Following on from her post looking at physical and social wellbeing during the winter months, Dr Rebecca Lightfoot has turned her focus on spiritual and mental factors that affect us during the longer nights and darker skies of the winter season. Read more about the benefits of getting organised and taking the time to gain an awareness of our surroundings, and the destressing effects of journaling.
All too often we believe meditation is about emptying our heads of all thought. This isn't the case, there are many ways to access meditation whether it's through finding supported sessions online, apps, or just sitting, breathing, and noticing. Our heads are full of thoughts – 'to do' lists, shopping, jobs to finish – and that's OK. Entering a meditative state and resting the mind isn't about silencing the chatter; more acknowledging it and letting it go, think of thoughts sitting on a passing cloud that the wind can take away. Try 5 minutes of sitting with your feet flat on the floor and focusing on breathing in and out. Can you find a little peace from the chatter? Keep practicing, it's a skill to develop.
Finding Peace in Noticing
When life is busy it can feel difficult to switch off. If you are feeling anxious about anything it can be hard to quieten the mind and lower the heartrate. A great way to distract the mind from this kind of chatter is by 'noticing'. This can work anywhere, even outside. Notice and name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell and maybe 1 thing you can taste - even if it's toothpaste, or hint of your lunch! The altered focus for our attention changes the brainwave patterns from a state of anxiousness to greater presence of the 'here and now'.
Are thoughts of a long winter ahead filling you with dread? Are worries about festive shopping, gift visits to relatives or managing the financial pressure of the festive season on your mind? What can you plan in now and spread over the winter months to ease the pressure on yourself? Try planning in visits to your diary now and look forward to being fully present for that visit. How can you spread the cost of Christmas with some careful budget planning as a family? Could you have those conversations now before someone else goes gift-crazy?
Head Dumped and Heart Full – Try Journaling
Journaling is a great way to release a head full of 'stuff' that distracts you or keeps you awake at night. Reflective journaling is a way to empty your head of things that are on your mind that you might be wrestling with – acknowledging these thoughts and working out what to do with them. If you write about something you are unhappy about, note what you would like instead and what first steps could take you closer to resolving that. Intention Journaling in the morning to plan out your intentions for the day can keep you 'on purpose'. Or perhaps it is heart-filling gratitude journaling that appeals to you – listing 5 things you are grateful for every day. This fills your heart and encourages us to focus on positives for the day ahead.
About the author:
Dr Rebecca Lightfoot (Becca)
Nutrition and Wellbeing Coach at Tip the Balance - Natural Nutrition & Wellbeing Private Nutrition & Wellbeing Practice.
Corporate / Organisational Training, Coaching & Support for Wellbeing in the Workplace.
Nordic Walk Instructor, Green Wellbeing Advocate & Ambassador for Natural Health Products.
Find more about Tip The Balance and Rebecca's work here: TiptheBalance