Sick meditation

Being sick isn’t fun, but it isn’t all bad. I’ve had a sore throat for the past few days, and because of it I’ve felt rather groggy and low energy. However, it did allow me some time to spend on myself. I’ve found meditation easier when sniffling.

It’s funny—I spend the majority of the day alone, but it’s still not enough to satisfy my introvertedness. I spend 2-3 hours each day in my car, and about 8 in the office in my private cubicle. Add in the 6-8 hours of sleep and that only leaves about 6 hours a day where I can be around people, and even then I often opt to spend some of it alone.

It’s not so much the amount of time I spend alone, but the quality of that time. At work, I’m often busy on the phone or dealing with something else—my mind, as it should be, is on the work. Sleeping barely counts, and those precious 6 free hours are often spent doing something that keeps my mind off myself. The car is nice, but I’ve taken to podcasts. With constant information everywhere, “alone” doesn’t feel like it used to.

While I’m sick, I need to focus more on how I’m feeling. I have to take care of myself more than usual. I choose more comfortable clothes, with layers in case I get too hot or cold. I have to pack tissues and cough drops, and make myself tea.

Being sick basically forces you to be more mindful. Am I feeling worse, or better? What needs help? I’ve done more “body scans” in the past few days than I have nearly ever, and it’s because it both helps me care for myself and helps me stay centered.

My mom often says that everything happens for a reason. Maybe I got sick because I need to be more mindful. Maybe I got sick because I’m stressed out for a variety of reasons. Most likely I got sick because my boyfriend was sick, not because of any mind-centered reason. Who knows. Whatever the reason, I didn’t mind, I am glad it’s nearing its end though…hopefully.

Top 5 ways of dealing with anxiety

 

As a person who deals with anxiety on a pretty regular basis, I know how hard it can be to deal with it. When there’s no bathroom stall to hide in, or blankets to cover your face with, you can feel trapped, panicky, and like you’re losing control.

I’ve collected here a list of my top 5 helpful things when you feel anxious, whether you suffer from deep anxiety or are merely a little unsettled. I hope it can help!:

5. Becoming mindful of my body and my environment. This is the newest one I’ve found; it’s a type of meditation you can do at any time, no matter where you are. Allow yourself to feel the chair you’re sitting in, to hear every sound in the office, to smell the world around you. Do a mental scan of your body, take note of every ache, itch, and sensation. Becoming aware of how you fit in the world helps you feel more connected to it. This site is great for guided meditations like this: http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22

4. A calmer task. When I have homework piling, I often like to take a break to freshen up my makeup. Obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone, but doing my makeup is a calming task that allows me to let my mind take a break. It’s also a great way to get my eyes off a computer screen and let my hands do some work. Doing a task that is still productive (ie, not watching television. Something like knitting or playing a sport) for a few minutes but isn’t the stressor can help you reset. These two websites are less productive than knitting or so, but are still calming and may help if you just need to turn your brain off for awhile: Silk: http://weavesilk.com/

Line 3D: http://www.barcinski-jeanjean.com/entries/line3d/

3. Talking it through. Whether a long rant to my mom over the phone or a brief pep talk to my mirror, talking out loud can help relieve the stress. Someone who will listen without telling you you’re being unreasonable or too worrisome would be best. Even just listing to yourself what is stressful can help you put your thoughts in order. If you have no one to talk to, try this site: http://www.7cups.com/talk-to-someone-about-anxiety/

If you really need someone professional to talk to, try this:  https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/

2. Staying organized. When tasks keep getting put on my desk one after another, it makes me want to crawl under said desk and hide for days. Having a to do list helps a million—I like to put a star next to the items I have to get done today, and then number them in order of importance. It helps me realize how much I really have to do, and how much can wait until later. I use an app for this: Productive. It allows you to check off events throughout the day, even things you might not think of, like eating fruit or checking your posture.

1. Deep breathing and meditation. The best part about deep breathing is that you can do it all the time, without anyone noticing. Stressed during a meeting? Stressed in the subway? Deep breathing is your friend. If you have a bit of time, meditation is like deep breathing to the max, helping to relax you from the inside out. I have this amazing, free app on my phone called Pacifica that uses guided meditation and pleasant sound-scapes to help you relax. There is also a deep breathing activity that simply helps your breathing stay constant. You can plug it into your headphones wherever you are to help you calm down.

Of course, sometimes none of these work, and anxiety takes over. Whatever you do when anxious, even if nothing helps, know that you are not alone. There are millions of people dealing with anxiety all over the world. If you have extended period of anxiety or feel anxious often, and want to learn more, go to http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml