- Autumn Quiles, LCSW
This week I am working on mindfulness. Believe it or not, we therapists have to do our own work... we don't always walk into our own lives like Mary Poppins. We have stressful relationships too (spouses, kids, teachers, coaches) and we carry the same demands of household repairs, birthday parties and car servicing. Sometimes, we have to slow down and do our own therapeutic work.
These past few weeks has been a bit crazy for me. So, I am doubling-down on my mindfulness. The Being Present during each moment of my day. Moving slowly. Examining my words before they fall from my lips. Breathing.
I have three specific tasks I am working on this week:
Being mindful in the car. I'm not taking any phone calls in the car and I'm not texting anyone. I am going to drive the speed limit. I'm going to listen to my favorite radio station to drown out the chatter in my head. I'm going to watch the road and pay attention, at each stoplight, to the trees in bloom and birds on the wires.
Being mindful during meals. I'm going to chew each bite 32 times. I'm not talking with my mouth full- this means no answering questions while I'm eating. When someone else is talking, I am going to focus on their face and words, to truly hear what they are saying.
Being mindful during showers. I'm going to shower slowly. Paying attention to the water against my skin and the suds as they bubble along. I am going to say nice things to myself- things about being patient, and kind and easy and slow. I will be patient when people try to interrupt my shower, explaining that I will be "out in a few." I am going to be nice to my sore muscles by stretching.
I have found that mindfulness naturally brings gratitude. When I find that I am testy or less patient that I would like to be, I realize I am not being grateful. This is my clue to re-commit to mindfulness. What do you do to get yourself back in shape when you find the daily grind is wearing on you?