Ruby Wax might be onto something when it comes to meditation and medication: “Think of it as wearing two condoms: double protection”
If you cannot hear the words; mindfulness, meditation, reflection, silent musing, prayer etc. without slightly raising an eyebrow and thinking “I f**king hate yoga” you are not alone, but is it the relaxing part that bothers you or the fact you don’t know what works for you yet? Maybe you’re on medication and you feel like that is enough for you right now, but guess what? We can have both! Because, surely mindfulness and medication go hand in hand?
I have been on anti-depressants for the past year, but I have frequently relapsed due to my triggers being poked and activated, which then starts the wheel of doom, where my behaviours surrounding those triggers kick in and the habits I have formed to cope with those behaviours kick off. In the past year I have also been educated about mindfulness and even with my deeper understanding of the tools and techniques that I could use when the wheel of doom starts rolling, I still struggle to find a meditation that works for me and my medication. Emphasis on the ‘A’, because ‘meditation’ isn’t just gongs and sitting crossed legged anymore (unless you want that, then it’s still available – FYI). Meditation is basically anything that allows you time to switch off and no, sleeping does not count. So if yoga gets your mind and body to connect and it feels good – do it. If reading in a cosy corner is your medicine – do it, just find the ‘thing’ that works for you and if it feels good – do more of it.
I never thought I would be saying this, but I like colouring. Who knew? As a kid I used to draw a lot and I used it as a tool to escape from my life, but I wasn’t ‘good’ in comparison to Picasso, so I just stopped, but I didn’t replace it with anything else and in turn I basically barricaded my own escape route. I have tried yoga, Head Space, Buddhify, running, reiki, etc. with no avail and was about to give up, when I discovered podcasts. I have never been able to multitask so I cannot listen to a podcast for example and write emails. I have to stop and listen. I choose a quiet space and I settle down to listen. Not only do I feel rested during and after, but I feel like I have allowed myself time to personally develop, which has been eye opening. Before I discovered ‘What the Health’ and ‘Cowspiracy’ via Netflix, I listened to many plant based podcasts and that is where my vegan journey started. Listening to podcasts has helped me to find my new escape route and for now that is enough, but who knows if gongs and crystals are around my corner? My medication numbs me, but my mindfulness keeps me focused and it is only through that focus that I feel present.
Life happens and it all comes down to what you say to it’s face when it knocks on your door. Whilst the medication can help you with your state of mind, mindfulness is what will help you know what to say. Find what works for you, but remember the world is your oyster and you have choices, reach for the stars and in the words of Mary Meadows “Stop doing shit that makes you feel shit”.