Talk of mental health/mental fitness abounds at the moment and rightly so. We are living through unprecedented times, which are beginning to have a very real effect on people’s mental balance.
Everywhere we look we are being told to look after our mental health and to do things that will keep us calm, relaxed and in a good head space.
Just how do we do that though? Life is busy enough and then throw in a global pandemic with national and local lockdowns and all the worry that brings and is it really a case of easier said than done, or are there some very simple tools that we can use to help keep us in a state of ease for most of the time.
Rather than just throw some random ideas at you that I found searching google, I thought I would share with you some of the things that help me find moments of calm within my day.
So, in no particular order, these are all things that I include in my daily life that help ground me and bring moments of calm dotted throughout my day.
- Journal – I write things down (a lot). Thoughts, feelings, goals, gratitudes – all of it. If its on my mind then I find I make better sense of it by writing it down. The simple act of voicing what is going on helps me to declutter my head space. I try not to dwell on negatives, so if I am feeling less than ok about things then I find writing them down helps me to analysis them better and work out just how important they really are. I normally find my ‘gripes’ dissolve to nothing once I have writing them down and thought them through. What I write more of are my gratitudes and the things I want to attract into my life. These I write as if I already have them as like attracts like, and what you put out there is what you get more of. I’m a great believer in the ‘Law of Attraction’ and this is a firm practice in my life.
- Following on from my journal writing, I listen to Audible books in the car. I spend a lot of the time driving between clients and instead of listening to the radio I choose to listen to audio books that uplift me and keep my mindset positive, engaged and set to attract. Its a great use of time and I enjoy my traveling around so much more now.
- Media – I avoid listening and reading mainstream media. I find it depressing and repetitive. If I need to know something about what is going on then I believe it will find its way to me. Since tuning out of mainstream media I have found my anxiety levels around our current situation have reduced considerably. Its something I recommend everyone does!
- Happy place – this one may sound ‘hippy dippy’ but having a happy place to go to is so important. I have several. My vegetable garden is somewhere that I love to be – and excuse the pun here, but it is a place that ‘grounds’ me. Likewise, walking along the coast or anywhere out in nature is something that brings me great joy, and so I try to get out for a walk on most days.
- Yoga – being on my yoga mat and moving my body is a must for me. Sometimes I may only have 10 minutes in which to step onto my mat, but that 10 minutes is always worthwhile. Some of you may feel that yoga is not something that you want to do, or that it is all about complicated, pretzel shaped moves. It isn’t and anyone can benefit from some simple stretches. I have included a link here to a very simple 20 minute yoga routine. You need nothing save a mat (or blanket) and a strap (a tie or belt will work). Follow the link here and use the password ‘yoga’ to try it out.
- Smile and laugh as much as you can. Anxiety and stress is good for no-one and is not a fun place to be. However, smiling and laughing are great antidotes to depression. Be sure to include smiles and laughter in your day. Surround yourself with people who uplift you – even if it is only online. Laughter really is medicine for the soul and although at times it can seem that there is little to laugh about, it really is worth trying to find the lighter moments in life.
Anxiety and depression are serious topics of conversation and it is important that we talk about them and bring them into the open. Everyone suffers to some extent and so it is something that we should be constantly mindful of.
Saying hello to someone in the street, making eye contact and smiling (even more difficult with masks on, so smile with the eyes too), these may seem like simple things, but they could really make all the difference to someone who is feeling down and alone.
Kindness costs nothing, but the consequences of that kindness can ripple out and affect many people. In the same vein, being hurtful and spiteful (especially online) may seem like it is hurting no-one, but actually it can for some be the straw that broke the camels back.
Always endeavour to make your interactions with people be the ones that you want to have. Try some of the tools above to lessen your stress and you will find that it is easier to interact with others from a place of calm and love.
Its what we all need more of.