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Day 16: Checking in on life: nourishing and deleting activities

Well done on completing the first part of the bootcamp!
This means you now have the main skills for the second part, where we are going to put them all into action, for love, sex – and firstly your life.

So, today we start with looking at your life: more specifically things you do. Often, people feel unhappy or stressed if they are caught in a rut: with many depleting activities and not enough time for nourishing activities, or even performing nourishing activities in a non-mindful way.

It is, of course, impossible to escape depleting activities fully. therefore it is especially important to identify nourishing activities – and to perform those with the mind fully present.

To complete the activity today, I therefore ask you to make two lists: the first one of typical activities you do regularly on a day where you work (e.g. week). The second one of activities on a typical day where you don’t work (e.g. weekend).
Try and be as comprehensive as possible: from simple things like getting up to big things like going for a dinner. Include all of it on your lists.

Once you have the lists, try and label the activities: Firstly identify all the activities that give you joy, the activities that are nourishing and refreshing for you. Mark them on the lists with a big +
Now label all the activities on the list that are clearly depleting: all the activities that lower your mood, are stressful or drain away your energy.
You’ll probably have some activities which are neither nourishing nor depleting, which is fine.

Now take a look at the balance on your list: how much time, how much energy do you dedicate to positive, nourishing actions vs time dedicated to depleting activities. Try to think of ways to address the balance: are there ways you can reduce the time spend on these? Take a look at them with mindfulness compassion: maybe some of them can change their meaning if you see them in a different light?

Now look at your nourishing activities: Are there ways you can perform these activities more mindfully? Is there scope to increase the nourishing activities?

Finally, look at the unclassified activities: Can you change these to become nourishing?

Often people find that performing some activities in a mindful manner can actually enhance them a lot: For example, when you walk to work, try being mindful on the way. Maybe look for a slightly longer, but more pretty way to work? Subtle shifts can often make a big difference to the activities.

The other main aim of the exercise is to give you an overview of all the nourishing activities you engage in. Check them for themes. What are the things you really enjoy doing?
Maybe you find that some things you are not doing at all, but would like to do: for example learning something new, volunteering or getting to know new people. With the help of the lists, you can identify shifts in activities you want to consider.
Tomorrow we will return to these themes and establish a “forward plan”.

Hopefully this activity will help you get a pretty good inventory of your life. Tomorrow, we will build on this inventory and think about ways to make life more enjoyable through taking appropriate life choices.

Remember to let me know how you are getting on. Please use the comment functions below to share your views, questions and especially your success stories! See you tomorrow!