Medicating or meditating?

Scrolling through Jay Shetty’s Instagram with one hand & Chopra’s ‘The Shadow Effect’ in the other, I tried to give my hungover head the impression that I was super zen and had my shit together. If I’m showing up to meditate, I must have my thoughts under control & they are surely going to be clear as I move forward, correct?

Eh, no. Meditation is not a miracle for your negative thoughts, worries or indeed, anxiety. It is however an opportunity to sit & figure out the space between this busy life & your mind. During Covid times, it’s well, more important than ever.

In 2016, a lady called Hilda Carroll gave me the opportunity to ‘Come om’ with her as she launched an online course. I tried it out & was sporadic with how I applied it & partook in the meditation. I did however dip my toe & introduce my blog readers & instagram fam to this practice.

Fast forward to 2020 & I’ve become a more consistent meditator. As I’ve navigated through the Pandemic, lock down & other challenges this year, it’s been a practice that has helped me so much to make sense of happenings & relax my mind. Not to mention – processing some emotions I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Moreover, Chopra’s 20 day abundance challenge meant that I had to hold myself accountable so I could pass forward the meditation via WhatsApp to another group. Paying it forward got me into the habit that was meditation.

During 2020, we’ve been forced to face our vices. Let’s be realistic, we (all) have them & they give us a short-term dopamine fix throughout our weeks. Whether that’s 20 Benson a day, a bottle of Pinot Grigio or binging on Ben & Jerrys’ – such fixes become crutches to lean on as ‘a treat’ or a ‘sure, it’s lockdown & we deserve it’. There’s no judgement here (I had a few glasses of vino with my dinner last night & it was divine). What I’m saying is that we have options when we’re reaching for these during moments of stress & anxiety.

The idea of meditation is about sitting with our thoughts (what thoughts they may be & whether we want them to exist or not). Meanwhile, the temptation when those thoughts get rather too hot (or tricky) to handle, is to reach for those ‘treats’. We self-medicate with a bit of vino, smoke a few cigarettes for a reprieve or stuff our faces with chocolate so we can get a hit of sugar as we watch a movie.

This week, take a look at what you’re consuming. As always, it has an impact on who you are & how you navigate through your life. The substances, food & hits feel good in the short-term, sure. But what about the medium to long-term?

Take one of those temptations and replace with some deep breathing time, a Chopra meditation or sitting in silence for ten minutes. I promise you’ll learn something new about yourself.

Here are some examples of resources (check out my Instagram for more).


Alison Canavan

Jay Shetty

*Disclaimer – when referring to medication, this does not refer to prescribed medication. Refer to your medical practitioner in this case. Thank you!