I’m not going to lie, there was some panic and desperation, but I felt as though I was able to move through that and focus on what I needed too.
Also, Dylan from Phruitful Dish joined the challenge, yay!
It was a hectic start, but I felt renewed after my sleep and was able to fix everything quite smoothly and quickly. Again, normally I would have felt the stress and anxiety in my chest, but I didn’t get to that point. I was also able to keep reframing the situation. Instead of focusing on how terrible it was, I reframed it into a lesson in html, and a lesson in many other technical website areas.
Today I mediated as a part of an at home small yoga practice. It was the first tie I’ve ever mediated by myself without an app or anything, and I think it worked out quite well. Blue, our big pup was pretty interested at first making it hard to focus, but he ended up lying down right beside me and it was quite relaxing and I was able to quite my mind. As I didn’t have the guided meditation it was a bit shorter, and I noticed that my mind isn’t as relaxed and floaty feeling as it normally is after I use Headspace. I also forgot to turn of my music while I was doing yoga and the meditation which I think affected it as well. It’s definitely better to mediate in complete silence/with the guided meditation.
I made it to one week! It was actually hard to incorporate mindfulness into my day today. But I did a meditation right before bed and fell asleep instantly.
Today I did a morning mediation while still in bed and found that I was noticing more sounds than other times as if I was able to open my ears better. I also found that today I seemed to be more aware of my posture. Whenever I would catch myself slouching and notice how it made my body feel I would adjust and pull my shoulders back.
Day 9 & 10
I missed these days 🙁
I got back at it. I almost missed it, but later in the evening I knew I had to do it. I’ve been a little stressed with different deadlines today and feel so much better after using Headspace. One thing that really hit home with me from the meditation is that so many people are caught up in the past or in the future by either worrying about something that has happened or worrying about something that may happen. I find this to be so true, especially for Matt. My mission is to get him to try it for at least a week and I know he’ll see a difference. I’ve been working at it for a while, so wish me luck!
I didn’t do any mindfulness 🙁
I had an awesome hot yoga class and spent some time before and after doing some meditating. It felt absolutely fantastic, and I felt so good and calm after the class.
Day 14 – 17
I didn’t meditate 🙁
I got really stressed out today so I made sure to go upstairs and do some mindfulness. I found it a little hard to concentrate and keep my thoughts focussed while meditating, but I also wasn’t focussing on what was causing stress. After the mediation I felt much more calm and ready to plow through my work to get er done.
Today I had my first bath in over 6 years, and it was amazing! Seriously addicted now. Part of my bath time included some brief mindfulness with a body scan and focus on my breath. The bath was relaxing enough, but the mindfullness helped bring me into the right mindset of focussing on me and relaxing. Also if you aren’t typically a bath person, try it! I’ve never been into baths but a friend finally pushed me to try and and I’m totally hooked! I am now bringing it into my weekly self care routine with a face mask and hair mask, and now a bath with some reading time.
No mindfulness practice today.
Had a fantastic hot yoga practice with some mindfulness. I always feel so calm and centered after doing a hot yoga class.
No mindfulness today.
Today was super stressful. We were supposed to go on a family trip and there was a flight cancellation which caused us to cancel our whole trip 🙁 I was super stressed out and I knew I had to meditate to calm my nerves a little bit and it definitely helped. It was a little hard to focus because my mind did continue to wander throughout the practice, but I definitely noticed the benefits by feeling more relaxed and less anxious. I was still disappointed, but I felt better about it. I also realized that because the trip had to be cancelled I was able to go to the Victoria Yoga Conference over the weekend.
Day 24 – 25
The Victoria Yoga Conference was absolutely amazing. I learned a lot, and made some great connections. One of the things that every single workshop did was start off with a short mindfulness practice, and I loved it! It was a great way to bring yourself into the present moment and clear yourself of thoughts thinking about things that have happened, or thinking about what to do during the rest of your day. One of the biggest things I took away from this weekend was this short mindfulness practice. It’s something I want to incorporate into my everyday. I plan to do a short mindfulness practice to center myself in between the hectic happenings of the day. It’s a great thing to do before a big meeting, or before a big talk, or anything really. It’d also be great to do before a date or a family evening that you want to be completely present for.
Day 26 – 27
No mindfulness for these days.
Today was another great hot yoga class with some mindfulness.
Day 29 – 30
I really wasn’t as consistent with my month of mindfulness challenge as I was hoping to be, but I’m still really glad that I attempted it.
I learned that even just a few minutes of mindfulness can make a big difference. The major affects I noticed are:
- Decreased stress levels
- Decreased feelings of anxiety
- A more present mindset, able to immerse myself in what is around me rather than thinking about something that had happened or all of the things I need to do
- Able to not be as affected by my thoughts. My mind may race and think about things, but I wouldn’t get sucked into emotions that can be associated with thoughts.
Stay tuned for a post with the benefits of midnfulness and how you can incorporate mindfulness into your life.