A few weeks ago, my life went into overdrive. At a routine doctor’s appointment to check in on the baby growing in my belly, I was held at the hospital for an induction to deliver my baby right away (To cut to the end of the story: everything turned out great, and we’ve been home for 2 weeks now with a healthy baby girl).
At that appointment I realized that I had no control over the situation. I was taken off guard, glad that I just by chance had my hospital bags packed and in my car. I knew when the doctor said that the next time I’d leave the hospital that I’d be leaving with a baby, that I had to give up control and go with the flow (which is something that I’m not traditionally good at, at all.) There were a lot of unknowns for both me and the medical team, so there I went, doing my best to take each hour as it came.
For those who know me, I’m a bit of a control freak. An enneagram 3 (for reference for those who know the enneagram), I’m all about optics, achieving goals and performing well. So with all of this removed from the situation, how was I going to cope?
Enter the app, Headspace. A friend of mine added me to his Headspace family plan a few weeks earlier. I had used it a bunch of times, and felt that it started to help calm my forever racing mind, but I still hadn’t really incorporated it into my daily routine. In my new situation of being at the hospital, and not really knowing what’s going on, would meditation help? It was worth a try. I was so desperate to not freak out and stay calm for the sake of myself, and my family.
My high blood pressure was a concern that was being monitored while I was in the hospital. Overnight I was able to calm that right down by using the Headspace sleepscapes while sleeping on the most uncomfortable hospital bed. I listened to hours of meditations to keep calm. My heart rate was able to slow as well (and it was SO neat to see the actual numbers as doctors monitored me overnight). The sounds were familiar, and I was able to drown out the beeps of all the machines, and go to somewhere a bit more positive in my mind.
While being home, I’ve continued to use short meditations to keep me calm while I navigate life with a newborn and a 3 year old toddler. And you know what? It’s working. I am learning (slowly but surely) to catch myself in bad patterns and create new ones. The most concrete example since I’ve been home is that I obsessively start to clean the house as a way to feel in control. When I catch myself doing that, I now stop, open my Headspace app and do a minimum of 3 minutes of meditation to figure out what’s really bugging me, and it whips me right out of “fight or flight” mode, and back in to the present.
I now realize how over the past few months I have been living purely in fight or flight mode – which took a toll on my mind and body. Being out of this mode, and getting back into a calmer mode is having me think more clearly and be more calm (despite the lack of sleep I’m getting). It is also having the added benefit of physically releasing some tense muscles too!
I am 1000% sold on this app. If you use it, even if it’s for a few minutes a day, you’ll see really great results. Give it a try!