Last year’s buzzwords reeked mostly of middle-class health. Kale, Voga, Lululemon. There was a sudden flux of everyday people caring about their wellbeing, inside and out. For a short period of time, I was one of them. I bought the extortionately priced coconut water, attempted (and failed) making quinoa burgers, spent £90 a month I didn’t have on my ‘drishti’ (and the special opportunity to get covered in other people’s sweat. So special). While I’d never disparage that way of life, in reality, what’s recommended for our health is hard to maintain and more importantly, afford.
Except mindfulness, my friend said in November. She’d had a tough year and her frequent exhaustion and lack of motivation served as a warning light – something had to change. In stepped mindfulness. She said it didn’t instantly find a place within her daily life, but it had brought about some sweet relief.
I was once given a mindfulness book. It was brilliant at making my desk look full, but as I discovered after our conversation, within those pages was something more brilliant than an impressive desk ornament. Mindfulness didn’t seem to employ or rely on a strict science, rather, you just needed to acknowledge what you were doing.
It wasn’t long before I was enjoying spending five minutes a day focusing on breathing. Seriously! Just inhaling and exhaling! And loving it! I soon started to find other things that helped me relax, like stretching.
Of course, both mind and body need to be looked after, but I feel much healthier practising mindfulness than I ever did trying to survive on smoothies and yoga poses.