how anime taught me mindfulness and to relax in my busy life - Mob Psycho Birdie Wing Spy x Family Blue Lock etc.

When 2023 began, I made a promise to myself. This was the year that I’d finally get into anime. Sure, I’ve dabbled here and there with the likes of the ever popular One Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100, but now was the time for me to become the weeb I was meant to be. There was just one glaring hurdle in my way to becoming a certified fan — I’m a serial multitasker, and my partner likes to watch anime with subtitles instead of dubbed.

Now this may come as a surprise, but I’m quite full-on. I work multiple jobs, and any time I can find in my day, I use it to achieve peak relaxation and productivity. I can never simply sit on the couch and watch TV. No, I use that time to catch up on new shows while playing some Hearthstone, revising choreography, or making playlists for my group fitness classes during the week.

I’m not suggesting this is the greatest way to live your life; it’s just how my brain works and I roll with it. So imagine the internal battle I faced every time my poor partner asked if I wanted to watch some anime.

If we just watch something else, I can book some appointments in. I could look over the workout I’m teaching tomorrow.

My inner monologue was always conflicted, so I’d always decline. I needed that time to do stuff weighing down my mental load, and he understood.

But 2023 has arrived, and I’m a woman of my word. I couldn’t let my inner Anime Queen down. I’ve had to accept the fact that when we watch anime, we are watching anime. I cannot knit, I cannot google, I cannot game, I cannot reply to Slack threads. Instead, I must devote my full attention to this one thing, and in doing so, anime has given me a gift in disguise. Anime has taught me the art of mindfulness.

how anime taught me mindfulness and to relax in my busy life - Mob Psycho Birdie Wing Spy x Family Blue Lock etc.

As you may have gathered from the above, I live life at 10x speed (literally, I love cardio). I am always thinking ahead and thrive when my days are filled, so I rarely stop to rest despite that being one of the most important things we can impart on our clients in a fitness setting. I wax on about recovery and being in the moment, yet the thought of yoga or meditation makes me want to burst into tears. I can think of nothing worse.

Then along came 20 minutes of light-hearted, animated goodness in the form of Blue Lock, Spy x Family, My Dress-Up Darling, and Birdie Wing: Golf Girls’ Story. I was enamored by these shows and how wonderful they were, so anime has very quickly become the only thing I want to watch.

I’m lucky enough to work from home, so on my lunch breaks I bound out of my office to sneak in some anime. No checking my notifications, no worrying about my next meeting, no stress about knowing my moves for a class that night. Just me and my own private sanctuary of delightful and absurd anime, delivering mindfulness.

This revelation might seem silly, but it’s pretty life-changing for me. Not every moment in a day needs to be consumed with efficiency and productivity. Sometimes it’s okay to just switch everything else off and focus your full attention on esper kids, illegal golf, and cosplay creations. It’s a lesson on mindfulness I’m grateful to have learned, because it’s opened me up to an endless world of incredible anime series. Most importantly though, it’s reminded me that there is inner joy to be found in the strangest of places — even anime — and stopping to embrace those moments is a worthy way to spend your time.

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