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Which are my recommended practices to sustain a good Mental Health?

In this post, the second part of this one, you can find the practices I do, the ones I started doing recently and the ones I want to incorporate into my routine.

I never paid too much attention to this theme until Covid19 came. Before that, all I did was just to act by intuition. In time I learnt that by following certain patterns I could feel great. Do you want to know them?

Moments in Nature painting by myseld were one of the best moments from last year

1. Meditation

This is a practice I started doing to stop panicking about things I could not change. It also helped to make me focus at the time I was studying and I didn’t want my mind to feel divided and absent.

2. Exercise

Yoga is for me a healthy and mindful way to exercise Mind & Body.

It took over my exercises at the gym or digital gym. Sometimes I would join friend on doing skipping rope but my main practice would be always Yoga.

Remember that if you do any exercise in a meditative way, you are actually emptying your mind. In my personal case, gym workout wasn’t the same for my level of life, and I needed something different for the circumstances. Now yoga works better for me.

3. Go for walks & get sunshine

When I feel trapped and a bit under the weather it doesn’t take much to fix it that a short walk in Nature.

I learnt that by doing this and catching some sun if I was lucky, or even UV, I was boosting my mood. I was feeling visibly more energized.

4. Friends & Family

Staying in contact with friends and family became esential during quarantine. In my opinion, it felt as if the connection was more authentic in extreme circumstances. I guess we all felt the importance of a hug or a laughter. They can really heal when we are feeling down.

But also it’s important to see when the negative thinking of somebody can drain you more than help you.

Balance is always good to keep you stable without feeling lonely or charged.

5. Get a good sleep

The sleep time was a practice I learnt from my last job. Maybe at first it was the lack of good sleep and what it could develop on my nerves. But once I got it right, it also helped me to keep and schedule in order to control my time and where it was going.

There are lots of apps that you can use to reduce your social media time. When I used to study or now if I need to work from home, I use one that does not allow me to open them while it time my progress.

Breaks are permited, of course, you do put your limits but this way you make sure that your working time is protected from distractions.

I also ended up setting a time limit for the time I spent on certain social media platforms. Now there is no “I have no time” excuse for me as I try not to waste it that mush that easily.

6. Creativity

Keep creative in any way that feel natural for you:

Cook, write, sketch, paint, sing, whatever helps you unwind and PLAY. This is the main principle: to lose a bit of the seriousness of our busy day and just experiment with what we have at hand. Of course, in my case I used to draw or write often when I really needed it. But sometimes I would spend weeks with no artistic practice done at all!

One day I had this idea of improving the boring time in the last quarantine (in Ireland took us until May). I started my live #createwithmey sessions of social art using the Instagram platform. This practice would take me, and the people who joined me, into a 45min session of just calming creative time together. At least during this time there wouldn’t be any worrying about the rest of the things going on in the world. And that is the point of it.

7. Show Gratefulness

It is a really easy and rewarding practice. For example: practice saying thanks to anyone who helps you or to the things you have in your life.

Every morning or evening I used to write a list of three things I am grateful to have. Or even the qualities I own or even how happy I am to be living in this world. The reason for this practice is that it gives you positive thinking and it helps you focus on the things you have, instead of being anxious about the things you desire to be happy. Look around and discover all the nice things you have, some of them for free!

Nowadays I try to implement this practise into a bigger one called my morning pages or Jornalying: 3 pages handwriten done in about 40 mins if I am really inspired. The trick to this special practice is to do it the first thing in the morning if you can, as a way to start your day, or even plan it with a positive thinking.

8. Work near home

Work near home, if possible, in something that inspires you or makes you grow. If you do work near home you have more time for your hobbies and family, for example.

I am not gonna enter in which kind of job you have. That is your business if your are feeling fulfilled with it. I just will say that work is not your life, and as it is a great part of it I hope that inspire you and excite you.

9. Smile

Yes! Smile more often! Happiness is contagious, the same as sadness. I saw it working in a hotel. The times I came in feeling joyous and expressing it with an open smile I actually changed the general mood of my co-workers for the best. Why don’t you try and see what happens? If you don’t feel like smiling… well, sometimes the “fake it until you make it” plan works too!

10. Be kind to yourself

You end up believing what you call yourself, the same way you can kill a plant if you say to it that it’s ugly. Instead, if you show it love it will flourish or even come back from the almost dead plant-world. The same happens with you: you have the power to make you feel loved by being patient and compassionate with your mistakes. If you are too strict or do not forgive your actions, you will feel hopeless.

Do be gentle with you because you are learning, you are taking the time to get all in. You are continuously evolving.

EXTRA: Have a healthy diet

This practice is an on-going one I am trying to implement but it started at my time working in the workshop.

My diet was mostly pescatarian and organic. I got it reinforced with 2 or 3 pieces of fruit and nuts to give me enough protein in a day.

Back in the first quarantine I improved a lot my cooking skills by making all sorts of recipes, and that brought gratification, fun and insight. Basically homemade food tastes way better and it doesn’t cost that much or takes that long to get ready. It can actually be quite creative to get into this world!

Nowadays, the fermented food is a new practice I am learning about: it builds up the good bacteria in your gut. Prior to this, natural pills were my source to secure my inmune system. Now I am experimenting with kefir thanks to several recommendations.

Then, by adding into the equation filtered water and herbal medicines, I make sure that all I get into my system is “alive”. My source of nutrients help me digest, sleep well and think more clearly. In conclusion, it improves my Body & Mind conditions.

Creating in Nature, and in the Sun, is for a blessing

Conclusion

I know that I still have a long way to go and some practices like Meditation to come back to. They can be really helpful but I think the trick in my case is to have a nice schedule that is well balanced and allows me to get more things done without dreading it. Rest is really important in this equation so, please, do take some chill days to just unwind, read and learn among other practices. If you slow down, your body will feel refreshed and ready for another good go afterwards.

It is a despised or “lazy” considered action. But it is a constant reminder that sometimes our bodies just shuts down. They might need us to stay in bed watching videos or reading.

It is a passive action of learning anyway, that it will get integrated into action when our bodies are ready to roll!

When I see all these steps my only hope is that this time it took me to learn can actually help you too. It’s been a few years of learning the tecniques by mere trial and error, but it works. My advice is that you integrate whatever works for you from here. Some small changes will come, slowly, but the important point here is that you keep learning and discovering new branches from this tree of wisdom. I know I am doing it every day. That’s basically called living, don’t you think?

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