Mental Health Awareness Week: Take a Break

In todays #MentalHealthawareness piece I wanted to visit the theme of taking a break!

Even today, I am finding it hard to give myself a break before I have even started!  So I’d love it if you would join me, and look at a way to get to the bottom of this.   #letsdothis

I do know that for some of us even stopping for a cup of tea is a break, or if you’re really pushed, having a break while eating lunch / dinner and not reading / typing / making between bites is a bonus!

A lot of us (well me) have lived the life of ‘work hard, play hard’ meaning that if I cram and get all my work done by pulling late nights, up early and straight into it, achieving loads and then as a reward I give myself a few days of play hard: meeting up with friends,  late night, and party. I know, like I know, that this lifestyle is not sustainable and actually allowing yourself balance is the ONLY way to go to lead a life with less stress, and inner peace.

I have learnt that ‘Busy’ is not cool.. when a dear friend asks how you are and you reply ‘oh you know.. Busy’ it can actually be a real turn off to friendships and one day when you stop ‘over-busying’ yourself you will look to see that people have taken their friendships elsewhere to leave you to it.  It’s really hurtful to think of this as true, but you can’t really blame them when you are always too busy for a chat or to check in on someone and find out how they truly are (why not stop now and send someone a text or email or even better a phone call for the pure reason of seeing how they are doing – believe me it’s an awesome wellbeing tip and gives YOU a warm glow inside just to put someone else before you and stop battling with your own inner-stress)

So, how can we un-busy ourselves with deadlines looming,  battling with the constant fear of the ‘next big thing’ will come along and somehow steal your thunder, or someone will steal your idea if you dont do it and get it out there right now or whatever the inner battles might be that you are fighting..
(I do another piece on this ‘grass is greener’ outlook in another piece this week so do look out for that if this resonates with you)

Well, all I can say is ‘STOP’: my own mentor doesn’t even need to coach me much anymore on this one as we have worked on this so much together. When it feels too much, when you’re chasing your tail, when you get overwhelmed, when none of the pieces of lifes puzzle or tapestry are fitting the ONLY thing to do is STOP! Believe me, it is true. If you fight it, you will keep battling until you do.. Take yourself away from your current situation and do something totally different!  As the poster above states ‘taking a break is good for us. A change of scene or a change of pace can be good for your mental health’ 

I’d love to hear what you can do to take yourself out and take a break. From a run, walk, cuppa tea, watch a funny programme, call a friend, meet a friend to a meditation (if you’d like to try meditation, do keep an eye on these posts as there’s another one dedicated to meditation)

My top 5 ways to take myself away and do something that will really clear my energy are:

  1. Swimming:  I love it! I try and get to the swimming pool every morning before I even start my day.
    NO MATTER WHAT! It’s that important to me.
  2. Cooking something nutritous and lovely: I love looking at diet, nutrition and food can help our moods. So taking myself to the kitchen, juicing, cooking a meal or baking some flapjacks is so theraputic and YUMMY!
  3. Going for a walk:  “Shinrin-yoku is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.”     I moved out of London earlier this year and now live right at the edge of the New Forest.
    I step outside my front door, down a path and I am surrounded by trees, forest, deer, cows and all that nature has to offer. Try some ‘Forest Bathing’ for yourself !!
  4. SEWING! and crafting is absolutely my go to break! I know that this is also part of my job, but that is also the reason it is part of my job. I honestly believe in the power of craft #sewingmakesyousmile
  5. Going to the beach and watching the waves! Again a form of meditation, but I do find that going to sea really helps put reality into persepctive: look out to the horizon and think of how big the world, the moon, the universe is and you’ll soon see things in a new light..

I’d love to hear your ‘top 5’ ways to take a break and perhaps you could offer some insight on what works for you.