Mental health or wealth as I have heard it recently referred to, has been a personal focus over the last 20 years or so. After being diagnosed in my mid 20s with bipolar, recognised the importance of maintaining balance in mind & body to help navigate the twists & turns that life presents.
The recent impact of environmental factors & balancing family/work life whilst maintaining mental wealth & identifying potential triggers became forefront. Believe we all develop our own coping strategies & there isn’t necessarily a one stop fits all & thought I’d share personal top 5 tips that have found helped own balance:
- When emotional body & mood is low connect with loved ones: At these times instinct maybe to hibernate & burrow away. I’ve found this is the time to reach out & connect with loved ones. Even if only in a small way it can help to reset & counter. This maybe a text, call, social distancing walk or virtual catch-up, whatever works for you. Remembering you are not alone.
- When physical body & energy is low make time for self-care: Recognising when your batteries are running low, based on overactivity, time out maybe what is needed. Finding & prioritising time to take a break for self-care. Being kind to yourself & remembering the phrase ‘always fit your own oxygen mask before helping others’ applies in life & not only on planes.
- When spiritual body feels disconnected spend time with animals, people or in nature: If feeling disconnected to the world around, particularly in current climate, if you are fortunate to have pets (& with 2 dogs & 3 cats, my own home is filled), their need for love, attention & food is consistent each day & connecting with them always brings a smile & puts everything back into perspective. Alternatively get outdoors, walk, observe the birds, the trees, the people, everything that we are surrounded by & appreciate the beauty in the little things.
- When intellectual body feels cloudy, rest: Being productive feels impossible when intellectual body is not functioning well. Whilst you may have commitments or deadlines that feel essential to meet, if your intellectual body is saying no, rest, sleep, meditate, take a break. Listening to your own body & what it needs in that moment will help more in the long run & prevent you from burning out.
- Understand what self-care looks like to you: Each of us have different ways to nourish our mind & bodies. Finding what works for you & having them in your toolkit to draw the one that your physical, emotional, spiritual or intellectual body needs in each moment. For me this includes knitting, reading, taking a walk with the dogs in the woods, swimming, having a nap, meditating, practicing restorative asanas or taking a long hot bath. No matter how big or small your self-care toolkit is, hold on to what works & keep building that toolkit so no matter what this human experience presents, you’ll feel able to face it one way or another.
Would love to hear what your top tips are for mental wealth & feel free to reach out, connect & share what works for you. With love & light, Sam x