January Habits

January Habits: Mindfulness

It’s January, so it’s time to pick some habits to follow throughout the year. Some I’ve been doing for a while, some will be new. I still have room for a couple more, so let me know me know if you have any suggestions.

My second choice for 2022 is “mindfulness”. For those unaware, mindfulness is described by the NHS as “paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – [which] can improve your mental wellbeing.”

I had heard of mindfulness workshops which had been run at work, but I always thought it was something I wouldn’t be interested in. A bit later, in February 2020, everyone was offered a free account to Headspace, a mindfulness app, which I thought I may as well sign up to.

I’ve done a few sessions in the app since then (the stats part of the app says 24 sessions), but I’ve never got too into it. I feel like the sessions are useful, but I’ve not used it long-term enough to see any actual benefit yet. I have learnt some interesting things about separating thoughts and feelings, and the “get back to sleep” sessions are also quite practical in the middle of the night when I occasionally can’t.

And that’s what this habit is to change. Admittedly we’re twelve days into the year and I have only done one session (which was earlier this afternoon), but my aim is try to become more consistent. I’ve not quite worked out yet how often I should do a session – daily feels like too much, but weekly seems too little. It probably also depends what else I’m doing. It’s much easier to find 10 minutes to meditate on a working from home day than it is on an office day. I’ll see how it goes and will update later this year.

Have you tried mindfulness? How often should I be doing it? Any tips on how to improve my experience (including not napping during sessions…)?