Lately I’ve felt a slight shift in my moods. I’ve been a little anxious, found it a little harder to sleep at night, been a little more irritable and generally less positive. The changes have been subtle enough not to cause any major problems, but they’ve worried me nonetheless.
I’ve been thinking about what this could be about, trying to figure out why it’s happening and what to do about it. And I’ve come to this conclusion; I’ve gotten complacent when it comes to my self love.
Let me explain. Understandably, most people think that self love is a feeling. They understand the term as a description of how a person feels about themselves, a destination to arrive at, a goal to reach. And they’re not wrong. But there is another, equally important, component to self love which is practice. The word love is also a verb. And this means that self love isn’t just some feeling to feel, but it’s a feeling to cultivate.
This idea of self love being a verb was really the main focus of my year spent in counselling. My counsellor taught me how to cultivate self love, through everyday actions that allowed me to really focus on myself. Specifically, I developed a meditation routine. Everyday I would meditate three times, once in the morning, afternoon, and at night just before bed. Initially I found it difficult to concentrate and achieve a deep meditation, but over the course of the year my meditation skills improved and by the end of my time with my counsellor I was meditating for two hours a day without any difficulty, and enjoying it immemsley. My meditation had become precious me time, an integral part of my recovery from depression, and the corner stone of my new found self love.
Over the course of the past few months though, I’ve watched my meditation practice fade away until eventually, about two months ago, I stopped meditating at all. It would be easy for me to get super critical here and berate myself for dropping the ball and getting lazy, but I’m not going to do that. I understand why I’ve stopped meditating. It’s tempting for me to think that I don’t need to work for self love when I already feel I’ve achieved it. I get it. I understand what happened.
But these changes to my mood aren’t a coincidence. They’re my minds way of telling me that I’ve mixed up the meaning of self love and forgotten that it’s a daily practice. So I’ve decided to reestablish my meditation routine, starting tonight. I’ll be setting aside five minutes each night right before bed to meditate. Doesn’t seem like a lot? Meditation isn’t like riding a bike, I’m sad to say. If you don’t use it, you lose it. So I know I’m going to struggle in the beginning. By setting my meditation time so low it’ll be more manageable and less daunting, I’m less likely to feel bored or frustrated during, and more likely to stick to it for the week ahead.
I’ll be writing a post each Sunday for #selfcaresunday on my week of meditation too, so if you’re interested in establishing your own meditation routine from scratch, or restablishing an old one lile me, I highly recommend that you follow me here for tips and information on how to get started and overcome the inevitable challenges that meditating presents. I’ll also be talking about this in more detail over on my Snapchat (@selflovewsarah) and welcoming snaps from you guys with any questions or comments you have! I’m really excited to get back into my meditation flow, and to share this with you guys!