Starting a new habit – morning meditation and stretching

The sunrise this morning, from our bedroom window

The sunrise this morning, from our bedroom window

It’s been a while coming, but I didn’t want to start doing everything at once and feel overwhelmed. So a series of new habits are being introduced over time.

Two new habits (I’ve planned for about six) will start today. Morning meditation and stretching, and study (more on the second one in a future post).

If you need meditation or general health apps for your phone, you could have a look at this story from Sarah Wilson’s “I Quit Sugar” website. Body and Soul is also a great source of information too.

I already have a couple of free meditation apps on my phone, from previous attempts to be mentally fit. (Are you seeing a recurring theme here? I am! I’ve sourced so many things – apps, gear, blogs, books etc – in order to get fit, in all meanings of the word, but have been too slack to act on them long enough to form a habit.) There are loads of meditation apps around – see which one or ones work for you.

I’m pretty fussy when it comes to listening to other people talk, especially when they’re trying to make you relaxed. I suffer from Misophonia – literally meaning a hatred of noise (more on that in a future post too, promise) and suffer extreme reactions if people make ‘unnecessary’ noises such as lip smacking, loud inhalations of breath, or you can hear saliva in their mouth.

But my most severe reactions come when people speak with a very trill, high pitched, sickly sweet, exaggerated ‘s’. I’ve noticed when these relaxation/meditation voices want to make you feel relaxxxxxxxed, often they make the ‘s’ sound last longer than normal (for example “let go of your thoughtsssssssssssssss, think of peacccccccccccccccce, close your eyessssssssssss”) and when that s sound is very high and hissy like a snake, my immediate reaction is to want to smash the phone and then punch the perpetrator in the face. Ten deep breaths (not breathssssss) and relax (not relaxxxxxxxxx) … Ha ha, yeah, I can make a joke about it here, but for me, honestly, it’s not a bloody joke!

Anyway … back to the task at hand …

Meditation. It’s hard! The mind wanders but that’s all part of the plan – to bring your thinking back to focusing on your breath. I try to focus on my nose and top lip, where I can feel my breaths going in and out.

The meditation app timer was set for 10 minutes (normally the apps give you options of say five, 10, 15, 20 minutes etc), the music or natural sound options were pleasant and I chose a track, the guide voice was turned off, I got into a comfortable position on the floor (which quickly became uncomfortable) and off I went.

A few minutes in, I started thinking about my friends in Adelaide, then I noticed my hair was tickling my neck. Focus, focus … After six minutes, I couldn’t cope with my hair any more and tied it back with the band on my wrist. Much better. Made it to the end! Then I switched to the five minute meditation and did leg stretches on the floor. Wow, my hammies are tight!

Doing this 15-minute routine really got me into ‘wake up’ mode and hopefully will set the scene for a productive day. Well, it’s worked so far – it’s 8.46am and I’ve already written a post.

Do you think you could set your alarm 15 minutes earlier tomorrow for some meditation and stretching, before you have a shower? You don’t even need an app or music – set a timer for 10 minutes and sit still. Then set the timer for five minutes and try to touch your toes with straight and spread legs. No fast movements, it’s all very calm, and hopefully you’ll be feeling abuzz with added energy and clarity.

I’m really looking forward to making this part of my morning routine. Want to join me?

Wishing you a great day.

January 11: 15 minutes after half a bottle of wine

Is it wrong to exercise after drinking half a bottle of red? Most likely.

I finished my last glass about an hour ago. The exercise mantra has been hanging over my head all day, and it’s Sunday, “the day of rest”, but because I only need to find 15 minutes each day, I’ve been putting the whole thing off until the last minute, knowing it can be done.

The idea behind fitfor15in15 is doing a minimum of 15 minutes exercise per day in 2015. Today I did 15 minutes. Yesterday I did 30, which included a few minutes for falling over. Hey, I’m building a habit here – there’s bound to be ups and downs!!

But I know I CAN DO 15 MINUTES EVERY DAY, eeeasy, even after a few wines (sorry exercise Gods!). And it was all made up in my head. I grabbed my trusty chickpea tins, found a space, didn’t bother turning the radio on, and I worked out for 15 minutes using the timer on my phone.

There were squats with boxing punches and attempted planks (didn’t even last 15 seconds, my stomach muscles are still so sore from three days ago) and sit ups (I’ve realised sit ups with your hands on your head beside your ears are much harder than sit ups with your hands in front of you. Aha! I can do a sit up!) and squats with a dip and a twist, and arm raises and … and … basically I looked like a nob.

It was probably like a Jane Fonda workout from the 80s, minus the leg warmers. I even bothered to take a photo. Because you love a riveting photo, right?

Bicycle leg movements with opposing elbows. Riveting ...

Bicycle leg movements with opposing elbows. Riveting …

The left knee is going green thanks to yesterday’s bruising, so I did, like, two push ups, but I’m nowhere near as worried about that injury as I am about the damn left ball of my foot. Why does everything on the left side hurt? Am I a leftie? You should hear my left shoulder crunch when I lift that tin!

Like all hypochondriacs, I’ve done some self-medicated googling and think I have Metatarsalgia, thanks to wearing my furry snow boots after Christmas. Hopefully Metatarwhatsamathingy sounds worse than it is. It feels like needles are going into the bones when I walk, especially near the third toe on my left foot. But I won’t go on *yawn*. Fingers crossed it goes away soon.

C’mon, if I can find 15 minutes to make the thighs burn on an unmotivated day like today, you can find 15 minutes too, yeah!? (I’m so glad I did – I feel even more light-headed now!)

For some better motivation talk, how about you read this article instead

Wishing you a great day.

And lay off the vino 🙂