Learning to love mornings again…well…for three days a week
Seeing as I’m waiting an absolute AGE for my NHS appointments, I thought it was time (should’ve started waaaay earlier) for me to try and find things to help myself.
I’m not feeling great at the minute. I’m not sleeping much and I’m just feeling really alone in dealing with how I’m feeling.
I noticed on Facebook that a local wellbeing community cafe on my estate, Cloud 9 Wellbeing, was looking for people to take part in a meditation trial throughout the month of March where you attend three classes every week and write before and after testimonials.
I’ve been a bit of a skeptic in the past when it’s come to meditation. I’m not getting the violins out but I almost felt like my problems were too deep rooted for meditation/mindfulness to have any affect on me. So this trial was the perfect opportunity for it to prove me wrong.
I’ve heard fantastic things about Cloud 9 and a few years ago, I bought my himalayan salt lamp from them which I love, so I sent a private message to them last weekend explaining why I thought meditation could help me. A few days later I got invited to take part!
I’ve been twice already this week and I’m really enjoying it. If I’m honest, meditation is really difficult and I know it takes a while to get in to but so far I’m definitely feeling calmer after the classes and I’m starting to chat to the other class attendees in the cafe after a class which is really nice.
The meditation room is amazing. Before the class even starts the aroma of incense and the calming music in the cafe (which sells lush cake btw) puts me totally at ease. The owners, Rachel and Susan are so lovely and are great listeners.
Below is the start of my meditation journal that I will share at the end of March. I’ve had a great experience so far so I’m looking forward to seeing how my meditation journey develops.
Pre-meditation – 5th March, evening
So tomorrow morning I am taking part in my first meditation class and I’ve got to admit, I’m feeling pretty anxious about it. To be honest I’ve always been a bit sceptical about meditation and believe that my problems and worries are too deeply routed to be helped by techniques like mindfulness and meditation.
I’ve suffered from anxiety since being a child and as I got older, I also developed depression which has recently been diagnosed as Borderline Personality Disorder.
My anxiety and mood swings are really bad at the minute and I’m also off work on long term sick leave whilst I wait for help from my community mental health team.
I am at my wits end and I just can’t ever relax, even now writing this I can feel my heartbeat in my chest and have that horrible nervous sensation. My jaw is clenched with anxiety to the point where I needed a jaw splint and botox in my jaw muscles from clenching my teeth all the time.
At the minute I’m feeling like this 24/7 and I am getting sick of it. I’ve developed unhealthy coping techniques and it’s taking over my life. I can’t imagine ever feeling relaxed.
I take medication for my anxiety but it is having little effect.
I have tried meditation apps but being in a familiar space with my headphones in doesn’t help and I can’t switch off.
I’m really hoping by being in a relaxing meditation space and with the lovely people at Cloud 9, I can start to learn new and healthy ways on how to stop my thoughts controlling my life for a while, even if it’s just for half an hour, through being mindful.
Wish me lots of luck and relaxation!
Post-meditation – 6th March
This morning I had my first ever meditation session by the lovely Susan at Cloud 9. I was a bit nervous and self conscious at first but it didn’t take me as long as I thought to start relaxing.
The meditation room is amazing and so comfortable. Susan made me feel totally at ease and it was nice to meet two other people there for their first time too.
We closed our eyes and we were talked through breathing and relaxing each muscle in our bodies whilst calming music was playing. I didn’t realise how much tension I could even feel in my eyes!
Although I didn’t manage to switch off my anxious thoughts completely, I definitely feel a bit more relaxed. This is normal though, it can take a while to learn the techniques to allow your mind to focus.
It was so nice to have that time to relax in a new space and not at home where you can be interrupted.
The cafe at Cloud 9 do some lovely herbal teas so it was great to end a session of meditation with a tea and chat with other people from the session.
Meditation – 7th March
I’m loving going to Cloud 9 in the mornings at the moment. I woke up this morning feeling quite anxious as I had a sickness review at work today. As soon as I walked in to the cozy cafe I instantly felt more relaxed…and that is before the meditation! The music and the smells of incense are so comforting and you know it’s a safe space.
I’m starting to chat to the regulars and others who go to the meditation sessions which is great too as it makes me feel less self conscious during the meditation class.
Today’s morning class was taken by the lovely Rachel and she started with a relaxation exercise where we relaxed each part of our body. We then had to picture and focus on elements like the moon, sun, colours and stars. When I opened my eyes, the ceiling of the meditation room glows with artificial star light which is so soothing. I chose to sit in a beanbag this morning and I could’ve stayed there all day…bliss. (interesting fact – it is extremely unglamorous trying to get up from sitting in a beanbag)
I felt so calm at the end of the session and noticed that my thoughts seemed to switch off more easily than yesterday…I must be starting to get the hang of it!
Thursday is coffee and cake for £5 so I obviously stayed for cake. I love sitting in the cafe area. The staff are lovely and it’s such a great place to chill after the class.