Tag Archives: #wellbeing

Finding Your Buzz when there’s no bees about.

This morning, I wakened at my usual early hour and could cheerfully have curled up and stayed under the duvet for another hour. The dark mornings do not inspire me to get my sorry ass out of bed. I miss summer. I miss the light mornings. I miss the sunshine. I miss the bees!

I wiped the last remnants of sleep from my eyes and wandered downstairs. I rolled out my yoga mat, lit a tealight, found my yoga video of choice and spent 30 minutes trying to stretch some life into my weary body. I always end my morning yoga session with a 10 minute chakra meditation. As part of that, I choose my affirmation for the day.

This morning my mind was debating between a few. Life’s busy. There’s a lot going on in the background and my mind is somewhat pre-occupied these days. I decided that my affirmation for today was “Be Positive”. I wrote it down as I always do.

As I sat relaxing for a few minutes before it was time to really start the day, I was scrolling through Facebook and stumbled across this lovely lady’s TED talk.

I worked alongside Jennifer in the salt mine several years ago and while we’ve never met face to face (yet) our paths would cross occasionally back then on various calls and pieces of work. Like many folk, our paths now cross online.

Today’s encounter was timely. This was just what I needed to hear at 7.15am this morning.

So, all that’s left to say is ” thank you, Jennifer.”

If you want to find your inner buzz, please take the time to listen to the video below.

If you want to know more about Jennifer, please reach out via her website

https://begealcoaching.ie

or via Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/Begealcoaching

No photo description available.

Meandering (an acrostic poem)

Mentally recharging the batteries

Emotionally clearing the clouds

And releasing all the pain

No set destination or direction

Drawn by the lure of the shore

Enchanted by the energy of the river

Rhythmic waves soothing the soul

Isolated from the wider world

Nothing and no one to disturb the daydreams

Grateful to have made it through another day.

One little word……

One little word. That’s all it took the other day to raise my spirits and make me smile.

No, it wasn’t spoken out loud. It was a text message.

With that one word, it showed me several important things.

Firstly, the person who sent it had thought about me, at least briefly, that day. That in itself is a beautiful thing in this selfish world.

Secondly, having thought about me, they took the time out of their day to type and send the message.  It might have only taken them a few seconds, but it was still an investment of their precious time.

Thirdly, they cared enough to want to send the message.

I’ll leave that thought there for you to contemplate……

Oh- and for the curious among you – the word was “morning”.

(photo sourced via Google – credits to the owner)

When did you last check up on your inner child? Are they ok?

Everywhere you look these days someone or something is encouraging you to look after your wellbeing whether that be mental or physical.

No one is challenging or questioning the fact that the last year or so has been hard. We’ve been forced into living under “lockdown” restrictions that none of us had ever experienced or thought they would experience. We’ve been isolated from our families and friends. We’ve seen our favourite pastimes forcibly removed from our lives and it’s no doubt taken its toll on many.

Personally, I feel we’ll be living with the echoes of the Covid 19 Pandemic in our lives for a long time yet as the world gradually tries to regain and sustain some level of “normality.” For many, who have suffered loss or trauma, life may never feel the same as before. 2020 will be etched into history as the year that stopped the world.

In all this melee, there’s one part of our psyche that perhaps been forgotten.

When did you last check up on your inner child? Are they ok?

It only hit me the other day that I’d been neglecting my own… and I feel more than a little guilty about it. She’ll think that I’ve abandoned her for the “grown up world”!

There’s an inner child lurking in all of us.

The thought struck me last Friday morning during my early morning run (at a snail’s pace). My route takes me past a small, neglected playpark and, as I looked over at the two swings hanging still, a thought crossed my mind. When did I last play on the swings?

Yes, I know I’m a fifty-year-old woman before any of you say anything.

As I headed for home, I thought back. I’ve always loved playing on a swing. Trying to swing high enough to reach the sky. I remembered loving going round the corner to play in a childhood friend’s garden because she had a swing. I remembered playing on the swings in various parks that my mum took me to when I was wee. Who else remembers worrying about falling through the hole in the middle of swings made from old tyres? I remembered loving slipping out to play on the swing set behind a house we stayed in for a week while we were on holiday in the USA when I was ten. I loved that swing as it was set in among some pine trees and underneath it was a bed of dried pine needles. It was a shady haven from the scorching sun of the summer heatwave of 1980. I remember another old rickety swing at house we stayed at for long weekends in Kilchattan Bay, Bute. I spent hours on that swing…well there really wasn’t much else to do. Years later, I remember taking my own kids to the park to play on the swings. Many times, I’ve sat on the swings that I ran past with my teenage Baby Girl when she felt troubled or anxious. Sitting there together helped to calm her down when teenage life got tough. I guess subconsciously I was showing her how to stay connected to her inner child.

And the last time I played on the swings? Last year, around this time, during the first lockdown. Boy Child and I went exploring the hills and woodland near where we live and found ourselves at the back of the local caravan park. We stumbled across their playpark by chance, and he rolled his eyes as I made a beeline for the swings.

My inner child is an important part of me, and I now realise I need to reconnect with her. Life has become too serious of late. Maybe its time to build some time into the day/week to play and be silly and to enjoy some innocent childhood pastimes.

I guess what I’m saying is that you’re never too old to reconnect with that inner child. So, jump in puddles, build sandcastles on the beach, skim stones, colour in or draw or simply play on the swings.

Tangled Emotions

Yesterday while I was out walking, I was reflecting on a few things…. ok I was over thinking and was rapidly becoming over-emotional. I run on emotions. We all do. We’re human beings not robots.

Emotions are natural. They’re part of what makes us “us”.

But what are they?

According to Wikipedia :-

Emotions are biological states associated with all of the nerve systems brought on by neurophysiological changes variously associated with thoughts, feelings, behavioural responses, and a degree of pleasure or displeasure. There is currently no scientific consensus on a definition. Emotions are often intertwined with mood, temperament, personality, disposition, creativity, and motivation.

Leaving neurophysiological changes aside, I felt like my own emotions weren’t so much intertwined but were more like a tangled mess!

At that point, the trees to my left caught my attention.

That was it!

That was how my emotions felt!

 All tangled and twisted and knotted and just like the vines growing up and around the tree’s trunk. So, here’s my photographic interpretation of tangled emotions.

Six months on…..

Six months ago today the British Prime Minister put the country into a state of Lockdown due to COVID 19……

I could go on a rant about the affect that has had on life, the adverse impact it’s had on friendships, the detrimental affects on wellbeing etc etc but I won’t.

What’s the point? It doesn’t change where we are.

Throughout those ten initial long weeks of isolation Boy Child and I regularly walked to the nearby beach at Lunderston Bay during our hour of authorised exercise time.

It’s a path we’ve travelled many many times over the past six months.

Late this afternoon we walked there again.

I wonder how many more times we’ll take that walk before the world returns to being a safer place?

Let me introduce you to Wilson

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Once upon a time Boy Child and I found a lonely turnip on the local beach. We named him Wilson.
This was way back at the start of Lockdown (around a week in maybe). When I started working from home, Boy Child and I started taking our authorised daily exercise together in the late afternoon and, more often than not, we would walk to the local beach and back.
And that’s where this story began ….one day we met Wilson.

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We moved him up to the back of the beach, safely nestled him among the rocks and grass out of the reaches of the tide.
Each day we would pause to check if he was still there. In the early days, Boy Child attempted to play football with him but without much success. Wilson wasn’t much of a team player.
A few weeks after I’d met Wilson, I was out for a walk with the Big Green Gummi Bear and made the mistake of introducing them. Big mistake! The Big Green Gummi Bear drop kicked him down the beach and into the river.
I was distraught!
Next day, even though the weather was pretty miserable, I hurried back to the beach after work on my own in search of Wilson.
I scoured the tide line and, eventually, in among a tangle of seaweed, a little wet and wrinkled, I found Wilson. Carefully I carried him back up the beach and returned him to the safety of his rocky hideout.

 

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Over the weeks that  slipped into months, Boy Child and I continued to check on him, daily at first but over the last week  or so our visits have been less frequent. However, every time we visited the beach, we checked up on him.
Lockdown hasn’t been kind to poor Wilson. It’s taken it toll on his wellbeing and he’s now a shrivelled-up shadow of his former self.
He has survived his ten weeks of Lockdown but only just….

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So, why am I talking about a turnip as if he were a person?

Over these past few challenging weeks, I’ve done a lot of thinking about what has been happening and about what the future may hold.
One of my fears for folk as result of the weeks and weeks of Lockdown restrictions is- will we ever be the same again?
The weeks of isolation. The weeks of only being allowed out once a day for exercise or for essential shopping. The weeks and weeks of practically non-existent social contact. The lack of conversation. The lack of company. The lack of physical contact and hugs!
I wonder, sadly, in the months to come, once the world begins to reawaken how many human “Wilson’s” will be found.
I worry about how many individuals around the globe entered Lockdown in their hometowns as healthy human beings only to slowly emerge weeks and months later as withered shrivelled up versions of their former vibrant selves.
I wonder how many people started out with good intentions to keep in touch with elderly or lonely friends and neighbours but as the weeks wore on, checked less and less often on their wellbeing.
I wonder how many of life’s loners perhaps fell ill or for other darker reasons have passed away alone and may lie forgotten in their homes for weeks or months?
It’s a truly tragic thing to contemplate but equally tragically it will most likely happen….

I sincerely hope that we all get our “and they all lived happily ever after moment” but for Wilson, Mother Nature is slowly reaching out and taking him back into her care.

 

7 Days of Motivation…. well, some weeks you need it more than others

1- MondayHappy Tuesday, everyone! Start your day with these tuesday funny quotes3- Wednesday4 Thursday5 Friday6 Saturday7 Sunday

 

and breathe ….. whatever it is that you are going through –

8 end.jpg

 

 

(Images sourced via Google – credits to the owners)

Feeding The Soul

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Last night as I drove home from work, my mind was racing. The cogs were still whirling round as I reflected on the various highs and lows of the day. The creative cogs were beginning to pick up speed as I began to plan ahead for the evening’s writing activities. The “me” cogs were going into over drive as I thought and over thought various other things.

Then I really looked at the road ahead of me. Looked at the sky. Looked  at the world around me.

Without hesitation, I  turned off the road into a small car park a few hundred yards further along the road.

Sometimes you just need to put the plans on hold and do what’s good for your soul.

I did just that.

 

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Thirty minutes later I returned to the car, soul suitably fed.

World Mental Health Day 2018 – it’s ok not to be ok….

 

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Research shows that 1 in 4 of us will experience some form of mental health issue in our lives.
That’s quite a scary statistic.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), health is defined as follows–
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
WHO define mental health as –
“A state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution or his or her community.”
Sometimes the stresses and strains of 21st Century life take its toll on our general mental well-being.
So, how is mental well-being viewed?
I checked the NHS website and found the following explanation-

“Sarah Stewart-Brown, professor of public health at the University of Warwick and a wellbeing expert, says: “Feeling happy is a part of mental wellbeing. But it’s far from the whole.
“Feelings of contentment, enjoyment, confidence and engagement with the world are all a part of mental wellbeing. Self-esteem and self-confidence are, too.
“So is a feeling that you can do the things you want to do. And so are good relationships, which bring joy to you and those around you.
“Of course, good mental wellbeing does not mean that you never experience feelings or situations that you find difficult,” says Professor Stewart-Brown. “But it does mean that you feel you have the resilience to cope when times are tougher than usual.”
It can help to think about “being well” as something you do, rather than something you are. The more you put in, the more you are likely to get out.
“No-one can give wellbeing to you. It’s you who has to take action,” says Professor Stewart-Brown.”

Perhaps, if you’ve experienced a time when it’s been difficult to cope, you’ve described yourself as being “stressed.” I’m sure most of us have said it and experienced it at some level.
So, where does stress fit into the jigsaw of mental health and well-being?
According to http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk stress is described as follows-
“At the most basic level, stress is our body’s response to pressures from a situation or life event. What contributes to stress can vary hugely from person to person and differs according to our social and economic circumstances, the environment we live in and our genetic makeup. Some common features of things that can make us feel stress include experiencing something new or unexpected, something that threatens your feeling of self, or feeling you have little control over a situation.
When we encounter stress, our body is stimulated to produce stress hormones that trigger a ‘flight or fight’ response and activate our immune system 2. This response helps us to respond quickly to dangerous situations.
Sometimes, this stress response can be an appropriate, or even beneficial reaction. The resulting feeling of ‘pressure’ can help us to push through situations that can be nerve-wracking or intense, like running a marathon, or giving a speech to a large crowd. We can quickly return to a resting state without any negative effects on our health if what is stressing us is short-lived 3, and many people are able to deal with a certain level of stress without any lasting effects.
However, there can be times when stress becomes excessive and too much to deal with. If our stress response is activated repeatedly, or it persists over time, the effects can result in wear and tear on the body and can cause us to feel permanently in a state of ‘fight or flight’. Rather than helping us push through, this pressure can make us feel overwhelmed or unable to cope.
Feeling this overwhelming stress for a long period of time is often called chronic, or long-term stress, and it can impact on both physical and mental health.
Stress is a response to a threat in a situation, whereas anxiety is a reaction to the stress.”
Allow me to be open and honest for a few moments here.

I’ve written before about being stressed and the effects it had on me so I am not about to repeat myself. However, I’m human (no, I am, honestly!) and, despite my best endeavours at looking after both my physical health and mental well-being, there have been times lately that have left me in a state of “fight or flight”.
I’ve no intention of revealing the details of the various factors that contributed to these feelings. This isn’t that kind of blog….at least that’s not my intention. Suffice to say, I could see the cracks beginning to open up. I began to recognise the signs and the emotions surrounding them. These were threatening not just to overwhelm me but to swallow me whole.
Like everything that’s put under enormous pressure or strain, I had a bit of a meltdown.

I imploded.

It didn’t last long, a few hours probably, although at the time it felt like forever. Those few hours were at a point in the day when I had to paint on the “Disney smile” and keep going, while inside I was in bits. (To the friends who helped pick up the pieces that afternoon, thank you. To the one friend that I broke down in front of…. sorry, but thank you for being there at the right time and place.)
As I drove home that day feeling miserable and defeated, I reflected on the events of the day and the previous few weeks and months. I dug deep and retrieved my “pot” of resilience and, to echo my friend’s philosophy, thought, “Fuck it, life’s too short. Life’s too short to take all this shit so seriously. It’s not worth letting it have such an effect on me.”Fortunately, the “pot” of resilience wasn’t empty.
I  banished “flight” and reconnected with “fight” (not literally, you’ll be relieved to hear. I’m not a violent person.)
But how to subtly show the world that life was too short to take things so seriously? How to carry a reminder with me not to let things impact me to my physical and mental detriment? The answer was simple…….

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So, if you happened to see me that day or meet me on some future day when I need a reminder, I’ve not lost the plot. In fact, I’ll have actually found it again.