Alternative Tips for Mental Health, Wellbeing and Balance – Part One

I’m posting the following suggestions in the hope that my personal experiences will help and support others.

I was given mind altering drugs for many years for  a condition which I never had. As a result they unbalanced me and hid the real me for a very long time.

Fortunately with the help of the following tips I am gradually getting myself back. I am even remembering things which were lost to me for a very long time.

Its a very long and hard road but I’m slowly getting there and my husband can see the improvements in my mental state too.

I have separated my tips into several posts because I have so much that I want to share. Have a go at some of the suggestions that call to you and see what a difference they can make with time.

Meditation

I begin every morning with a meditation. I prefer to use headphones because it filters out the majority of outside distractions.

Its been a couple of years since I started mediating  and with time it became much easier to get in the zone. Meditation is a very powerful tool for me now. Meditation helps me in so many ways;

  •  Calms me
  •  Makes me think more positively
  •  Helps me to see a future and gives me insights into what this future may be.
  •  Makes me feel  ready to start my day.

I began with meditations from Hay House and I like the voices of a lot of the individuals that appear on these. Its great that they have so many different types of meditations to choose from and different lengths to suit what time you have available.

I listen to mine via free Podcasts and have registered my email with Hay House. I registered because I like the free video series that they do which also help with my wellbeing;

https://www.hayhouse.com/podcasts

Sometimes I also meditate before I go to sleep. Or when I wake up in the middle of the night and need help to get back to sleep. My favourite night time meditations are made by Tracks To Relax;

https://www.trackstorelax.com/

Yoga

I practice yoga every morning after my meditation. My favourite instructor that I practice with is Adriene via “Yoga with Adriene” on You Tube or her website;

https://yogawithadriene.com/

I can’t thank Adriene enough for making my daily yoga practice a pleasure. I tried a lot of other sites but I was struggling as a beginner to do many of the postures.

Thankfully I find that Adriene always offers slightly different postures in her videos in case you are struggling. Its great to be able to choose a posture that I can work with because she recognises that everyone is different.

I also love the way she expresses herself which often makes me smile or laugh. I would definitely recommend her to any yoga newbies.

It’s amazing how good a stretch can feel, or just moving from the same position that you have been in for a long time.

Breathe

Remembering to breathe is so important. I find it very calming to just stop and concentrate on the act of breathing. My preference to mindful breathing is;

  1.  Breathe in deeply through the nose to a count of four
  2.  Hold my breath to a count of three
  3.  Slowly breathe out through my mouth to a count of five

I bought myself a picture which has pride of place on my living room wall. It is of a stone buddha sitting with a cascading waterfall behind him. Just looking at this picture reminds me to breathe.

Here is a link to what my beautiful picture looks like;

Buddha Nature Waterfall Landscape

Keep Positive with a Positivity Board

I find it helpful to say positive affirmations to myself. I also keep a positivity board which I read when I need to insert more positivity into my thinking.

A lot of the sayings on the board have been cut out of my Spirit and Destiny Magazines which I love;

https://www.spiritanddestiny.co.uk/

As time progresses I find that I can remove some of the older sayings from the board. I throw them away and replace them with new ones. This can be done because I am now automatically doing what it says. Or I find that I am no longer worrying about  things I used to.

The main change that I have noticed so far is that I don’t worry about a lot of things that happened in the past that I used to. I’m seeing them more as something that I needed to learn from so that I can progress.

Writing a Book or Journal

I spent over a year writing a book about my life and I did try to publish it. Although I got three interested publishers I decided that it wasn’t complete and declined them.

Now I’m pleased that I did because I have realised that it was more of a personal journey for me. Writing it helped me to realise that who I am is ok and to begin to leave things in the past which no longer serve me.

It really helped me in many ways and is now useful for my blog because I do input extracts from my book / journal from time to time.

Stay Grounded

My favourite way to stay grounded is to walk barefoot outside. I’m excited as the warmer weather creeps closer because I will soon be able to kick off my shoes and walk barefoot in the garden. I find that this connection to the earth warms my soul.

If I lived nearer to a beach I would also walk barefoot in the sand as much as possible. I particularly like to walk at the waters edge and allow the waves to wash over my feet. The sound of the waves are very calming and make me smile.

Having a Long Soak

Another great way for me to ground myself is to take a relaxing soak in the bath. I create a beautiful ambience by lighting two tea candles which stand on my handmade shell holders. To see these take a look at my “foraging on the beach” post;

http://theforagingherbalist.com/foraging-on-the-beach-inner-child-candle-holder-shells/

For my perfect mix while the bath water is running I add six drops of pure lavender essential oil and a handful of Himalayan salt. I take a good book with me to read to enjoy a longer soak.

It is said that bathing relaxes your tired muscles but that it also cleanses your aura.

Immerse Yourself in Nature

 

Being in nature always lifts my mood. Although I love the beach and the sound of the waves my heart lies in the countryside.

I love walking through woods, meadows and along riversides . Being at one with nature makes me appreciate the world that I live in.

I find the natural world extremely healing. In fact Shinrin-yoku is the name given to the Japanese art of “forest bathing.” This is contemplative walks through the woods that reconnect the individual with nature and can lead to decreased stress, natural mood elevation, and even a stronger immune system.

If your worried about going out alone try taking someone with you that you trust, such as a partner or a close friend.

Getting Plenty of Rest and Sleep

Getting enough sleep is very important to my wellbeing. To help me achieve this I drink a cup of calming chamomile tea half an hour before I go to bed. I make sure that I hold the cup in both of my hands and breathe in the calming chamomile smell deeply while I drink.

Then when I go to bed I read for a while or listen to an evening meditation because this helps me drift off to sleep.

I have also read that even if you can’t fall asleep its still helpful to have time resting with your eyes closed.

Here are a few other tips for a good nights sleep that I use or have tried;

Silent alarm clock

I like to use a silent alarm clock because then its ticking does not keep me awake.

Sleep mask

A soft and comfortable sleep mask helps to keep out the light. I prefer a cotton mask because it allows my skin to breathe. This is particularly useful if you are sensitive to light like I am.

With my small head I am struggling to find one that blocks out all of the light. The masks still allow light in around my nose area because I cannot find a suitable fit.

 Sleeping plugs

Sleeping plugs are an option if you have a sensitivity to noise but personally I find these uncomfortable to wear

Switch off electronics

I try to avoid electronics in the bedroom and even my bedside alarm is battery operated.

The only time I have an electronic device in the bedroom is during meditation using my  iPad or laptop. Afterwards I always ensure that I switch them off. I have read that it helps sleep if all electronics are switched off an hour before you go to bed, because this tells your body that it is time to sleep. 

Notebook and pencil

My mind can be very overactive at night because I’m thinking of new ideas and jobs that I need to do. As a result worrying that I will forget my ideas by the morning keeps me awake.

To avoid this problem I have started to keep a notebook and pencil on my bedside table. Now when I get those ideas while I’m drifting off to sleep I write them down. This allows me to stop worrying so that I can drop off to sleep.

Limit Use of Electronics

I find that when I use electronics for a long period of time without a break it can leave me feeling irritable and in a bad mood. Therefore I limit my use of electronic devices as much as possible.

Mobile phone

I use my mobile phone as little as possible now. Using my battery bedside alarm I don’t even  have to take it to bed with me. Every night I switch my mobile off and leave it downstairs.

Laptop

Minimising the use of my laptop is a challenge because with my disability I find it hard to get out much. Therefore it has become a bit of a lifeline especially now that I’m blogging too.

I’m making a concerted effort to take more breaks from the laptop, even if its only to go outside into the garden. This will be easier now spring is here but in colder months I make myself a cup of herbal tea and take it outside to drink.

Video games

Ever since I can remember I have disliked playing video games and often felt irritated from the experience when I did. Now I realise that this is natural for a highly sensitive person because constant staring at and using screens is overstimulating.

Television

As with computers and mobile screens too much television may also be overstimulating. I have reduced my television time to just a few short hours in the evening.

Keep to a Routine

I find that I keep more balanced if I stick to a routine.

My morning routine that I try to stick to includes;

  • Waking up at 6am
  • Listening to a meditation before I get up
  • Doing a yoga practice
  • Make a healthy almond shake for breakfast

Then at night time I try to go to bed and be asleep by 10pm for a good eight hours sleep.

An article I recently read in Spirit and Destiny magazine talked about research published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. It said that the report revealed that the best time to rise is 6am! I guess I chose the right time then.

It also said that the best way to maximise these early mornings is by doing things such as meditation and yoga. Again I can check this box as I’m already doing it. I feel like I’m being intuitively drawn into doing the right things nowadays.

Web Hosting

 

I’ve come to the end of my first tips so that I can give you a few days to incorporate anything you would like to try into your routine.

If you like this post please subscribe to my others so that you don’t miss the next suggestions.

Don’t hesitate to comment on anything that works for you.

Until next time may you keep well, balanced and happy.

 

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