Updated: Jun 5, 2020
Being by myself is not new to me. For the last ten years I’ve been single. For the last 5 – I’ve been happily single; content with myself and with my life and the people and things that I choose to fill it. Finding peace and contentment with yourself is a gradual process; it takes time and work and some of that work is painfully uncomfortable, but if you can transition through it, what lies on the other side is a more present, connected and meaningful life.
So for those fearful about the prospect of spending a long weekend in the presence of their own company, let me share 5 simple things that I do regularly, to help me stay present and connected:
1. Clean and maintain your own home. Let me tell you, you can learn a lot about how you view yourself by cleaning and maintaining your own space. And I don’t just mean the ‘vanity’ areas open to visiting guests; do the dirty work! Clean your shower drains out, stick your hand down the toilet, wash out your cupboards, defrost your age old freezer, remove mould from the grouting, disinfect your cutlery drawers, move furniture don’t just hoover around it, rewire plugs, change light bulbs, take your oven apart. There is no greater sense of self satisfaction than sitting down in a house that you know you cleaned by yourself, for yourself. For me it sends an important message to my brain; that I'm prepared to process the shit, (excuse the pun), as well as the good in my life. Nobody else can ever do that for you. When that’s done, create your safe space; your home – add a green plant, a scented candle and select your favourite faces to frame and keep around you.
2. Create a regular diary slot to take care of your personal finances. Once a month, usually on a Tuesday morning, I brew a fresh cafeteria and sit down for 90 minutes to review my personal finances. I look at my outgoings and make sure I am staying within my budget and saving a little of my income each month. I use a spreadsheet and print off my bank statements. I have learned over the years, and since being in business, that an essential act of self -care is having boundaries with yourself when it comes to money. If you live mindfully, you don’t need to fill the void with ‘stuff’ and you will be richer as a result.
3. Journal. Journal. Journal. Most mornings when I get up, I reach for my journal and spend just 15 – 20 minutes on my ‘morning pages.’ It takes many forms; a brain dump of anything that’s on my mind that I feel unsettled about, a little positivity pep talk with myself, a to do list when I feel overloaded, a few things I’m grateful for or sometimes it’s just a moan about life! As humans we come with a full range of emotions. For a long time I thought you had to be happy ALL of the time and that anything short of that was wrong, but what was wrong was my thinking about this. Write everything down, clear your head, get it out, witness yourself good, bad and ugly – it’s the key to understanding who you are, to accepting yourself and to developing resiliency. And if you don’t have someone else in the house to sound off to, then it can act as a buffer until you can talk to someone.
4. Be present in yourself. And that’s as simple as sitting with a cup of coffee, meditating if that’s your thing, reading a book, watching Netfix, sketching, listening to music, baking, cooking, gardening or of course, I’d highly recommend pilates. Pilates is characterized as a mindful form of moving your body, which teaches you to connect your mind with your movements, in that moment and beyond the mat. We are all taught how to be present in ourselves as children through play. To me these are all forms of ‘play’ and are acts of ‘self soothing.’ Stay playful, stay present; sooth yourself.
5. Laugh Daily. Remember what I was just saying about children? They laugh on average 200 times a day, whilst adults average 26 times. Laughing lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, and increases muscle flexion (ever tried laughing yoga?!). Not only that, it increases the circulation of antibodies in the blood stream, which can make us more resistant to infection – hello natural covid-19 remedy! I’m not going to lie, when things aren’t going your way or you feel lonely, it’s hard to do but laughter allows us to transend ourselves and helps keep things in proportion – try it. I keep a video of my family and I playing ‘Speak Out’ on my phone that we took at Christmas. It never ceases to have me in stitches. There’s been some great videos and content being shared at the moment so look out for them.
There is no replacement for human connection, that’s for sure, so make sure you plan some family and friend time in this weekend via zoom or whatever platform you choose. Just remember though, that when the call comes to a close, your life is still rich, full and abundant if you want it to be.
Wishing you a present and connected Easter Weekend filled with lots of chocolate eggs.
See you on the mat soon,