Minding my mind

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Just Stop!

It has been a stressful few days and I’m disappointed in the way that I have (or
have not) handled it. This is First World Stress of course. I am ridiculously blessed with a loving family, comfortable home, well paying work etc.

It started on Friday morning with an annoying email from colleagues across the pond that I read before arriving at the office. This is a lesson apparently not learned many times over: do not spoil non-work hours by checking work email at home. It was nothing but stupid politics and coworkers trying to cling to their own imaginery turf. I was only peripherally involved, yet I still took it as a personal attack. When I did get to work, I was too incensed to even make it to my own office to respond on my laptop. I perched on the nearest desk and fired off a response from my iPhone.

The anger I felt in the heat of that moment has lingered all weekend.

We had a wonderful Saturday evening with a good friend staying over at our house. With a full belly, a peaceful labrador at my feet, a fire burning, surrounded by people I love, I drifted into a restful sleep in my comfy chair. My husband woke me up an hour later to go to bed and I couldn’t wait for my soft pillow and the continuation of that delicious snooze. What happened though? I got in bed, snuggled my labrador, said goodnight to my husband, and started thinking about work.

Very quickly, all feelings of peace and gratitude evaporated. I became agitated. I tossed and turned. I composed brilliant responses to petty situations in my head. My husband woke up and felt the tense ball of anxiety laying beside him. When he asked if I needed a Valium to calm down, I realized how far away from mindful I had become. I had unconsciously allowed my mind to spiral out of control.

Those are the moments where mindfulness is most crucial. Putting up that mental image of a giant red STOP sign and reminding myself that all is perfectly well. I’m safe, I’m warm, I’m fed, I’m loved.