Press play for a simple practice to calmRead More
Juggling umpteen roles alongside being mumma, career woman and provider can prove to be overwhelming at times.
Currently, I’m in the Welsh Hills for what I’m now calling ‘my mental health break’. I plan to install them regularly throughout the year!
I do tend to take breaks whether it’s shutting down the wifi at home for a couple of days and getting outside or taking myself away from it all. Like now.
These few days come after a particularly intense time where I’ve felt overwhelmed and lost in a whirl of thoughts.
I needed to get away from my environment so I could take a different viewpoint and perspective on life back home.
I’ve got big plans and back home I was getting bogged down in the mundane and needed to break habitual patterns.
I’m finding these breaks are vital for my growth as a mumma, entrepreneur and teacher.
We can’t all take these breaks at a drop of a hat and I’m a firm believer that little and often (as in every day) is better than getting to breaking point…
Simple, small daily actions are way better than one grandiose thing.
I admit, I’d got lost in work and life and forgot most of the simple, small things so be warned. It happens though right.
For me the signs that I’m doing too much are things like my right neck and shoulder feel tight, I find it hard to switch off, I feel tense and am more shouty, I haven’t got time to make myself lunch let alone clean the house. What are yours? Get to notice what they are, these are your signposts.
The more we are giving out in our lives to family, jobs, social lives then the more we have to give back to ourselves and go in.
Knowing the signs, doesn’t always make it easy to change my ways though. It takes awareness and then action and sometimes we are too busy being a whirling dervish to be able to stop. That’s why its good to know the signs so you can change a few things before you get to burnout point.
Energy is our currency - we need to look after ourselves daily.
The thing is I love what I do - do you? I know I wouldn’t want to do anything else. This also comes with challenges as I can often find myself working too much.
So in order to make sure I’m not running on chocolate bars and adrenaline, i’ve had to put a few things in place to look after myself.
if you’re already feeling overwhelmed, these are my top 3 tips to integrate asap.
- Create a clear relationship with your phone and computer - factor in breaks and days off.
- Take 20 mins every day to do something healing - meditate, walk outside, exercise, good chinwag with a friend, anything that feels like it's doing you some good.
- Cancel all non-essential things in the calendar - be brutal - Even that cuppa with someone who you feel you ‘ought’ to meet but don’t really want to. Be realistic - what can wait?
Simple right. Let me know how you get on.
The Full Moon is in Aries, be careful not to fall into the narcissistic trap of it all being about you, there's real potential for that to happen. Now another one of the traits of Aries is speed, everything happens quickly, notice how technology feeds into that - we get so much instant gratification these days.Read More
“I don’t have enough time’
Yet if we really question it, is that true?
I know this used to be one of my most common excuses.
What I really meant was I’m doing too much and can’t see the woods for the trees. Let alone take anything else on.
In this simple 7 step approach, you'll find practising yoga at home more accessible.
It’s incredible how just 7 minutes a day can change how you’re feeling.
I’d invite you to try it for one week and note how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally.
Notice any differences in how you go about your daily life.
When I first started my home practice I set myself unrealistic goals.
Like - I must practice 1.5 hours each day on my mat.
Whenever I failed to meet that ‘goal’, my inner critic had a field day.
A daily movement practice helps build an intimacy with ourselves. It connects mind, breath, spirit and body when done with awareness.
By setting an achievable ‘goal’ you’re setting yourself up for success.
Whether you are a beginner to yoga or an experienced practitioner, doing yoga at home can present challenges.
To support yourself - choose a time of day to do it for a week and set the timer for 7 minutes.
That's it, just get into the habit of coming to your mat and marking out a part of your day for yoga.
This is the prime time for the mind to come in with “but I've got kids” or 'I don't have enough time'.
You wouldn't think twice about brushing your teeth.
Consider this your internal daily cleanse to release accumulated stress and tension.
3 Make space
The hardest part can be to just get on the mat.
Lay it out the night before.
Morning time is ideal to practice, before excuses get in the way.
If you’re more of a night person, lay it out before you leave home that day.
Dedicate a space in your home that you can use for your practice.
Don't worry if it has other uses, doesn’t matter where, just make sure there is enough space a yoga mat.
All you need to do is 7 minutes. That's it. Every day.
4. What to do
Here's a simple sequence you can do. If you prefer to follow something, try MFML, YouTube or suchlike.
Start by sitting - as comfortably as you can - lean up against a wall if you need. Take this time to arrive into your space.
Take three breaths - sigh out the last one through the mouth, to release.
Move onto all fours to do cat and cow. (see youtube if you’re not sure what this is)
This will warm up the spine..
Come to stand.
Inhale arms up.
Hold right wrist with left hand and stretch up then lean to the left as you exhale.
Press right foot down to lengthen the stretch.
Inhale to centre.
Repeat other side.
Fold over your legs
Hold onto opposite elbows
Take 3 deep breaths here.
If you feel you can lengthen the legs here, do it on an exhale.
Place them on the mat.
Take your left foot back to come into a lunge position.
Extend top of the head forwards and back heel backwards.
Take 5 breaths here and repeat on other side.
Lie on the back and rest for 1 minute.
5. If at first you don't succeed
The biggest challenge is discipline.
Don't be disheartened if you skip a day (or week).
Just get back on the mat.
Find what inspires you, Poetry, dance, music, a yoga book.
Whatever it is, your practice is personal to you.
Enjoy it and savour the time out for yourself each and every day.
You are bound to come up against resistance but KEEP GOING.
This is where you make breakthroughs in your practice and in your life.
When you don't feel like it (and this will happen).
Still go to your mat but perhaps just lie there breathing on your back for 7 minutes or start with one of your favourite poses and see where it takes you.
I find that if I don't THINK about it and just get on the mat it all flows effortlessly.
7. When you have more time.
Make a cup of tea, light your candles, write in your journal, pick an inspiration card.
Whatever it takes to get your interest going and for you to enjoy it.
This is your time, enjoy it, savour it, it’s precious.
The mind and your life will come up with lots of distractions and excuses.
Make a commitment to change the unhelpful daily habits (like waking up and checking your phone) to more beneficial ones.
You'll notice a difference in how you deal with your life once you start this daily 7 minute practice.