What did you do with your 'extra' hour this week after the clocks went back? As usual, I used mine to sleep! After a full-on week and Saturday at the #omyogashow in London, then a fireworks display in the evening, I was ready for a long sleep (and I managed nearly 12 hours. Result!).
As energised as I felt afterwards, a seductive and familiar feeling about whether I could have been using the time more productively crept in: could I have worked more, gone for a longer walk, or prepared some meals for the week? Rather than enjoy the refreshing pleasure of sleep and rest, I was beginning to berate myself for not doing something more 'worthy'.
So I stopped... and reminded myself about how important rest is for the body; doing nothing is sometimes the best thing for you. This is a hard-learned lesson, especially if, like me, you work for yourself. Therefore, I urge you to rest and do nothing regularly. Doing nothing is the fun part as you can stare at the sky, let your eyes glaze over, and relax your whirring mind. And if this leads to an impromptu nap, then so be it!
Do you have trouble 'switching off'? If so, you might benefit from the 'Mind, Movement, Mastery' mini retreat, where you can experience guided meditation, visualisation and mindful movement. There are just a few places remaining.
...and keep your face towards the light.
As I was cycling to a school in the rain this morning (to deliver a session on mental health!), I don't think I saw a single smiling face. And it struck me how much the weather affects some people's well-being - which got me thinking that keeping your face towards the light applies both literally and metaphorically. Getting enough daylight and sunlight is really important for our well-being; we know this. Yet in the UK, this can sometimes feel tricky, especially when it's grey and raining... So turning towards the light in a metaphorical sense might be a solution. Keeping your face towards the light - that is, things that cheer your mood and lighten your spirits - can really help boost your positivity and your sense of well-being.
Go and do what you enjoy, whether it's a small or a momentous thing. Find things that give you joy every day. For me, it's about standing in the rain and smelling the freshness, dancing in my lounge, or teaching my fitness classes. (And remember that your 'joy' is not the same as someone else's joy - so what enhances your well-being might not do the same for someone else.) I'd love to hear what you do to keep your face towards the light. I hope you have fun!
...and do less of what doesn't work.
It sounds so obvious, doesn't it? Yet so often, we get caught up - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. How many times have you tried and tried the same 'solution' and still haven't felt anything has changed or got better? We think things will improve even if experience tells us that they won't. So trying to do more of what works (rather than what experience has told you doesn't work) seems like a more sensible option. If something worked once, why not try it again? And apply it to different situations too - because what works in one situation is likely to work in others too. Give it a whirl!
(P.S. There are a few more places left at the mini retreat on 7th November. See Bookings for more info.)
Do you have a favourite quote? Or how about a favourite song lyric? Something that forms the basis of your life's philosophy? Or just something you feel is really funny or pithy?
Discovering the power of a great quote became clear when I was at school, reading Margaret Atwood's book 'Cat's Eye' (@margaretatwood). It blew my mind: I'd never read something so thought-provoking, intelligent and challenging. The best quote in that book, for me, was: "An eye for an eye and the world would be blind". Since then, I've said this to myself over and over (and to anyone else who will listen!) as I love the simplicity of it.
The message that you don't have to reciprocate other people's negativity, their comments or unkind words is, to me, liberating. It helped me realise that what other people think and feel is their responsibility, not mine - and that you don't have to pass on others' bad feeling, as it will only lead to loss.
I'd love to hear what your favourite quote or lyric is. Or for more of my favourites, see CWB Philosophy.
Hi, I'm Joanna from Clean Well-Being.
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Clean Well-being blog