Steal Back Time
Week 17 of 'The Great Wake Up!'
This weeks experiment was an interesting one, because at first glance it seemed so easy. As an introvert, creating space for rest and reflection is one of my favourite things to do, and it came along at what seemed like the perfect time. I was going through a period where I desperately needed to fit in some downtime because I could feel my stress levels had steadily increased over recent weeks. So it couldn't have worked out any better.
Things have been extremely busy, both at work and in my personal life. I am working on a writing project which I hope will be successful, so am putting a lot of effort and energy into it. I am also running the London Marathon tomorrow and have had to do the usual preparation that goes along with that such as collecting my race pack, as well as managing the general anxiety that I am experiencing at the thought of actually doing it!
On top of all this I have being doing quite a bit of travelling with work with some very early starts (I really am not a morning person!) and this has left me with very little time to rest.
So I wasn't completely surprised when my first attempt at this experiment was somewhat of a failure. I was busy working on my writing project and by the time I came to a good point to stop, it was late and well beyond the time when I should have been tucked up in bed. But I thought I'd still try and squeeze in ten minutes of rest, where I would lie back, put my feet up and do nothing. But on this occasion I got to five minutes, started worrying about how early I had to get up the next morning and gave up!
The next day I decided that I would need to plan my rest time a bit better and do something specific with it to make sure I actually stuck to it. Which sounded slightly at odds with the experiment which was all about resting! I remembered that I hadn't used my meditation app for a while, despite my best efforts. So over the next couple of days I put time aside to fit in a ten minute meditation practice - and that really worked for me. I stuck to it and felt much more relaxed afterwards. It involved mindfulness so it helped me become much more aware of how I was feeling and to connect better with myself.
So I discovered that what worked best for me was planning my rest time - as I was going through a busy patch in my life, it was the best way for me to achieve this experiment. If it had been any other time, I may have been fine without doing that, but when I have a lot on it is the only way I can ensure that things get done which was an extremely useful lesson for me.