Whilst watching The Office recently Creed said something about the final changes of the episode: “No matter how you get there, or where you end up, human beings have this miraculous gift to make that place home”. And this line really stayed with me.
My yoga teacher always said “you are only ever one breath away from calm”. But to be honest… I didn’t really understand this. I had spent my entire life breathing but yet I was still an anxious mess. Was I missing the memo here? Or worse, was I breathing incorrectly? Could you even breathe incorrectly? But this year I thought I was going to put this saying to the test. That’s right, I was going to become one of these people who meditated.
The people who meditate- you know the type. These are the same people who seem to all get up at 5am daily to drink lemon water and go for a run. Now, I have never seen myself as one of these super-humans, and my 7 daily alarms in the morning would attest to this. However, how hard could meditating be?
And so I set myself I challenge. I was going to meditate every single day for 100 days. No excuses, no breaks. I was not going to break my streak.
It has been nearly a year since miss Rona started her commotion in our collection ocean and what a time. It has been simultaneously one of the most eventful and uneventful years of our life. Everything has changed and shifted, and the world is pretty unrecognisable to a couple of years ago. And yet, now we have settled into our new ‘normal’, each day melds into the last. It feels like a period that time forgot.
I have something to confess….
I cannot stop watching Wife Swap! Although it may be pure shit, I just can’t stop myself. There is something so fascinating about peering into other peoples lives to see how differently they live. I suppose in reality that’s what made me love travel so much. Every time I got my visa stamped at a new border, it felt like I was reading a new chapter in an anthropological book.
People watching was my favourite. Watching what people ate, how they got around, how they socialized, even how they walked. It was fascinating.
BUT in these quarantined times the closest I get to travelling is a quick trip up the garden, so Wife Swap will have to do!
Everything in life is a decision. We decide what time we wake up, what to eat, what to wear. And this is all before we start our day. These kinds of decisions are the small stuff. Deciding between porridge and toast is no big deal. No sweat.
But the bigger decisions- that’s when it all gets a bit tricky. There is no back-up button in life, no re-dos. We have to live with the decisions we make. And this is what makes decision making so anxiety inducing. All these decisions can begin to feel like a bit of a shitter.
Sometimes what our body and mind tells us can go against what we ‘want’. We want to run but our bodies will not carry us, we want to just carry on and pretend like everything is fine. I spent years of my life ignoring the what my body was telling me like it was an inconvenience. But as I have got older and I’ve looked back I realise it wasn’t my mind being annoying. It was my intuition trying to tell me something important.
I spent all this time thinking there was something wrong with the way I felt. But as I look back on these situations, I realise my body knew what was up, it was trying to protect me. So nowadays I don’t take my body aches, or emotions, as an inconvenience. I listen to them like a warning system, they are there to help me. Or bodies are always telling us something, sometimes we just need to open our ears and listen.
There is no denying that quarantine has been tough on everyone. The importance of good mental health is constantly emphasises, but what does this mean? …
Well, I can only tell you about what has worked for me in my pursuit of better mental health, but I genuinely hope at least one of these suggestions works in some small way for someone out there. The suggestions I have listed below make up what I like to call my ‘Mental Health Toolkit’. I like to think of it like Bob the Builder’s tool belt personally. My Mental Health Toolkit is a number of various techniques I can call upon to keep my brain in tip top shape when things get a bit tricky!