It’s been a wee while since I contributed to our blogs. I know I’m not the only one who has found this second lockdown and ongoing threat of the virus at times overwhelming. I think it’s important that whilst we consistently go above and beyond in our work and strive to meet the needs of those we support, that we also show ourselves the same level of empathy. You truly cannot pour from an empty cup.

Resilience can be a tricky one, especially when trying to make this personal to what we need. Often recommended ‘toolkits’ seem to be designed for everyone but you and that brings me to mindfulness – I used to find this really challenging. If you’re anything like me and can quite easily live and procrastinate inside your own head, this makes mindfulness or meditation a rather ‘noisy’ affair. Unbidden thoughts can use this opportunity to come rushing through when all you want is a moment’s peace.

Eventually I realised that mindfulness isn’t silence, it’s just bringing yourself into the moment. I try to think of it as a camera lens focusing in on one point and whatever that point is, having your full and undivided attention.

Music is essential for me and although I’m not naturally musically gifted, I have found that playing an instrument makes for my perfect mindful activity. I play the ukulele (badly…caveat required) and when I do, I am completely calm, focused and in the moment. I have breathing space and give my mind the chance to recharge and rest. Regardless of my ability I get lost in the moment. The music takes over and making sure the strumming and chord changes happen takes complete mindfulness. The sound I make is often irrelevant compared to this and my enjoyment.

I appreciate that what I do isn’t for everyone and time is so precious at the moment, that we often prioritise other things. However, it may be worth thinking of your hobbies or passions as a space totally for you and deserving of your undivided attention. Give yourself care and time to do what you love, what brings you peace and an opportunity to take a breather. I hope that you discover as I did, that mindfulness is a personal thing and not a one size fits all.

If you’re struggling reach out, find your people and talk to yourself with the same compassion you do to others because you’re amazing.