I am such a morning person. I love the stillness and tranquillity of early morning’s when all you can hear is quiet. A time to be still and breathe. To listen and think.
Breathing at it’s best is at a steady, calm pace. Inhale through your nose and exhale steadily through your mouth. There is a rhythm to be found that slows the heart rate and slows down our thoughts.
Stress, pressure, and challenging situations bring about the opposite effect. They stir up anxiety, chaotic and rapid thoughts and ideas. You may find yourself unable to sleep throughout the night. Being stressed, has you in constant tension. With heightened emotions, that can make you feel overwhelmed and out of control. Now, I know some people love to be challenged. But this is unwelcomed challenge. Things that are out of your control, with a negative impact on you.
Like so many of us this year, I have had my own challenging times. So much so, I felt I needed to create my own way of getting through this year. The mental and emotional challenges have been real. Bereavement, Covid19, lockdown’s, separation from friends and family, never ending media updates and constant negative news, initially made life difficult.
I found myself having to review everything and like many, way up what was really important to me and being intentional about those things.
So what did I do, in order to breathe and bring peace to my mind?
- I decided to reduced how much news and social media info I listened to. Especially at the beginning of the year, in March. As I found myself in emotional overwhelm at times, because there was so much to process. The news was so inconsistent and fear and uncertainty was just being magnified. “Remember how people were bulk buying toilet rolls and supermarket shelves became empty? Flour became so scarce, along with other items such as pasta, that they had to be rationed, as it seemed in the UK, the world and his wife decided to take up baking.😊
- For a while during the first lockdown, I had to learn how to do friends and family through face-time on WhatsApp, House Party and Zoom sessions. I remember the thing I missed most was to hug my sister, nephews, niece, etc.
- I decluttered in order to make space and worked on my neglected garden following the loss of my mum in April. My garden became my therapist in a way I didn’t expect. It gave me a totally different focus and gave reason to become more creative. To plan, to nurture, to grow.
- My morning’s have always been devotional time for me. A time that has always been special and enabling me to think, pray and meditate.
- Writing – has always been my thing. It allows me to breathe in two ways. My creative side is expressed through my blog and using Canva which allows me to do so many things. The other is to journal my inner thoughts and emotions when I need to.
- I also started to play a lot more instrumental worship music.
All these things have enabled me throughout this year to change the pace of my day, and I find myself mentally in a much better place today. The loss of my mum and younger cousin, are always just a thought away. I have been laughing one moment and a song or a word has thrown me into instant tears. So I give space for bereavement to also have it’s time.
I pay attention to the pace of my life. Making room to breathe. To slow down. To rest and to listen. To cut out the noise and the hubbub, and to allow myself to slowly inhale and exhale.
I realise that we dont all do life the same and what works for me may not necessarily work for you. But I think there are always touch points of learning and things you can draw or take from.
Things To Consider?
- What’s out of whack for you? Poor sleep, feeling irritable, feeling low, not wanting to be around people? How can this be improved? Small steps are better than no steps😊
- When was the last time you laughed, truly laughed? What enables you to laugh? A funny film, dancing, a favourite commedian?
- Are you eating well? Or are you comfort eating with lots of sugar or high caffeine? Just as a good diet is important for children to learn well in school by supporting their minds. So it is for us as adults. I started to drink more herbal teas, (great way to add antioxidants) I also reduced my meat intake and found some good quality multivitamins supplements. What would improve things for you?
- Tony Robbins recommends to change your state of mind through movement. So how could you change your posture? Maybe, by going for walks. Adding some kind of exercise into your week?
- Gratitude – what are 5 things you are grateful for? Maybe this can be a quiet time during your day to think?
- Journaling is always a great way to refocus your mind.
- How do you support your creative side? Drawing, writing, cooking, singing, sewing, designing? Doodling?
- Time with family or friends- it’s not been the best year but are you staying connected, even through phone calls. It is so easy to loose touch.
I hope you find some way to take time out for you? Mental health is so important today.
Until my next post. Be the change you want to see.