I’ll start this entry by saying Happy New Year!
No matter your walk of life, belief, family dynamic… this year, like the last, will likely test the will of us all. Yet even through the testing times, I hope that this year is at least a happy one for you in some way or another.
Over the winter season, happiness is something I’ve been thinking about quite a lot. I find that when my mental health is strained and my self doubt is at its highest, that is when I question what it is to be happy. I find that posing this question to myself gives me a reason to ‘find my happy’. I search for it in the things I do, the people I am surrounded by and the way in which I use the pockets of time that I have.
In a day filled with cleaning, decluttering, teaching, learning, parenting, working and a whole host of other tasks that seem to never end, it can prove difficult to find any time at all. We live in a world that causes us to repeat the constant cycle of needing to be/feel productive, overstretching ourselves, burning out, feeling incompetent and working harder in order to be/feel productive, and when stuck in this cycle it is hard to escape it. However, there are always pockets of time available in which to cater to yourself. They just need to be found.
Unrealistic goals often surface at the start of a new year, and stay around for little longer than a month. I have learned that whilst New Year’s resolutions may be temporarily achievable, they often result in too much pressure for perfection being put on myself. I have learned to think long term, and base my goals on what I know I am able to achieve. Finding pockets of time was one such goal.
I am a life partner, mother of two, home educator and freelancer. We recently moved to a home that is gradually being renovated and currently we are living through a third lockdown. The pockets of time I find are scarcely longer than five minutes at a time, yet sometimes five minutes is all that is needed to refocus, re-centre and re-energise one’s self. Most activities that I choose to create calm for myself, can be squished into five minutes. Meditation, writing and even making a pot of tea, when done purposefully, can prove to be just what is needed when stress levels start to rise. And I’m not going to be so brazen as to suggest that motherhood doesn’t make those stress levels rise on a number of occasions throughout the day. When five minutes is too much of a stretch to achieve, I settle for 60 seconds. Simply one minute with my eyes closed, tuning out all negativity and focusing on my breathing for just that one minute. When time is of abundance, walking is my activity of choice. This is not only good for the body, but the mind as well. It is an experience that can be shared with my family too, and whilst I suffer with the anxieties of leaving the comforts of my home, I am always glad of it once I’m too far to see my front door anymore.
It may be a small thing, finding pockets of time. Yet it has helped me abundantly and continues to do so. Whether it be photography, podcasts, bird watching or something else, simply finding that time which serves to better your wellbeing is so worth it.
Until the next one Friend.