It’s World Mental Health Day today, as recognised by the World Health Organisation, which really underlies the importance of our mental health doesn’t it? It’s a timely reminder that mental health is as important to us as physical health – you simply can’t have one without the other.
And it got me thinking, as the older I get and the more I move through the CNBC issue into a semblance of acceptance, the more my mind turns to looking after numero uno. Now that might sound a bit self-obsessed, but then there would’ve been a time I would’ve agreed with you…but not now.
For me it’s about taking some time out. It’s pressing the pause button and putting the world, the brain and all commitments on hold until I’m ready to press play again. It’s about being responsibly selfish and putting me first on a regular basis, to just give myself a mental break.
I tend to find my blissed out state in doing things for the sake of doing it. Running, reading, gardening, drawing, painting and cooking all seem to stop the chatter in my brain and I can lose hours in just doing these things. Now my list might have you shaking your head, especially the running…am I right?
It’s not everyone that can strap on some running shoes, run a few miles (I particularly love running in the rain) and come in feeling energised and ready for what the world has to offer. It’s hard to explain to people that don’t run or detest exercise, but nothing else gets anywhere close to how I feel while I’m running, not even other sports like cycling.
It’s just me, running and listening to my breathing. It’s me racing myself and feeling all of the muscles move in unison to get me round the miles. It’s me watching my fitness levels increase and feeling that I’m doing my mental and physical health a huge favour just by doing something I love.
When I can’t run I feel as though I’ve lost an integral part of myself – I feel unfit, I feel as though my body is a rental and not really the body I have, but most of all I miss the pure unadulterated bliss of endorphins sweeping round my body and making me feel amazing (this even worked when I’ve been at my lowest points).
And that for me summarises they type of thing everyone needs to have in their life. So, what is it that gets you into that state of mind where nothing else matters or rather everything that does matter can just bugger off and give you some space for crying out loud!
So, if you don’t have anything, then it’s time to start thinking about what you’d be prepared to try to get that feeling of mental space? As I say my blissed out space with running may very well not be yours, but if you’re drawing a blank as you sit and think then try this – what did you love to do when you were younger and had time? Can you reintroduce it back into your life to get some me time?
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