The middle of the semester always wrecks my daily routine. I go to bed later and later and my meals get lazier and lazier. So, in an attempt to slow my deteriorating mind and body, I decided to try and set some time for myself for five days. Initially, this was supposed to be a meditation piece, but I quickly realized that meditation could come in different forms so long as you set time aside to focus on yourself. Here is what I learned.
Before the process: Before I started this process, my hopes were relatively low. I hoped at the least, it would provide me time to organize my schedule and at most, provide a new outlet for me to organize and relax in my life. But alas, on Saturday morning I set out for a five-day commitment and hoped for the best.
I woke up today a bit late, so I decided to take my “me time” on the road by taking a longer route to work. On this walk, I simply just listened to music and reflected on my week. Honestly, I found this surprisingly relaxing. Although this is not what most people think when they refer to meditation, it worked for me, and I ended my walk in a better mindset and was ready for the day.
The second day of meditation went relatively smoother, I woke up earlier and I had more time to myself in the morning. In my terms, this means I had enough time to make myself breakfast before rushing off to school. However, while eating breakfast I made sure I set aside 10 minutes to myself to reflect and meditate. At first, it felt strange since I was not occupying myself with something productive or something to occupy my mind, but eventually, I began to feel more relaxed and found it easier to settle.
The third day was rough. I was tired from the weekend and I had some homework that I did not finish ahead of time. So, in effect, I had to take my meditation time on the road again. Even though I was not entirely stagnant like I was the day prior, I would claim that today’s time felt just as relaxing with the help of the playlist I made for myself. I listened to a few relaxing songs, then nothing at all, as I walked to campus and just enjoyed the scenery and my thoughts.
To be completely honest, I did not have the time to reflect for a long period of time because I had a busy schedule on day 4. In order to adapt, I moved my meditation time to the night. It was nice to settle down and spend some time to myself when it was dark and quiet, however, I found that too much silence was a bad thing before bed. I realized I needed to stick to mornings.
I’m pretty surprised that this is the last day of my meditation journey — it felt strangely fast and I enjoyed it a lot. Although the way this played out was not exactly how I imagined it, and my schedule did not allow me to sit alone for the blocks of time I had initially hoped for, I still enjoyed my experience and welcomed the final day with open arms. It was raining on the fifth day, so I sat, watched the rainfall and enjoyed a few minutes to myself, my thoughts and my solitude — and I felt a bit like Thoreau while doing it.
Although this is by no means comparable to real meditation, I feel as though I did learn a bit more about myself and how to settle during stressful weeks through this process. Some days were more challenging than others, and sometimes I could not shut my mind off enough to fully settle into myself, but overall I enjoyed this experience and recommend it to others. This may not take the form of mediation, but I suggest just taking time to yourself, in whatever form that may be.