It’s important to take moments out of our day to reinforce our own wellbeing. The need to take five or more is something that we all face at some point, when things aren’t going our way or out of the blue when we seem to be on top of the world. The following six activities are some of the ways I personally attempt to help my own physical and emotional wellbeing. These work for me and may work for you. In the end it is important to take time to identify what everyday activities help us and recognise when we need them.
I personally find meditation can come in many forms. From the traditional mind clearing, breathing exercises to putting on some music and reflecting. I believe that there is no one single way that meditation should be done, but rather you’ll know when you’re doing it. Try laying on the couch with your eyes close and regulate your breathing. Try putting on some music that is significant to you and focusing on the notes, the lyrics, the rhythm. What’s important is managing to centre yourself.
Playing with Pets
Science has proven the positives of messing around with our furry pals. In my teens I had a cat that I swear was a best-friend. The unconditional love offered by a pet can be a great way to break through in those times we find ourselves closing off from the world. I rent now, and we aren’t allowed to have pets, I would be lying if I said I never went around my friend’s house just to see their pets. Take time to sit on the floor and give your four-legged friend a good belly rub.
Sitting Outside with a Tea
I was going to put “or coffee” but experience has told me high levels of caffeine is not the greatest antidote to a wave of anxiety. A nice herbal tea can be an effective calmer. Whatever hot, milky beverage you prefer, I find sitting outside and taking in the birds, the trees, or the cityscape a convenient and rewarding way to just pump the brakes and reset my mental space.
Talking to a Loved One
A loved one takes many forms, family, friends, and although sometimes it is so hard to talk to someone, forming those first few syllables often leads to a cathartic release. I’m not saying you have to talk about your deepest thoughts and feelings, although that can be rewarding in itself. A genuine conversation about how your day is going, your favourite TV show or how you’re going with an assessment can ground you and remind you that you’re not alone.
Exercise or Team Sports
Exercise is one of the easiest and hardest things to do when you aren’t feeling too good. The motivation it takes to go for a run or head to the game is often elusive. If you can muster the motivation, perhaps by trying some of these other activities, then the benefits can be outstanding. Team sports offer advantages too. A social team made of friends can be a good alternative to competitive district clubs. Even kicking a ball or going to a local court to shoot hoops can break up your day with some physical activity and simplicity.
Reading a Book
Sometimes we just need a bit of escapism. An hour with a few characters that we are invested in. Depending on how your day is going, it may be a good choice to select your reading material in respect to your emotions. I’m not ashamed to admit that books have helped me get through some hard times in my life and you shouldn’t too. The lessons we learn through reading can often be applied to our own life.
Words by Simon Telford
Illustrations by Dallas Nery