This week has been hectic. I seem to have projects all over the go. I am doing my best to stay ‘under-whelmed’ and ‘own-that-sh*t’ but, sometimes it can start to land on my shoulders and bog me down to say the least.
I know, you know what I am talking about. We’ve all been there!
Then that silly mind chat can start to creep in. Telling me I should be better organised, should have spent more time with the kids, should have a cleaner house, should be able to work more hours, should be able to handle everything that is being thrown my way - and some!
There was a time where I would let this negative, unhelpful self talk take over. My heart would race, my parasympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) would take hold of my body, I would be angry with myself and my lack of perfection, and on it would go until I was a ball of anxiety, stress, overwhelm and hated the person inside of me!
Now - the ‘Jess’ pre concussion, and the ‘Jess’ post concussion are two very different people. I have now learned to actually accept the things I literally cannot do, and the key - NOT BEAT MYSELF UP ABOUT IT.
So, now when that negative mind chat creeps in I have a tool kit filled with ideas and methods to cancel that negative self talk out, and help me get on with the day and do what I can. I don’t believe you need to have a brain injury to come to these conclusions - it just turns out the universe needed me to learn how to slow the heck down.
You may hopefully be able to get there without the crash I endured!
I have found that my taking this clutter out of my head (at most times) I am so much more happy! Life is all about mindset, its all about how you talk to yourself. What begins as a tiny little comment in your mind, progresses into a thought process, a pattern, a choice and the days events.
This happiness is a result, I am sure of two main things:
1. That I meditate (as you know, it’s not like all ‘hummy’ and ‘candles’, it’s just me, at one, with my breath, connecting my body and my mind for literally 10 minutes)
2. Exercise - yep, plain and simple.
Disclaimer: My kind of meditation is slightly forced as I still need 2 ‘brain breaks’ daily. This involves me lyingI down on the ground with a pillow on my head to block out any light, ear plugs in my ears to cancel all sound, and to literally turn the day off. This may sound like a wonderful scenario, and yes, quite frankly it is…it’s just my problem is that I cannot function any further without doing this. I hit ‘the wall of concussion’ and can’t speak or drive or get myself a glass of water without a complete meltdown.
So therefore, I am forced to 'meditate my way'. I use an app called 'Headspace' as I am not ready to just do it all by myself yet!
Meditation (I know I have harped on about it before) but it seems to have forced me into a much calmer state. Some sit to meditate, stand or do it when walking, ultimately you will end up being present at all times! I no longer have this seed inside me resonating or forcing me to ‘do more, do more, stop being lazy, stop being useless’.
I know many of you who suffer from anxiety, overwhelm, stress will have this little ‘seed of self talk’ inside of you as well, as it is often the reason our heads chat so much to us!
Imagine turning that off for a few minutes. Quite frankly I suck at meditating, my mind takes off into all kinds of scenarios and I think about things…which is what I am not meant be doing! But somehow, that downtime, that escapism (that is not sleep) re-sets me and has me sort of ‘floating’ over life a bit more. It’s wonderful! It is also finding me stuck for words to write (not a usual issue! but the calm state of mind is particularly enjoyable...SOLD??)
Next up, exercise - hehe, yes you bet...I am talking about it again.
One of my favourite quotes is : “the most under-utilised anti depressant is exercise’
Now aint that the truth!?! The stress, anxiety, overwhelm saver is exercise!
My head will often start talking to me telling me that I am dull, that I should be out there doing more, achieving more, seeing more people, spending more time on friendships…just enveloping life more…and then the downward spiral can begin - more negative self talk etc.
Then I will head out for a run, walk, hitt, yoga, strength, a dance session and get a sweat on and I come home, literally as a new person. I somehow file those stupid thoughts away and focus on what I am doing at the time, the podcast or music I am listening to, or if I am lucky enough to have found the same free window as a friend, them chatting to them takes the cake.
It literally blows my mind how amazing exercise can be. I leave the house as boring, sad, grumpy betty and I come home tapping my feet, excited for the day ahead and with a phone full of beautiful sites. There is scientific evidence that exercise helps. I promise you.
People ask, how the heck can you get up and go so early in the morning, or how can you always be bothered to find time to exercise. Well, there is your answer - it literally saves my life each day. I cannot imagine how depressed, down, stressed, horrible of a person on the inside I might be if I didn’t get the blood flowing, endorphins pumping and leave my negative self talk at the door.
It’s important to take ownership of your situation as well. No one is going to drag you around the block with a rope tied around your waist, or pull you up a hill. You actually need to be the one to put your clothes on and move. Just a simple 20 minute walk around the block can be all it takes to shift that negative mood that is setting as winter looms on our doorsteps.
Truth be told, there is nothing more fulfilling that ‘sucking it up’ and heading out for a jog or walk in the rain. You come home and you are soaking wet - BUT - you have endorphins racing around in your system and you are ready to tackle the day, and more able to find that sense of calm.
You will be able to focus better at work, enjoy the smaller people in your life, approach problems more calmly, step out of an issue and find a new perspective, objectify scenarios more thoughtfully, oh you might even benefit from your body toning up and defining itself more (extra win).
I ask you, as my team, to try both of these things this winter - I know you have time, because this is your life, and it’s important, in fact it’s more important than anything else.
Take ownership of your situation, you are the only person who can actually make the changes!
TRY meditating, TRY exercising. Let me know where your head ends up.
With love and support always