Calming a tired mind

Calming a tired mind

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It creeps up slowly and the same signs start to reappear.

My head starts to feel full, my brain goes into overdrive, overthinking things. I can feel jittery and tense.

At 3am I can find myself awake and stewing on things, unable to roll over and get back to sleep.

This is my experience of anxiety.

I've come to recognise the signs of when I need to switch off, not make too many plans and look after myself a little bit more.

I think anxiety is something more common than people realise but still not openly talked about.

I've realised over the past year or so what helps me personally and I'd love to hear your suggestions too.

These are the little things I do, that make a big difference: 

1. Removing Apps from my phone. I woke up one morning about a year ago and picked up my phone. I headed to a news app I'd read all the time and the first story I read was a scaremongering health report. Don't get me wrong, I like to know what's going on in the world but it was too much. I didn't want to start my day like this. I removed the news apps from my phone. Twitter is now my main source of news and from a short headline, I can decide if I want to read it further.

 

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2. Massage - I have been a fan of massage for years and now make time for it once every 4-6 weeks. At first it felt like a bit of an indulgence but then I realised it helps me physically (I push a really heavy double buggy around) and mentally. I usually find at the start of a massage everything on my mind bubbles to the surface but I process it and by the end I am so much calmer, re-energised and relaxed. I usually need an hour to really get the most of a massage. For those in South West London, a great massage in the comfort of your own home is Home Spa London.

 

3. Change of scene. For me this could be as simple as taking a magazine or book along to a new coffee shop. Or it could be a day out in the fresh air with the family a few stops on the bus or train. A few hours at the cinema getting lost in a good movie does wonders, buying a slice of cake from my favourite cake shop or buying some posh new tea or coffee to try at home. All these things help me relax and take some time out for myself.

 

4. Headspace. I first listened to meditation when I was feeling stressed and nervous about my c-section. I'd always dismissed it as being a bit hippy but it really helped me at the time. I then went on to discover Headspace, trying the app on my phone. The idea is to just take even 10 minutes a day to meditate, following a guided meditation. I now try to do it most days and I find it really helps calm me if I am feeling stressed or anxious.

 

5. Exercise. Now I'll be honest,  I am no great exerciser but I do walk a lot. I have also just started Pilates, one hour a week and am really loving it. Maybe it's being forced away from my phone that helps but I feel like Pilates is a good fit for me and I am already physically feeling stronger from it.

 

6. Hobbies and courses. When I pick up my camera I get lost in another world, completely distracted by what I am photographing. My 92 year old step grandmother was still doing collage up until the died (she even had her own collage room). Calligraphy is another hobby I enjoy when I get time to practice. These are all things that I try to do more of when I feel anxious. Setting myself a simple photography project or taking my camera somewhere new always reinvigorates my love of photography and helps my mind feel rested. I highly recommend setting yourself a little photo project, even if it's with your phone.

 

What helps you feel calmer? Let me know in the comments below:

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