We all know the idea of routine sounds a bit staid. Something that we associate with sensible people or work, or school, or just living in a very structured way that signifies to some of us, a feeling of oppression. Have you considered how routine might be very good for your well-being though, especially if the routine is fun and positive? What if we put a spin on the idea of routine, and realise that it could be doing three amazing things before breakfast for example. This could be three things that are preferably very good for you holistically, like eating something healthy, doing a bit of exercise and putting your bare feet on the ground for 5 minutes, or taking 10 minutes to be mindful, writing in your journal and having your favourite smoothie. Anything like this, if done regularly, is a sure fire way to not only set you up well for the day, but also bring in a routine which is very helpful for your overall wellbeing. Doing things first thing, or before the day gets going is such a great time to do it as well, because then you cannot fall in to the trap of not getting round to doing mindfulness, or making that smoothie. If there is one change I recommend bringing in to your life, it would be a ‘first thing’ routine.
My favourite times are when I am fulfilling my uplifting morning routine, which for me, is taking my dog out to the woods; so actually leaving enough time for a decent early morning walk where I say hi to trees and look at sparkly water and race my dog to the nearest bridges (he always wins)!
Admittedly, I am very blessed to have the New Forest on my doorstep, but anywhere green that is local to you could be a great place to take a walk first thing, just to connect you with nature and earth before you become immersed in the technology of the day. I then enjoy some stillness on our return, even if just for ten mins where I make a cuppa and write in my journal, or just check in and ask my heart how it is feeling today. My third act of self love is to make a smoothie or some kind of healthy brekkie, don’t forget a smoothie is something you can take with you to work too, so it doesn’t have to hold you up. I often prepare my breakfast before I take the dog out. All of these three beauties can be enjoyed and completed in an hour, and what an hour!! I feel energised and centred, before I start the day.
Bringing in changes to our everyday life, is often the simplest way to nurture our well-being. Yes, it might mean having to put the alarm on a bit earlier, or it might mean going to bed a bit half an hour sooner than you are used to, but I can guarantee, little changes like this can bring big results. I know that if there are children to get ready for school, or other commitments that hinder the freedom to just leave the house, might mean that you cannot go and take a walk, but if you do have a dog, walk it in the morning- don’t just shove it in the garden to do its’ business, share some joy with your furry friend. Even if you are tied to the house, just sitting quietly before the house gets crazy, having a delicious smoothie and writing in a journal, or taking a walk in the garden, maybe doing some simple yoga exercises in your room for ten minutes when you first get up, or reading some inspirational book- whatever three things you can think of. Make them practical, do-able and things that make you feel good, and I encourage one of them to be something edible! That way you are firing on all cylinders, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Embrace the delight of routine and see if it helps you to feel more balanced in yourself and more able to cope with whatever the day brings. You know what they say, that once something is done for thirty days it becomes a habit. I can honestly say that staring my day more or less adhering to my three favourite things, nature, writing and yummy food, in whichever way I can, does raise my energy and my vibration. If you go to work with that twinkle that makes everyone wonder what you’ve been up to, you know it’s working, and you can always reply ‘I’m just loving my routine’, or ‘routine rocks’ and leave them curious to the source of your new work ethic.
At our fortnightly meet-up of the Forum Theatre in Southsea, we always include a warm up of some kind, usually silly and funny! and often through writing.
Our last session I decided to create a sharing exercise that was so simple, but worked brilliantly. I asked us to consider how we feel in a social setting that we are not comfortable in and write that down in a few words. We then passed this piece of paper on to the next person on our left and then carried on the description of how we might find a challenging social situation. The idea is that each person told a story of their own unique experience, however this was spread over the bits of paper that were being passed around.
The ‘consequence’ of this exercise was that at the end we each read out the piece of paper we were last holding- and told a short story of how uncomfortable it can sometimes be, in a social situation that we want to get away from. It was surprisingly hilarious, mostly because they all read so seamlessly as if only one person had written the whole paragraph.
Here are a few examples:
“I’m feeling anxious, the knots are rising up in my throat. It’s funny really, I tend to talk and talk. I wish I could swallow. Smoke emerging from my nostrils.”
“I get hot and red faced. I notice how to escape. Raging like a bull inside. I use the Stopp technique- I’m aware about how I feel- it’s ok, ok, ok I feel better- much better. Take a breath and breathe.”
See how good they are?
It was a great sharing exercise. We focus on a lot of techniques like this in our workshops to encourage sharing of difficult feelings but in ways that are comfortable for people and even fun!
If you would like to find out more about what we do then contact us directly and we can chat about any forum theatre and writing workshops that might suit your workplace, school or group.
Healing through creative arts is very accessible, positive and inclusive. We look forward to sharing more soon.
On the 7th May 2016 we held the big Launch Event for the Hampshire Festival of the Mind and it was incredible !
Key note speaker Professor Paul Crawford, stalls, workshops, creative activities, drama, lifemusic, bellydancing, tai chi, the Labyrinth, exhibitions and much more. An extraordinary and inspiring day. Opened by the Mayor of Portsmouth.
Below is the video of Me and Carolyn’s interview by That’s Solent TV in the roll up to this awesome day!
Over the next few months I will be writing a series of articles called ‘Calming your Way to Wellness’ especially for the Creative Mental Health Guide. This first article explaining the difference between a Yantra and a Mandala is about how the drawing of a Yantra or a personal Mandala helps to soothe and calm the mind.
Give it a go and leave me a comment to let me know how you get on
In response to a move by some Mental Health Services to introduce a uniform policy for the nurses working on the wards, we would like to take a survey on how our community feel about this.
The survey will not ask for any details from you but will register your IP address to ensure the form is only completed once. This is important to us, as we want to collect a true representation of the statistics.
We will release the results in our next issue of the Creative Mental Health Guide.
Please share this with others!
To celebrate Peer Supporters Global Recognition Day we are sharing an inspiring presentation by Paulissa Kipp at the 2014 Success, Hopes & Dreams Conference Survivor’s Panel, talking about how she became – and why she is now – a Peer Support Specialist.
“It has been a journey, one I have been privileged to grow from and share along the way.”
(please note- trigger warning to victims of domestic violence)