Learning to Calm Down
I don't know about you, but this crazy winter was hard for me. Don't get me wrong. I am the first to cheer the rain on. I love the rain! After four years of drought, California needs the rain! My garden needs the rain! The primal need to flush my toilet without having to feel guilty depends on the rain! Yay rain!!!
That said, the reality of experiencing a wet, dreary winter, day after day was tough.
One low point was in mid-February was when I attempted to work with a client in San Francisco during a severe storm but was thwarted from getting to her house by the flooding in Marin County. The next morning- even rainier than the day before, if that was possible- I attempted to get to that same client's house again, and threw in the proverbial towel after Waze estimated my normal 40 minute commute would take nearly two hours.
Under ordinary circumstances I would have taken advantage of this found time by working on a project in my own home, doing some laundry, or cooking ahead. But the truth is that it was so dark and cold inside my house, I cranked up the heat, put my jammies on, and watched hours and hours of Netflix. I justified that it was a harmless bit of fun, and I gave myself kudos for not daytime drinking- although I did think about it, lol! But truth be told, I also felt anxious and isolated. Scatterbrained and un grounded. And that feeling stayed with me for weeks,
When March rolled around, and we began to have a few warm, sunny days, I started to snap out of it. Yes, my energy was coming back, but I still felt off, and would find myself ruminating about stuff from my past, or worrying about abstract things that may or may not happen in the future. I confided in my friend Julie what I was going through and she shared an incredible resource with me that has helped me greatly.
Guided meditation from the app Calm.
I downloaded the app for free and have just completed the Seven Days of Calm program. Tomorrow I will begin the 21 Days of Calm program. I find the guided meditation and soundscape to be very soothing and more importantly, grounding. For the most part, I meditate first thing in the morning, but you could do it whenever you have a few minutes.
I've never meditated before and I don't have time to take a class or join a group so the Calm app works well for me. (My joke with myself is that I have zero willpower for dieting but am incredibly motivated to meditate!) There's quite a bit more to be said about this app and as I go along, I may have more to share. In the meantime I wanted to pass this tip along with the hope that a few of you might want to try the Calm app out. If you do, please share your experience with me!