It is usually the turn of the year that we look back and reflect on the previous year and look to the year ahead. Well I don’t know about you, but so far 2020 has given me plenty to think about and reflect upon and we are only in October. When the clock struck midnight and we rang in 2020, I was filled with untold optimism and excited to experience the opportunities the next 12 months would bring. Well I didn’t expect what was to actually come, and I can assume ‘global pandemic’ wasn’t in anyone else’s ‘2020 to-do list’ either!
Whilst 2020 so far wasn’t what myself or most of us expected, it has come with a few silver linings. Raise your hand if you’ve made more room in your life for mental and physical wellness! Raise your hand if you’ve developed a new level of appreciation and empathy for your loved ones! Raise your hand if you have more time to enjoy the little things in life! I know I certainly have... I am now embracing the downtime to rest and recover, and being able to slow down and enjoy simple pleasures in life, like actually finishing a puzzle I start.
As winter draws in and with increased lockdown measures looming over our heads, many of us are preparing for a tough winter and an equally tough 2021. Christmas can be stressful in the best of times, and that is when we aren’t experiencing a global pandemic. So to help us prepare for the road ahead it may be that we set aside some time for reflection a little early this year.
Meditation can present the perfect opportunity to stop, reflect and give thanks for the summer we have had, how we have grown and how we will embrace the change that will come with the next few months. If you are new to meditation, you can read our quick guide ‘How to Meditate for Beginners’ here.
Begin by finding somewhere quiet with no distractions, no kids running around, dinner isn’t on the boil and your phone is on silent in the other room. Next, get comfortable. Whether this is lying down on your bed, in your favourite reading corner of simply lying on that fluffy carpet in your bedroom. As you settle in, let your eyelids drop and relieve yourself of other visual distractions. We don’t need to be eyeing that pile of laundry in the corner when we are trying to relax and reflect!
To give yourself plenty of time to slow your heart rate, unwind and reflect on the year we have had, I would recommend setting aside 15 minutes for meditation, spending 5 minutes thinking about each; the bad, the good, and what you can learn and move forward with.
The bad: These first 5 minutes can be dedicated to the pits of your year. There is no denying that this year has come with its fair share of downfalls. Mindfully addressing these can help you to grieve the losses and process them in a constructive way. Ask yourself: What challenges did I overcome? How did I fail? What got in the way of success? What would I do differently if I could?
The good: These 5 minutes can be dedicated to those silver linings, and recognising the blessings that have come your way. Ask yourself: What am I thankful for this year? What new skills did I learn? What was my favourite moment? What am I most proud of? How did I live by my core values?
What can you learn and move forward with: During these last 5 minutes you can ask yourself important questions such as: What is the most important lesson I have learned this year? What did I learn about myself? What did I let go of? What am I going to continue doing in 2021? Who do I want to become next year?
What a journey it has been, and what a journey we have still to come.