If your mind is open, it's ready for anything, it's open to everything. In the beginners mind, there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few.
How are you feeling?
It is important to honour how we are feeling. Often we answer fine ' to the question 'how are you?' people in general need to hear how you really are feeling as, they need to find someone who feels remotely the same as them to open up that important conversation.
How are you?
Black-and-White Thinking ' all-or-nothing thinking
Life as we know it has gone. We can however, start a new outlook of seeing beyond what is going on.
Seeing beyond any thoughts can give you a purpose - this then gives you New thoughts refreshing your mind and providing energy to get up and go.. with choices it allows a break of a black and white outlook - you, are occupied and away from thoughts to remind you of a fearful outlook.
Taking a walk is not just using your feet. Look beyond in front of you. See, the trees, the noise from the air around you. Walk a different direction and come back the opposite way.
Taking care of your mind as well as your feet is really important while staying at home because of Coronavirus (Covid-19).
Visiting NHS Every Mind Matters for advice, practice advice and support groups.
Why Self-Love Is More Important Now Than Ever Before
It seems that everyone is talking about self-love these days. How long can you go without hearing something like, “Love yourself more!”, or “If you loved yourself, you wouldn’t be feeling like this”, or especially, “How can anyone else love you if you don’t love yourself first?”
But why now?
The self-love movement seems to be a distinctly modern movement. There are some who might say we think too much of ourselves, or we are too stuck in our own heads.
But the need for self-love is a reaction to the modern world that we have created around us, and there are a few reasons to explain why we need it now more than ever.
Get in the sleep habit!
Go to bed earlier ' between 9pm and 10pm and wake up late, around 8am. Aim for 8 to 10 hours sleep a night.
Immediately on leaving your bed, make the bed letting your mind know its time for a new day.
Fresh the face with cold water.. read, for 20 minutes.. time for a salty breakfast
Food type for winter is salt!
Cheese, seaweed, egg, butter, tofu, shellfish, ham, caviar, olives, pickles, millet, barley, kelp, crab, pork, bacon, mussels, duck, tinned foods, beef!
Massage, your ring finger for energy from the adrenals and kidney a good detox..
Tea in winter is Black particularly good if you feel the cold. Adding milk is fine if that's how you prefer it.
Mood improver: Rose tea !
'Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one'
Ancient Chinese proverb
What if you have cravings
If you're changeable and erratic, eat a little more spicy food
If you feel nervous, eat a little more sweet food.
If you're overweight, eat a little more sour food.
If you feel sluggish, eat a little more bitter food.
If you feel aggressive, eat a little more salty food.
If you have a craving, have a little of the taste you crave - but in moderation. So, sweet potatoe is better than chocolate, a little chilli on the side rather than a mouth blasting curry!
For a balanced plate, ideally include each of the five key tastes; sour, salty, bitter, spicy/pungent, sweet.
Six Ways to Maintain Your Mental Health
Right now maintaining our mental health can feel like a full-time job. The uncertainty of when the world will return to some kind of normal, mixed with the realities of daily life (like getting work done, maintaining relationships, taking care of our bodies) can really do a number on our mental health.
Sometimes self-care and sanity can feel like a full-time job. Here are six easy ways to stay balances in body, mind, and spirit
The research has proven that practicing gratitude daily can lead to a 10% mood boost. The results are not instant, but practicing gratitude everyday can do wonders in terms of helping you cultivate a positive outlook.
You can start in bed by thinking of three things you are grateful for in the morning as soon as you wake up to kick your day off on a positive note. Or try keeping a gratitude journal and list ten things you are grateful for before heading to bed.
They can be simple things like clean water, a bed, a roof over our head, or more specific things like a great conversation, or an old memory from a fun trip, or a friend that answered the phone when you needed it today.
Send a friend, co-worker, or loved one a compliment, or send them a note about something you are grateful for in terms of your relationship with them. Spreading positivity and actively making someone else's day better can actually make you feel better too!
Things may not seem laughable right now, but laughing stimulates the release of endorphins or feel-good hormones in the body. So try calling someone who always makes you laugh, or bringing to mind an old memory, or actively forcing a laugh even when you do not want to. Laughing meditation is a real thing where groups of people sit in a room together and fake laugh until they start crying because they are laughing so hard.
Do a quick laughing meditation search on YouTube, I don't think you'll be disapointed (to be honest I have never searched this before, but desperate times call for desperate measures!)
Take a break from alcohol.
If you have been feeling particularly down these past few weeks try taking a brief sabbatical from alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant and even a little bit can lead to mild depressive feelings after drinking (though in the moment it may feel great). Alcohol can also impact our quality of sleep and if sleep quality is impacted, immunity and mental health can suffer.
Just pretend I never mentioned it. !
Only you can take care of yourself the way you really need to be taken care of. That is because no one can read your mind, and no one knows exactly what you need (sometimes I don't even know what I need or want to make myself feel better).
So the more you are able to show up for yourself, whether that means getting to bed early, or going for a run when you are feeling down, or eating some dark chocolate when you are in the throes of PMS, the better you will feel.
Life is a journey of self-discovery and self-growth and that means being your own best friend and listening to yourself in a way no one else can.
We can learn to be our own best friend. If we do, we have a friend for life. We can buoy ourselves up, give ourselves comfort and sustenance the times when there is no one else. ~
What are your deeper drives and motivations, what things do you like and dislike, what are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? Often times people look outside of themselves for the formation of their tastes, ideas, goals and pursuits because they haven’t spent enough time developing a strong sense of self. The more you understand yourself truly, the easier it will be to like and respect yourself for who you are, rather than who you think you are according to external people, trends and circumstances in your life.
Become your own best friend...
As a meditation teacher, I will always recommend meditation as a form of mental health care. The scientific evidence is there and through my own personal journey I know my meditation practice is the only thing that has kept me sane in the past.
So breathe, relax. If you're interested in learning how to meditate please reach out. Some great resources are on Youtube.
If you need copies of any of my handouts, you are welcome to download them from here. Print a copy if you wish or download them to your IPad or Tablet if you have one and do your little bit for the environment.
Positive AffirmationsSleep Self HelpStress Self Help