October 4, 2022 · 3:47 pm
Well-being and self-help in general is something that has enjoyed a much higher profile in recent years. Whether that’s Insta feeds offering all manner of wise words and inspirational photos, or famous faces speaking out in public about their mental health struggles, awareness is continuing to grow. That’s a good thing.
But to be honest, nobody likes enforced wellness, much in the same way as they don’t like enforced fun (think back to that company away-day when Dean went full-on SAS Who Dares Wins). We should be encouraged to think about our mental health in our own way. That’s not to say wellness books don’t have their place, but it’s all about finding the ones that work for you.
Thinking outside the box when it comes to wellness is important. You don’t have to restrict your reading to books labelled as ‘wellness’. Lifestyle, cookery and fiction are all linked to down-time and the act of reading itself, whatever the subject matter, is good escapism. It encourages conversation, much in the manner of book clubs. Though I’ve discussed those in an earlier post, they can be a great opportunity to meet new people who you have something in common with.
Writing is another form of wellness. Personal journals are everywhere these days, and some people get a lot out of writing down their thoughts, plans and observations. Or you could write a blog like I’m doing now, or even a story or two. Getting my creative juices flowing and writing something is a great form of self-care for me, because it makes me feel like I have created something, and contributed to something somewhere. That gives me a small amount of satisfaction. It may sound a bit simplistic, but it works for me!
Ultimately, self-care is about more than having a bath with candles, an audiobook and a herbal tea (though that does sound nice, come to think of it), so find your own wellness, your own way.
March 18, 2020 · 10:18 am
OK, you may argue that any time is a good time to do one or both of those things, but hey, let me jump on the Corona virus bandwagon for just a short time.
While it’s important to keep track of everything that’s going on and all the latest updates for the sake of our own health, it’s also important not to get bogged down with feelings of foreboding and desperation. Our own mental health is as important as our physical health and if we don’t keep our minds occupied in these times of social distancing and self-isolation, we risk putting ourselves at serious harm.
I realise that’s easier said than done in a lot of cases, but finding the time to read and treating yourself to a little escapism really can help. (Just stay away from any post-apocalyptic epics if you’re feeling particularly susceptible!)
It’s also a great time to start writing that book you’ve always wanted to write; you know, the one you spend so much time procrastinating over. If you’re in a situation where you have a lot of time to yourself – get writing. Now is the time. Not only will it keep your mind exercised and active, but it’ll help your well-being by just having your mind on something else for a while.
Of course, life goes on. Don’t lock yourself away expecting to churn out 100,000 words in a couple of weeks. Plan your day, get a routine. Work in some writing time. This could be the moment you finally get started. Or maybe you’ve already written a book and are putting off the dreaded re-draft. Again get stuck in while you can, and grow your next novel some legs.
Filed under Books, Editing, fitness, mental health, self-publishing, Uncategorized, Writing
Tagged as Books, corona virus, Editing, mental health, Mindfulness, novels, Reading, Writing
June 7, 2019 · 9:03 am
This week’s poignant D-Day commemorations reminded me of how fortunate we are to still have first-hand accounts to relate to.
This isn’t just important for hugely significant moments in history, but in our own lives as well. It’s often said that we should cherish our precious memories, but what does that actually mean? Are they merely a mental treasure-trove that gradually fades over time, sitting around for us to dip into when things get tough?
Well, they can be, but there’s no reason for them to stay that way, because we can write them down. Whether that’s an account of a fantastic family day, or something crazy that just happened, make a note of it. That’s because, before too long, life gets in the way. If you’ve read my blog on procrastination, you’ll know what I mean.
And why stop there? If you’re one of those people who can still remember things that happened when you were four or five, write them down:
“I remember being frightened as my mum let go of my hand. I was led to a table next to another boy and when I sat down, I looked up just in time to see her wave as she left. Our first task was to copy a sentence, or something like that. It was word-related anyway. I think that was the first time I realised how much words can capture your imagination, because for a minute, I forgot I was in a room full of strangers without my mother.”
That’s pretty much all I can remember from my first day at school and it’s the first time I’ve written it down.
It’s important to make a note of the sad times too. Why? You may ask. I’d sooner forget all that stuff! That’s true, but it was the act of writing things down that helped me to grieve.
So, get typing and bring those memories to life. Start with today.
Filed under D-Day, Family, history, Life, mental health, Uncategorized, Writing
Tagged as Books, D-Day, Family, history, mental health, Writing
May 23, 2019 · 2:06 pm
Healthy body, healthy mind may be a cliché but there’s certainly a lot of truth in it.
The older I get, the more I realise how important it is to stay in shape. I’ve recently completed my second 10K, and this time round, I was a little more prepared. This wasn’t just down to a more regular training schedule, but finding the right headspace too.
Whether you’ve got a specific problem that you need to chew over, want to prioritise your daily to-do list, or just need a little me-time for some good-old contemplation, running is great for tackling stress and clearing the mind.
In fact, if you’re struggling to get motivated, there’s another way to look at it. Think of running as something you can be doing while thinking things over. Not only are you guaranteed to be free from the distractions of screens and devices, but you’ll be improving your fitness too. Keep at it, and you’ll start to feel healthier. Feel healthier and you’ll start to feel more positive. Feel more positive, and your mental health will improve. It’s a simple symbiotic relationship that works.
So, whether you don’t know where to take your book’s plot or are struggling to even get started, go for a run. It’ll help, I promise.