How many times have you ruminated over a clinical decision or worried about the rather large (breed and BCS!) bitch spay that’s booked in on tomorrow’s ops list? For me personally, too many times to count. This week I attended the first of Mike Scanlon’s sessions on Mindfulness and decided that it’s time for me to live in the moment. Mike discussed that being mindful and living in the moment can enhance your wellbeing and reduce stress by helping to apply “psychological flexibility,” if practised on a regular basis. In my experience, whatever your role is within practice, no-one can fully escape the pressures and stresses associated with practice, and life in general. Mike, who is a Nurse Consultant for Primary Care Mental Health, described that Mindfulness is similar to gardening. You must prepare the soil, sow the seeds and maintain nourishment. Although the fruit doesn’t appear overnight, it can be enjoyed for years to come.
Next we were asked to evaluate our life balance by comparing the importance of some aspects of our lives and comparing the amount of time we dedicate to these areas. The mismatches were certainly an eye opener but this exercise served as a good starting point for setting goals in terms of being more mindful.
During the session we practised two meditations; finger swirls and the body scan. I found it easier to focus during the finger swirls whereas during the body scan my mind was wondering towards my to-do list. Perhaps this indicates that I need more practice. Mike informed the webinar attendees that mindfulness and judgmental thoughts are not a fruitful combination in the mindfulness garden (did you see what I did there?!) So I will keep practising without passing judgement. I’m looking forward to forming a new habit that could help me to be more content so now I’m off to mindfully eat my lunch instead of inhaling it!