Enough is enough! After another very restless night’s sleep which according to my fitbit comprised of just five hours’ shut-eye – which felt like less – I’ve decided to take the plunge and try meditation.
I need to do something because once I wake up in the middle of the night I just cannot clear my head of rubbish. You’d have thought the lower stress levels that come with the worklessness of retirement would mean you’d be calmer but I can’t stop thinking about things.
Last night I was literally thinking about rubbish, where in the garden to put the ever-growing piles of it that are starting to appear since the council closed the tip and suspended the garden waste collection!
Of course, in this modern age I can’t just read about meditation and do it myself, I need an app. From the myriad that are available I have joined the likes of Emma Watson and Gwyneth Paltrow and downloaded Headspace.
I’ve chosen it partly due to some good reviews and partly because you have to pay for it, sometimes you do get what you pay for I tell myself. Having said that it appears to have gone up from the £29.99 a year quoted in yesterday’s newspaper to the £49.99 it just quoted me which is already giving me a bit of stress. Must make a note not to forget the there is a two-week cooling off period.
The app is really popular at the moment with many of us struggling with anxiety and finding sleep more difficult since the pandemic lockdown started. I should, at once, push away the cynical thought that they are cashing in on the crisis.
The app’s co-founder Andy Puddicombe, who spent 10 years living as a Buddhist monk, sets out the five elements that he strives to make part of his daily life and that the app encourages all of us to do.
“The first perhaps, unsurprisingly, is daily meditation. The second is some kind of mindful movement, typically running or cycling. The third is mindful eating, really focusing on what foods make me feel good and avoiding those that make me feel worse. The fourth is sleep.
“As days and nights begin to blend, it’s tempting to throw out our sleep routine, but a strong sleep pattern leaves you more restful. The final aspect is play. Mostly this involves playing and being silly with the kids, but it might also be watching something that makes me laugh, or listening to some music with strong positive memories attached.”
I get all of that and try to do some of it particularly the exercise – I run or cycle most days – try to play and attempt, but fail, to create a routine for my sleep.
I downloaded the app just a couple of hours ago and I have to say I like what I see so far. I’ve just listened to the Beachcomber sleepcast which comprises of a woman’s soothing voice, set to the sound of gentle waves washing onto a beautiful beach at sunset.
She takes you through the only bit of a yoga I enjoy, the bit that comes at the end where you lie flat on your back and relax your body parts, one by one, which really does clear the mind.
She starts with the toes … rest of your feet … calves … knees …
lower back ….