My very own quest for the holy grail is my perpetual strive towards maintaining a clear and positive mind. It certainly isn’t something which exists naturally for me, nor is it something I regularly achieve. Here I find myself sat in my study at 1am incapable of drifting off to the land of nod by virtue of a chaotic mind, bubbling over with ideas, plans and conversations. Never a favourable scenario with a two and almost half year old who I’m still waiting on to ‘sleep through the night’ (well I gave up a while back, truth be told) . I’ve hauled myself out of bed as I’m all Instagramed and Pinterested out (never thought that was possible) to make a list, a list of 4 items! These 4 items are the tools I use to help me achieve said ‘clear and positive mind’, although I often fail to utilise them. They only seem to occur to me after several weeks of feeling stressed and rubbish! My brain wave and perhaps foolish notion is that if I share these on my blog and my repeatedly forgotten mental note is here in black and white then it will serve as an unfading reminder to me and hopefully provide my readers who are seeking positivity with a few coping mechanisms should they require them.
Number 1. MAKE A LIST
It’s an obvious one to get us off the starting blocks but I instantly feel better when I have a million things going on, if I prioritise them by way of a good old fashioned list, occasionally on my phone but I usually find putting pen to paper (or chalk to kitchen board) is more effective. I sometimes assign each day a task so I can focus on completing it. Adding something to the list eases the issue out of my mind and reduces anxiety. I am most certainly a ‘list lady’ or at least I was until Maisie came along, since then chaos has reigned!
Number 2. COUNT TO THREE
A busy mind coupled with sleep deprivation makes for an irate and impatient individual. Not the qualities you want to uphold while caring for a challenging toddler. The ‘count to three’ tactic is one I’ve recently adopted and I’m impressed with its effectiveness. This is a well known ‘keep calm’ tactic but for those of you not in the know, basically when you sense a loss of patience is imminent, count to three inside (also works with husbands haha). These three seconds allow you to gain perspective on the situation and regain control of your emotions, allowing you to respond more positively. I find this method has worked so well for me that I usually just pause now, not even needing to get to three, before responding – often with a smile or laugh. Of course, some situations in life require longer than three seconds, for those I suggest getting the heck outa there just! The purpose and beauty of this method is that I feel having positive interactions with others, especially our children (nothing quite like parental guilt!) has a positive effect on the mind.
Number 3. Meditation: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Breathing
I picked this little gem up two years ago when pepping for the big push that never happened (ECS birth in the end) and it really is a winner, although not with my husband who refuses to entertain it. It thoroughly clears the mind and is great for when your struggling to sleep or baby has a nap and you just need to grab five minutes relaxation. Start by taking a few deep breaths in and out and assigning numbers to certain body areas (1. Heads and Shoulders, 2. Arms and Chest 3. Tummy and Back 4. Pelvis and Thighs, 5. Legs and Feet) . It works by breathing in deeply while imagining positivity and good vibes filling each body area/number and breathing out long deep breaths relinquishing any tensions in those areas and imagining negative emotions leaving that area. I find that only a few sets of ‘counting to five’ work a treat!
Number 4. Push Yourself
This is probably the most difficult task for someone cornered in a negative or low mindset. Number 4 consists of forcing yourself to make the effort when you least feel like it, be it, just getting out of your jammies, putting on some war paint, going out, planning an activity, meeting up with friends or family or going to a playgroup. I find this is most challenging when I’m in a low mood as I’d rather stay at home and see no one! Since becoming a mother I’m increasingly aware of the affect my mood has on my child and how negative emotions have a detrimental effect on how I parent. Just getting out and doing things has a positive affect and keeping physically busy distracts from a busy mind, stopping us from mulling over the same things.
Everyone has low moments/days but I use these methods on the occasions when days become weeks and reading an inspirational quote on Instagram just isn’t going to cut it, in fact it’s more than likely met with a scornful grunt! When I need to pull myself out of a rut I find I’m able to do that with the aid of these four tools. There’s no one more invested in your personal wellbeing than you, so if you’re seeking a clear and positive mind then give these methods a try, it’s always good to have more strings to your bow.
Positive vibes people!