When writing the intro to this, I was looming on the fact of just starting the 3rd lockdown in the UK. I had the intro ready to go, trying to sound upbeat about how the lockdown could give us more time to work on ourselves, and how using Headspace gave me some time back to myself. And then...
And then... I caught Covid-19. And it wasn't nice. BUT! Two A&E trips later, one in an ambulance, I'm glad to say that I have fully recovered from Covid-19, and it has made me view my health in such a different way - I know I'm one of the lucky ones.
I had a lot of anxiety leaving A&E after my second trip. I was scared to take pills/medication; I was scared I was going to die every five minutes, I was scared about my loved ones taking the wrong pills or taking too many - I was just so scared that I was going to die, or something bad would happen to me after I left. Even though I managed to sleep when we got back home in the early hours of the morning, the next night wasn't so successful in terms of sleep. My mind was racing, I couldn't calm down, and I was thinking of all the possibilities of how I could die - would it be in my sleep, what if I get sudden chest pain, what if I get the symptoms again that landed me in A&E in the first place? I'm quiet when I panic, so my boyfriend knew I was worried about something, and suggested doing a Headspace. I usually know when I need to do a Headspace meditation, but it was nice to be told to do one, especially as my boyfriend knows how much they help me and then suggested doing one. Even just scrolling through the app knowing I was about to meditate calmed me down.
I decided to settle on this Headspace meditation - a meditation for when you're panicking.
You start with a basic meditation exercise - breathing in through the nose and out through your mouth. The meditation asks you to find an anchor, whether that be the seat your sitting on, your feet on the floor, or something that makes you feel grounded. It asks you to be present in your body. And then it dawned upon me; I needed to focus on the present - not what might happen, or could happen to me in the future, but what's happening to me now. Am I safe? Yes. Do I feel any pain in my body? No. Good - I'm going to be okay. I'm still amazed at the power of a three-minute meditation that's on an app on my phone.
I first got the Headspace app a few years ago but didn't use it nearly as much as I do today. Headspace is a meditation and mindfulness app created in 2010 and has 65M users across 190 countries, and I'll be honest, I don't use Headspace every day, although I wish I did. Meditation is a skill I'd love to build upon, and it's definitely something I'm working in my own time. As said before, I'll usually know when I need to do a Headspace meditation. Perhaps I'm working a lot and need a little pick-me-up, or maybe I'm struggling with sleep - there's a Headspace for that!
One of the incredible things about Headspace is the sheer amount of content they have. There is literally a meditation for everything, and they're always adding new content. I still have yet to dive into their 'move' tab all about mindful workouts and exercises.
If you're new to meditation then I'd definitely recommend using Headspace as there's free and paid versions of the app available - both with awesome content. Headspace's 'Basics' course is one of the earliest meditations I did on the app, and it's great for understanding and familiarizing yourself with the first steps of meditation and mindfulness.
As Covid is still ravaging its way throughout the world, just three minutes of calm and grounding does wonders for the mind - I know it has helped me a lot lately.
I hope you are able to find a way into meditation and mindfulness that suits you - it really is a wonder of a personal tool.