It's almost May which in my part of the world means the cold, cold weather is settling in, possibly until December. Sigh.
We're ordering wood for the open fire, digging out the woolly jumpers, coats, boots and scarves stashed in cupboards and under beds. It's time for pumpkin soup and beef and tomato casseroles and at our house it's football-viewing season, on the TV and on the sidelines, with all of the coats and scarves and boots and pumpkin soup.
It's tempting to let wellbeing take a back seat in winter. Long sunshiney walks are out. Bike riding is not a whole lot of fun in squally weather. I'll keep up my yoga practice, perhaps upping my quota of toasty Hot Yoga sessions but the physical outdoorsy stuff is unappealing and in our little house there's not much space for anything more active than the crazy jumping wriggling antics of two small boys.
Looking inwards to chill out
With the outdoors out it's the perfect time to turn my focus to inner wellbeing. In the past couple of months I've noticed tension in my face and jaw that didn't used to be there. I've always been one to hold tension in my shoulders and neck with upper back discomfort and headaches setting in if I'm stressed or feeling under pressure. I'm used to this and I know how to stretch, breathe and do a bit of mini meditation to relieve it.
This face thing is new. Every day or so I'll notice my clenched jaw and be aware that I'm frowning like I've just been told the Nespresso machine's out of order. I'll lift my shoulders up and back, shake my head and relax the muscles of my face; techniques I've learned through years of yoga and this helps for a while but too soon after I'm scowling again.
Mindfulness meditation to the rescue
So I'm embarking on a mindfulness challenge. I'm being to be precise. Want to join me?
What is it?
If you've not heard of Mindful in May it's an Australian initiative (yay!) and a global movement. You pledge to try your hand at 10 minutes of meditation each day for the 31 days of May and raise funds for clean water projects in developing countries through Charity Water at the same time. Win win.
By signing up you receive an email every day with audio guided meditations and video interviews with the most amazing array of global experts in positive psychology, happiness, wellbeing, meditation and kids' mindfulness. It is worth signing up for this alone!
You can sponsor me in my mindfulness quest here which I'd love, but even better you can sign up and join me and the Potential Psychology Stress Less team because everything is better with friends.
We can share our progress (and our challenges) using the hashtag #ppstressless on all the social media and know that while we're making our lives a little better through mindfulness practice we'll be making others' lives so much better through the provision of clean water.
If you want to know more about the benefits of mindfulness you can read about it and watch a video from Mrs Mindfulness in last week's Self Improvement Thursday.
If you want to know more about Mindful in May, check out their web site.
Are you in? Are you already a mindfulness peep? Let me know in the comments below. Ex