This week, on podcast episode 112, I talk about finding joy in the little things. For many, this is so important as we adjust to lockdown life yet again.
I spoke to my psychiatrist last week for my 3 monthly check up. I have been in recovery for around 10 months now and my medication has dropped again (at my request as I have been feeling ready and am also aware of the side effects of taking the drugs). My psychiatrist reminded me that in the first 2 years of recovery there is a 40% chance of relapse. She laughed as I responded with:
‘That is fantastic, so a 60% chance of full recovery’.
As I adjust to the new dose, practising daily compassion and acceptance will be important. I was out walking earlier and a wave of anxiety came over me. I just felt flat and out of chat. It was important that I took time to breathe and be kind to myself. I walked slowly and calmly and allowed the feelings to come. Kids are magic at sensing our energy. My 6 year old boy took my hand and started saying some lovely things to me. Focusing on his kindness helped me. Finding joy in the little moments is good for us. I found joy in that moment. It’s often these little things that mean the most.
I had intended to go out for a run when we got home but instead I decided that rather than braving the cold and the rain again, I would put a candle on and get in a hot bath. The walk had been enough fresh air for the day. A cosy hot oil bath alone was just what I needed at that time. An hour or so later, the thoughts had passed and I felt calm and content. I find it useful to express gratitude for coming out the other side. If you have been there, you will know that when you start to come off strong medication, it can impact your sleep. Perhaps lockdown has impacted your sleep. I knew in that moment that I was tired and it was important to allow my body to rest and go slow. It is important to check in with our body each day and follow our intuition in terms of what we really need. Our thoughts and feelings are like clouds. They come and go. The key is not to resist them. Notice them, welcome them, don’t judge them. Then let them move past. Of course, you can use tools to relax. I have various playlists that soothe, fill me with hope or fire up my mojo.
On the podcast I talk about some ways that I have been able to squeeze as much joy as possible out of the little moments. We don’t have to overcomplicate these small wins either. It can be as simple as being thankful for making a batch of healthy food to keep in the fridge. Some of the batches I have made recently took me around 30 minutes. The commitment isn’t huge, but focusing on having healthy meals ready in the fridge to get through a busy week, can sometimes be enough to give you a boost. Or perhaps it was something you watched that made you laugh or feel moved. I have been really enjoying ‘this is us’ on amazon prime and find it has made me cry several times. It’s good to feel. I’m thankful for the scriptwriter and the cast. Working on my own script, it reminds me of how powerful art can be. It has the ability to bring us to life on what can feel like a mundane day or week. Life can be incredibly sweet and simple when we focus on the little things. My mantra through lockdown is one day at a time. Listen to your body. Remember that thoughts are like clouds, they will pass. Be kind to yourself.
You got this.