Self-care and taking a moment to think

northern ireland

My great uncle’s farm in Northern Ireland

Hello lovely people, apologies for the lack of recent posts (again) blogging always seems to take a back-seat when other areas of my life get stressful.

Which leads me nicely onto this post…

When you’re going through a rough time in life, you’re often told to ‘keep busy’ and ‘hang in there’ but I believe that isn’t the best way to deal with your feelings.

Trust me I understand why people tell you that. If you fill up your diary with activities you’ll have less time to dwell on your thoughts, right? Now I think about it, this sentiment is very British, the whole ‘keep calm and carry on’ thing. After all, it wasn’t too long ago that people were urged to keep things bottled up and NEVER talk about their problems. God forbid they opened up about mental health!

You may hope that your problems eventually go away and never return. But unfortunately feelings and problems can’t be ignored or pushed away. They aren’t bits of playdough that can be easily pressed through holes to make a new shape. Sooner or later they will re-emmerge and you will be forced to face them.

That’s when keeping busy is one of the worst things you can do for your own mental health.

In order to heal and grow you need to look after your self. 

You need to take the time to practise self care and listen to your own needs.

After dealing with a tragedgy in my personal life, I recently took on extra commitments to keep myself busy. However, the pressure of comitting to them every week began to make me feel even more anxious and stressed than I already was.

I felt really guilty about cancelling. I agonised about telling people at first because I was worried I’d be letting them down, but I took the plunge and it was fine. Nobody said anything negetive and they understood why I had to give it a rest.

The change in my mental health, even after one week, is massive and I know it was definitely the right decision for me.

7 Days of Calm 

One of the things I’ve been trying to make time for is meditation.

I downloaded an app called Calm (free for iphones and android) and started a program called ‘The 7 Days of Calm’.

Each session is only 10 minutes long, so it’s not too much of a burden to fit into your day. The narrator has a voice like silk and guides you through each practise, which is great for a beginner.

You can choose between sounds including rain, ocean waves etc, which makes it even more relaxing. Even though my mind wanders, I’ve learnt that meditating is like exercising and you have to practise to become better at it.

I finished the program and I’m moving onto the 21 Days of Calm next, which will teach me how to deepen my meditation practise.

If you’re looking for a meditation app, I would highly recommend calm because it’s free and easy to follow. Along with following the practise, I am trying to implement some of the strategies in my daily life. For example, I will try and be more present on my commute to work and take in all of the sights, sounds and smells of the walk, instead of worrying about the past and the future.

So this post ended up being a bit rambly, but I wanted to give you a quick update. I have some exciting stuff coming up to share with you that is actually fitness related, but it depends when I get a chance to write it up.

Thanks for reading.

Hannah