I've felt very overwhelmed this week. Nothing in particular has happened, which I think sometimes makes feeling like I'm struggling harder to deal with. I have lists and lists of work jobs to do, and while on one hand I'm tempted to spend every moment I can in the studio or on my laptop, I know that taking a step away for an hour won't affect my to do list that much but will be a massive benefit to my mental health.
Just like I do various things to keep my body healthy, such as exercising regularly, eating healthily and getting enough sleep, I also do a variety of things to keep my mind in a good, happy state. These include time away from my phone, regular therapy sessions, meditation (more sporadically than I'd like!) and the tool I absolutely swear by, spending time outside in nature.
For me, going for a walk just makes sense. I think the reason I put off meditating is because I feel like I should be doing something productive. Even though I know that meditating for 10 minutes will calm my mind which in turn will help me to be more productive, I'm not yet at a point where I can fully relax. Whereas because I have a dog, regardless of how busy I am, taking her for a walk is something that I'm forced to make time to do everyday.
If I'm feeling anxious, going for a walk physically helps. I'm getting my body moving and using up some nervous energy but I'm not raising my heart rate more than it already is! I rarely take my phone and try to focus on being in the moment. Listening to the birds singing, feeling the sun (or rain!) on my skin, noticing the colour of the sky and the trees swaying in the wind. I have seen this called Mindful Walking and Forest Bathing, and is becoming an increasingly popular wellness activity, for good reason! If you want to take it to the next level, a Digital Detox is also so amazing for improving mental health.
Today's life is so fast paced, it can be so easy to go for days, weeks or even longer without spending time connecting to nature. Being outside has so many proven health benefits! I highly recommend finding a wood, field or a quiet park, away from the hustle and bustle to take a few moments to breathe and appreciate how beautiful our world is.