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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Life: Keeping my Head in a Good Place

It's so easy to feel overwhelmed when life throws something unexpected at you. I am guilty of this and have been finding it increasingly hard to stay on an even keel when I am stressed. I've realised just how much I was relying on running to keep my stress at bay. My injury is slowly healing but running is still vetoed by my physiotherapist, so I've had to turn to other methods to keep my head in a good place.

1. Meditation
I've mentioned before that I try to practise Mindfulness meditation whenever I can, but I was finding that my stress and anxiety prevented my mind from finding any calm. I've now signed up to the Headspace app which starts with daily 10 minute meditation practises. I am enjoying these so much that I've already signed up to a year-long subscription. I am finding the analogies and explanations for how the mind works incredibly helpful and am eager to learn more.

2. Gentle exercise
My physio has slowly got me doing more  and more strengthening exercises but she also encouraged me to try ballet. I  practised ballet as a hobby until my early 20s so it's been lovely to do some standing barre work again. I'm a huge proponent of using ballet to transform a body, and I can already feel that my legs and core are getting stronger. I've dug out my old New York City Ballet workout DVDs for this but Ballet Beautiful on Youtube is also good.

3. Eating well
When I'm stressed I find that my appetite diminishes  but I've made a very conscious effort to eat well, and to eat at least three times a day. I often find that I don't make time to drink any liquids so I've been keeping a glass of water next to me at all times and making myself plenty of herbal tea, especially camomile and rooibos, to keep myself hydrated.

4. Reading before Bed
I've realised that on the nights that I am internetting till lights out, I toss and turn and find it impossible to still my mind and drop off to sleep. I've now taken to reading for 30 minutes before bed. I switch off my laptop and smartphone and try not to check up on my twitter feed no matter how tempting it is.

5. Take time out from the Humdrum
Now that the school year has started, I'm trying my damnedest to spend a bit of time in the outdoors every day. I think it's important to remember that there is more to life than just our routine  so we've been planning a few trips, thinking of a puppy purchase and generally trying to share a laugh every day. It really helps!


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