Taking a break from our daily routine is always beneficial.
For clinical social workers, that can often be achieved by signing up for a training.
Last week, I spent Monday and Tuesday attending a training in MBSR – mindfulness-based stress reduction. These two days included some pretty excellent self-care. Re-listening to The Gifts Of Imperfection in the car. Meditating. Journaling. Reflecting on what’s been stressful lately and contemplating my next move.
We used a Stress-O-Meter to measure our stress throughout the two days. I started out as an eight. I slowly relaxed my way down to a four. (I immediately re-escalated to an 11 when I walked into work on Wednesday morning. Ugh.)
I’ve been wanting to attend a training in mindfulness-based stress reduction for a long time, and it did not disappoint. There were a LOT of takeaways:
-This is a list of mindful attitudes I’ve been encouraged to cultivate: non-judgment; patience; non-striving; acceptance; beginners’ mind; trust; and letting go. All relevant. Some challenging. All of them powerful when exercised mindfully.
-Stress is contagious. So is peacefulness. Lately, I’ve been having a really tough time at work. I can be really sensitive to the moods and attitudes of others, and in this case, that is NOT good. I’ve set an intention to try to project peace rather than absorbing stress.
-Our instructor asked us this question: “How many times do we limit ourselves to the story of who we are?” It’s really good to know ourselves. For example, I felt very empowered by the knowledge that I’m an introvert. HOWEVER – I don’t want to limit myself to only one story. I don’t want to label myself as an introvert, or a runner, or a procrastinator, and thus write the story of how I live my life before I even live it out.
-Dear KEM, Stop being so attached to outcomes. Okay thanks bye.
-When it comes to life, I would much rather be the passenger than the driver. Something to think about.
-We spend most of our lives rehearsing or rehashing. Rather than just BEING in the moment.
-We are always practicing something. And we get better at what we practice.
I’m eager to keep my mindfulness practice going. However, this is always a struggle for me – the daily maintenance that comes with keeping a new habit.
Last year, there was a sale at PESI and I treated myself to two books: MBSR Every Day and A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook. I brought them both with me to the training, thinking that I might finally start to a) read them and b) understand what exactly MBSR is. So far, in the workbook, I’ve finished a few chapters, and I am hoping to commit myself to formal mindfulness practice. I’ve done a few ‘mindful check-ins’ and about 20 minutes of mindful yoga. A good start.