1 Year Mindfulness Challenge

A Year of Mindfulness – 33 – Self Compassion

Photo by Chris Yang on Unsplash

I’ve succumbed to another blogging backlog but have no fear, I’m catching up once again in order (albeit with a few of the more boring weeks left off because I want to finish the challenge before the year’s out and I’m running out of time)!

Week 34 was the week commencing 7th September and was the week of self compassion. Self compassion? Say no more. I’m already interested. I’ve done a lot of self development work this year and I am all about self compassion. When I pulled the card out of the jar this week, it stated:

“It is easy to lie in bed at night and think of the things that went wrong in the day, and often these things repeat themselves in our heads over and over before we go to sleep. It is a normal instinct but it is still well within our power to change this and focus on the positives instead of the negatives.”

I don’t know about you but when I lie in bed at night, I’m asleep within 10 seconds of my head hitting the pillow. Admittedly, there have been times this year where I’ve woken up in the middle of the night and am unable to stop my mind racing, and it was quite frankly hell on Earth. During these bouts, I had a sudden and profound appreciation and sorrow for those people who suffer from insomnia. I’ve always been one of those people who falls asleep pretty much instantly, practically crawling to my bed at the end of the day (although interestingly, since I left my job, I’ve not felt half as tired!)

For this week’s task, I had to keep a pen and notepad next to my bed and use it to write down three things I did well that day before going to bed. It didn’t matter whether I considered them big or small, but I had to spend the time thinking positively about them. The idea of this task is that focusing on the positives of the day rather than the negatives helps to promote a happier and healthier mindset.

Well this task had me written all over it – I love this type of task. But I have to admit, it was a lot harder than it sounded! I did lie in bed each night and before I went to sleep I recorded three things that day that I felt I did well or that made me feel proud. Some days I was really clutching. There’s only so much you can feel you do well whilst stuck working from home – there’s no commute, no spending time with other people, no travelling, no real opportunities to interact with people aside from on Zoom. Still, I gave it my best shot.

So, see below for what I recorded that week!

Monday

  1. A colleague attended the webinar I was delivering to incoming students and said it was excellent – super clear and concise.
  2. I was writing for one of the podcasts I work with and thinking about how far I’ve come this year – can’t quite believe I’m quitting my job this week. I’m proud of myself for that.
  3. I didn’t lose my temper with somebody despite being at my wits end with dealing with the issues they’re giving me at work. I was close to losing my shit but I refrained (small things – remember?!)

Tuesday

  1. I’m slowly but surely getting back on top of my blog and had loads of views in the last few days. I love the positive comments and the way people tell me they enjoy reading!
  2. Students reported to me how clear my communications are and how helpful I’ve been towards them moving to Manchester in these circumstances.
  3. Colleagues and people I’ve worked with over the years have been saying such lovely things to me whilst I’m preparing to leave my job. It makes me feel like I’m a good person.

Wednesday

  1. Another student said my webinar was extremely motivating and they were super excited to come to Manchester because of it. It made me happy because even though I’m so over this job and ready to leave, I like to know I’m doing a good job in the one part of the job I’ve always loved (promoting Manchester and welcoming students to Manchester).
  2. As I sat late in the evening after working late at my day job and all evening at my side job, I thought about how tired I am but how proud I am that I’ve juggled two jobs for the last 6 months. I don’t think I gave myself enough credit for that one.
  3. My dog is such a happy, kind, loving little dog and even though she chases bikes, runners, cats, squirrells (OK – anything that moves), she’s the sweetest little thing and we’ve done a great job raising her.

Thursday

  1. An out of the blue compliment from a friend made me feel so loved. Sometimes I feel like a really shitty friend for failing to juggle jobs, my home and dog, friendships and just life in general, so to hear somebody tell me how much they think of me is so refreshing and makes me feel like a good person.
  2. I told somebody the truth without dressing it up or trying to embellish it. I have a habit of not wanting to disappoint people so even if I’m trying to say something I perceive as remotely negative, I always end up not fully saying what I mean. I was glad I somehow found courage to be completely honest.
  3. I had my trial shift for a part-time job at a beautiful little wine bar and got the job half way through the shift. I’m SO glad because I have been non-stop rejected for jobs for the last three months of applying, and it’s been really starting to get me down! So Im super happy somebody finally thought I was worthy of hiring! I needed this part-time income, and this is the next step towards my plan of freelancing full-time, so I’m proud of myself!

Friday

  1. Similar to one of the other days but I have had an influx of messages from colleagues at work before I leave today, and I feel truly humbled and again like I must have done something right/ been nice to people over the 8 years of working here. My boss has said such sincerely complimentary things to me that have really made me feel like I am capable of thriving working for myself.
  2. Again, similar to another day, I’m so proud of myself for having the balls to quit a job I have hated for years especially during uncertain circumstances with uncertain times ahead. I feel alive for the first time in years.
  3. I received the most beautiful and thoughtful bunch of flowers from a beautiful and gorgeous friend, and it made me think just how grateful I am for my friendships. Not quite something I’m proud of myself for, but I’m proud of having such wonderful friends so it kind of fits!

Saturday

  1. I’m glad I did my Master’s around my full-time job years ago which has taught me how to balance my side job around other duties. It’s what made me get up early this morning to do more work for my side job before going out celebrating life today with friends – woohoo!
  2. I was kind to everybody I met, smiled at everybody I met, and tipped people I come into service with (I’m really clutching today, can you tell?)
  3. I have developed the skill to be more in tune with myself and my emotions and know when something isn’t healthy for me.

Sunday

  1. I donated to a charity – it’s not much but it’s something and better than nothing.
  2. I took my dog for a long walk and pushed myself to get out of my house despite being ridiculously hungover and wanting to curl up in a ball and die on my couch.
  3. It’s not much, but I’m currently the most financially stable I think I’ve ever been in my whole life (as I head towards the unknown and the risk of losing it all if I can’t sustain work hahaha!)

OK so obviously this week came at the time of me finishing my job and so pretty much all that was on my mind was my job and all the emotions that come with it. I think this would be a great exercise to do moving forward – not daily, but weekly. Because I’m already working on my 2021 list of things to do, I’m going to add that one to my list as think this is a great exercise to remind yourself why you are wonderful, strong and more capable than you sometimes think. Each week I will endeavour to list five things I’ve done well or am proud of myself for.

I recommend trying this task – you are your own best friend and always worthy of a pat on the back. I am usually quick to preach about self-love and compassion, but my actions sometimes differ to what I’m preaching. It’s important to show yourself love and compassion, because if you don’t, how can you expect anybody else to?! Celebrate yourself, you deserve it!

See you next week!

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