I’ve been working around the clock for the past few weeks so I’ve had no time to play music. Thus, my staff pick for this week is something a little different: meditation. I'm not talking about a band or even a book or a film, but the activity.
I started meditating last year, and the practice has changed my life. Like many people, I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety my entire life, and I’ve tried plenty of different medications and treatments like counseling and CBT. However, nothing has ever done the trick for me like meditation. It’s the one thing that can stop the rush of bad thoughts, that gives me the peace that, for most of my life, has felt like a distant dream.
I usually meditate for 20 minutes once per day, but longer or shorter than that is fine too. If you’re trying to establish a meditation routine, it makes sense to do it at the same time every day, but I’m all over the place. I find there are benefits to doing it at any time of day. If I do it in the morning, I’m calmer and more focused throughout the day. If I meditate in the middle of my workday, it clears my head and makes the latter part of the day more tranquil and pleasant. If I do it when I finish work, it helps me disconnect from that part of my day and enjoy my evening, and if I meditate just before bed, it helps me get to sleep quicker and to sleep more soundly.
It’s also easy. I use an app (I think it’s the most popular app, so I’ll avoid plugging them since they have plenty of money), which worked for me, but a book or a youtube channel or an in-person training session might work better for someone else. You should not have to spend any money to get started meditating or to maintain a practice. You should just do it. It’s easy, and it’s not unpleasant in any way. It feels good, and it keeps you feeling good long after you’re done.
Not only has meditation helped me navigate my way through the stressful and difficult situation we’re all living through, it’s also helped me to enjoy the things I already love. It makes listening to and playing music a deeper and more rewarding experience. It also shapes my relationships with people, allowing me to listen to and empathize with them. I still get overwhelmed and cranky sometimes, but now I recognize when that’s happening and I have strategies in place to deal with it.
I’ll stop here because I know this is a weird fuckin’ staff pick, but I just wanted to throw it out there in case anyone is curious. Whether or not this works for you, I hope everyone out there is staying healthy and sane.