What keeps us healthy physically keeps us healthy mentally. The 'Big 3' underpin our emotional wellbeing and mental health:-
Creating balance is key to helping us feel resilient and strong. Make self-care your health care and prioritise time to for you everyday doing something you love.
Time to rest, relax and recharge even for 2-5 minutes makes a huge difference.
Practicing self-care helps us set our own boundaries so we can better support ourselves knowing what is helpful and what isn't. With so many things out of our control learn to focus attention on what you can rather than what you cant.
Being social is part of being human. Connecting with friends and family boosts feelings of belonging, security, comfort and joy. Time to connect together to talk, laugh and share however far apart we are.
Learning new skills and trying something different helps us to stretch out of our comfort zone helping us to grow whilst giving us a sense of purpose and achievement.
Whether it is taking up a new hobby, joining a community group to sing, dance, volunteer, or start a course learning helps us feel the enjoyment of engaging, stretching ourselves and confidence.
Being mindful in our day means paying attention to our thoughts and actions so we fully experience each moment, boosting our sense of appreciation and gratitude. Engaging our senses to observe and connect with what is happening around us and within us helps us to step out of 'autopilot' and be present helping us to actively choose a positive response.
Whether we bring a more mindful presence to our everyday activities by taking time to pause & notice or enjoy longer meditation (just 10 minutes makes a difference) you are training your brain to boost your capacity for positivity and peace.
It really is the little things we do everyday that have the power to make a big difference to how we feel. Small choices with moment by moment awareness allow us to savour what we are experiencing now, helping us to see that it is in the ordinary moments we find happiness rather than waiting for the spectacular.
Changing our habits takes effort, patience and can be an uphill struggle but by breaking our goal down into small steps or simply by making one small change increases our chance of success. We lead such busy lives so why not commit to a few minutes rather than trying to find an hour? A few minutes repeated through the day quickly adds up. Make use of established habits to add on a new one - e.g. take 5 deep breaths before brushing your teeth, look out of the window whilst the kettle boils to notice what you can see and hear. At the end of the day write down what you have achieved to notice and celebrate boosting your sense of positivity.
Kindness starts with ourselves choosing words and actions that nourish and nurture. Treat ourselves as if we are our own best friend. Being kind to others reaching out to support our community and being kind to the world around us. Giving, helping, sharing and being a part of something bigger than ourselves has a positive impact on how we feel.
We all have days or times when we don't feel okay whether that's low mood, stressed, anxious, or upset. So often we judge ourselves suppressing or ignoring how we feel - 'I shouldn't feel like this', 'I don't have time to open that can of worms...'. All our emotions are important, they are our signal that something isn't right.
Learning to approach our emotions without judgement helps us to understand what may be behind them enabling us to choose a positive response rather than defaulting to habits which may not be helpful.
The more we listen to ourselves, the more we learn and build a greater sense of autonomy & empowerment.
If you are concerned about how you feel always speak to your GP for advice.
I have listed some useful mental health organisations and charities that support adults, children and young people helping you be able to find out more. Please feel free to download and keep or share with others.
If you are worried about how you or your child are feeling always contact your GP for further advice.
Many people including myself may have been surprised by how deeply we have felt the Queen's death personally.
I have recorded this mindful practice which I hope may help others be with difficult emotions felt at this time.
These pictures are taken from my walk in Windsor Great park this weekend. Beautiful reminders of nature's soothing presence amongst the great oak trees under a vast autumn sky.
Thank you for everything Your Majesty xx