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

Here is my second list of tips to help with mental health, wellbeing and balance. I find them helpful and hope that you find some of them useful too.

If you missed my last post on this subject click here to see it;

http://theforagingherbalist.com/alternative-tips-for-mental-health-wellbeing-and-balance-part-one/

Singing and Music

 

A quick and easy way to lighten my mood is to sing along to a favourite song. I’m best doing this when I’m on my own because I’m tone death!

Music itself can change how I feel. If I’m feeling low I find a mix of “happy” songs on the internet and listen to them to make me smile. If its a good mix I end up swaying to the music and singing along. My favourite go to song for cheering me up is Pharrel William’s “Happy” song;

https://www.bing.com/search?q=happy+song&form=EDGNB2&mkt=en-gb&httpsmsn=1&plvar=0&refig=dfb3640b62104d95a511113726adcc3b&sp=-1&pq=happy+song&sc=8-10&qs=n&sk=&cvid=dfb3640b62104d95a511113726adcc3b

Nowadays I often listen to meditation music too because this works for me when I crave a calming atmosphere. My favourite types of meditation music include sounds of nature. Examples of my preferred nature sounds are trickling rivers, waterfalls, ocean waves, singing birds, trees rustling in the wind and wildlife.

Beautiful sounds can be very calming and relaxing. I  also have a Tibetan singing bowl and a crystal weather chime. I love the sounds that both of these make. If your unsure what a Tibetan singing bowl is take a look at this link;

Tibetan singing bowls

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Dancing

I used to combine my love of dancing with exercise by doing Zumba at home. Zumba involves dance and aerobic movements performed to energetic music. The choreography incorporates hip-hop, samba, salsa, merengue and mambo. Salsa is my favourite and moving this way while wiggling my hips  makes me smile.

Unfortunately when my condition meant that I started to lose a lot of weight the Zumba became a bit too energetic for me. Therefore I now concentrate on yoga and I can feel myself getting stronger as time goes on.

There are many health benefits to dancing which include;

  • Better balance
  • Improved mood
  • Heart health
  • Weight control if trying to lose weight

The balance benefit was of particular interest to me because after my epileptic fits began when I was 36 my balance went out of sync. I even struggled to ride a bicycle and would wobble loads when I tried.

After my first three months of doing Zumba, which is a few years ago now, my balance improved dramatically and I dropped a dress size. Here are some Zumba options if you are interested in having a go at home;

Zumba

I still find some of the yoga balances a challenge but my balance has definitely improved and continues to do so.

Laughing

I read in Spirit and Destiny magazine that laughing helps to raise your mood even if its fake laughing.

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

Just making fake laughing sounds like “ha ha ha” and “he he he” makes you feel silly and then you genuinely start to laugh at yourself. If I do it when I’m with someone else they often end up smiling and then laughing too.

Try releasing those feel good endorphins now.

Crying

Its unfortunate in the world we live in that crying is often seen as weakness by many. Personally I think that it actually shows a sensitive soul and I’m impressed if a man feels able to cry in front of others.

I have read that crying reduces negative feelings and relieves tension. I know that I certainly feel better after a good cry.

Being Creative

I find being creative a great comfort to me.

As the months and years pass since I came off anti-depressants that should not have been given to me, I find myself becoming more me again. I am so pleased that this means that my creative side has returned.

I have read that drawing is a kind of meditation. As you can tell from my posts I love to draw. I also do a little bit of pyrography (burning my designs onto wood), jewellery making and of course writing.

It definitely calms me when I am being creative.

Connect with Your Inner Child

I absolutely love this one and I’ve had so much fun with it!

When foraging I often decide to start skipping down pathways. I do this to make me smile and laugh but I also do it to make anyone I’m with smile and laugh too. A bit like the pretend laughter.

My husband and I love going to National Trust properties that often have activities to do which take you back to your childhood. Things we have done include;

  •  Playing games like pick up ducks, find the rat in a drainpipe, wooden skittles, pretending to row a boat and many more.
  •  Having a go at wooden walk over obstacle courses.
  •  Doing crafts like colouring in a paper crown, making napkin shapes and tying different types of knots. The hardest craft I’ve tried was drawing my husband’s portrait with a pencil on the end of a very long stick.
  •  Playing games for all ages such as snooker, table tennis and croquet.

One of the best things we ever did was become National Trust members and we save so much money this way.  Take a look at the below to see if its something that would bring you joy too;

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/

Sunshine

 

When the sun shines it lifts my mood considerably and I want to be out in it. Even if this means just sitting in the garden.

Its important to have exposure to the sun for at least 15-20 minutes per day to receive the vitamin D that we need to keep healthy. I have read that this can be done by exposing the sun to just the arms and face.

Obviously try to avoid the times of the day where the sun is at it’s strongest during the summer months. I achieve this by getting my sun exposure early morning or late afternoon.

Drink Herbal Tea

I never used to drink tea but in the last couple of years I have found herbal teas and I love them.

As part of my night time ritual I love to drink a cup of chamomile tea half an hour to an hour before I go to bed. I find it important to breathe in the beautiful smell of chamomile too. This process is very relaxing and allows me to drop off to sleep.

I drink many of the herbal teas because they may help to support my body. One of these is peppermint tea and if you would like to see why I love it check out the following post;

http://theforagingherbalist.com/drinking-peppermint-tea-under-the-full-worm-moon-spirituality-peppermint-essential-oil-spring-equinox/

Avoid Overstimulating Foods and Drink

I have cut out caffeine and energy drinks which seem to temporarily assist me by giving me a lift and a bit of energy.

Unfortunately I always end up crashing afterwards. For instance I often drank energy drinks to help me through a work day but I would crash and fall asleep straight after dinner in the evenings.

I very rarely drink alcohol either and when I do just one tiny glass of red wine is enough for me.

Nutrition

I eat as much nutritious food as possible and this includes lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. I’m sure you have heard of the saying “you are what you eat.”

To help with my nutrition I also avoid processed foods and foods with more than three to five ingredients wherever possible. I’ve also read that its best to avoid foods which contain ingredients that you cannot pronounce.

Due to a lot of intolerances I cook all of my food from scratch and home cooked food really does taste better. I would also prefer to use organic ingredients where possible but my budget doesn’t cover this. I feel its such a shame that healthy eating  is impeded by it being so expensive.

When I eat I have to remind myself to do this mindfully. I have read that you should chew each bite thirty times but I can’t see me doing this without my food going cold. However to help with digestion I do put my fork or spoon down between each mouthfull because this makes me eat more slowly.

Essential Oil Diffusers and Incense Sticks

My favourite incense is sandalwood and this was the first incense smell that I was drawn too. I find the smell extremely relaxing and calming and often burn it around the house. Its also one of my choices for meditating.

Scents can rapidly adjust not only the atmosphere of a room but also the atmosphere in a mind and spiritual body.

At night time I prefer to burn lavender essential oil in my pink rock salt diffuser lamp which sits on my bedside table. The lavender feels the perfect scent to help me drift off to sleep. I either burn it while I read in bed or while I do a night time meditation. The beautiful glow that the lamp gives off is also very calming, relaxing and infusive to sleep.

To find out more about aromatherapy take a look at my post;

http://theforagingherbalist.com/aromatherapy-spirituality-oil-diffuser-chakras-lavender-essential-oil/

Reading a good book is now looked at as a form of meditation. When I read at night I ensure that its a good fiction book which takes me away from the real world for a while. Reading news stories would have the opposite effect on me.

Massage

A massage is said to soothe anxiety and depression.

I’m not a fan of this one myself because of my mastectomy its difficult for me to get comfortable for a massage. I won’t say no to a feet massage though!

However I know that giving my husband a massage relaxes him and helps to ease his aching muscles.

Create a Personal Mantra

A mantra is said to help induce a different state on consciousness and help to focus the mind.

My mantra used to be “I am who I am, and who I am is OK.” This mantra worked really well for me when I lost my breast to cancer. If you or anyone you know is going through breast cancer maybe my story will help via the following posts;

http://theforagingherbalist.com/tips-to-deal-with-a-mastectomy-and-breast-cancer/

http://theforagingherbalist.com/breast-cancer-and-radiotherapy/

http://theforagingherbalist.com/breast-cancer-reconstruction-pros-and-cons-mastectomy-my-story/

However as I become more spiritual my mantra has changed to “I am a powerful and intuitive being.”

Find a mantra that works for you and lifts your spirits when spoken out loud  to yourself.

 

This is the end of my second list of tips and the third one will follow next week. If you have enjoyed this post please do not hesitate to share and follow or subscribe to receive the next one.

Love and blessings to you all.

 

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