Self Care

5 Ways To Stop The Wandering Mind

Do you sometimes think that how on earth some people seem to have it all together and yet you're struggling to string a sentence together?

I get it because I've been there. And this made me feel even more overwhelmed and inadequate! Does it make you feel like that too?

You're not alone. On a bad day when we're tired due to lack of or no sleep (hence the cause of bad day), the things we can usually respond well, tolerate and accept suddenly become intolerable and unacceptable and we respond in a way that perhaps slightly out of character. Everything seems to go wrong and we get even more worked up about it and then your thought process spirals out of control and you start believing that you’re useless, not good enough and so on.

Do you see how sometimes with one thought that is not even true can have the potential to mess up your day? When we’re feeling a little fragile and full self doubt, it’s so easy to get into comparison and feel inadequate. Our mind goes wandering and sometimes before we know it we get anxious. That is what mind does - wanders. We need to control what we think because it affects how we feel and do. Thoughts are simply thoughts and they are not real.

What can you do to stop the wandering thoughts? Here are some tips that you might find helpful:

  1. Switch you attention to your breath then take slow and gentle breath to calm yourself. Start with 5 breaths - in a safe environment, you might like to close your eyes when you do this breathing technique. You can do more if you can. Maybe 2-5 minutes. Your mind might wander and you might feel irritable and uncomfortable because maybe you’re not used to this. But give it a go anyway. Keep focusing on the breath. When you stop and take conscious breaths, your body knows you’re safe and hence your heart rate will return to normal and you can feel calm again.

  2. Bring your attention to the place you’re in, find the things you can touch, see, hear, smell. Then say to yourself ‘I am here’. ‘I am OK’. ‘Everything is OK’.

  3. Take a simple action - a practical action. It distracts you from what you were thinking and gets you to physically change something. Maybe walking, talking, cooking, making a cuppa, anything that will take your mind off what you were thinking.

  4. Make a short list (3-5) of the people and things that you have and are grateful for.

  5. Self-compassion: acknowledge yourself for the things that you have done and achieved and forgive yourself for the things that you have not done. It doesn’t change who you are. Love yourself and all that you are.

So back to you gorgeous one to remember that you are doing your best and you are enough.

By the way, no one has got it together so please go easy on yourself.

Love Claryn x

Tell me what is it that you plan to do....

The social conditioning of women’s role as care givers and nurturers is so well-embedded, it is hardly surprising that the need to meet our own needs goes out of the window because many of us feel that it will clash with fulfilling our ‘duties and expectations’ which are to meet the needs of others first.

This may result in us neglecting our needs, conflicts and resentment, which consequently affect others too, especially our nearest and dearest. Recently I conducted a research call with Carla. She is a business woman running 3 businesses, a parent of one child and also a carer for her parent. She told me that it was down to her to make sure that every single thing is running smoothly. Therefore taking time for herself was non-existence. And she said she would feel guilty if she did take time for herself. She took on every job there was in the business and family, including waiting for an engineer to come and read the electric meter in her parent’s house. She felt exhausted, frustrated and resentful. She longed for the simple things in life such as talking to her partner about life and having coffee with a friend and chatting about nothing and anything.

Listening to her saddened me. Just because she, you, me, we can do anything it does not mean that we have to do everything. We absolutely do not need to say YES to everything and fulfil all these duties that have been placed upon us. Is it really our role and responsibilities anyway? Are we really the only persons to do them?The answer is no, it is not. We need to stop trying to do everything just because we can. Carla, you, I and we need to build strong boundaries.

Establishing my own boundaries took a long time. Often the biggest challenge for strong boundaries is family. Having strong boundaries with your family does not mean you no longer prioritise theirs but it means you include yourself in the equation too. So you allocate and protect your time to meet your needs.

Boundaries are signs of self-respect. When you treat yourself with respect yourself i.e. not allowing people to take advantage of you, drain your energy, exhaust your time, you teach others to do the same too. It feels empowering, although it can be so uncomfortable in the beginning. It takes practice and consistency is key.

When you feel empowered, you start to feel confident again. You become a role model to those around you. It’s a win-win outcome. It can prevent conflict, frustration and resentment because everyone knows where they stand.

Do you know what your needs are?

Needs need to be met in order for you to be in the state of OK. I categorise my needs into five sections - food, water, sleep, mindful movements and spiritual practice. This is the chart for it if you’d like to download it for your own use.

Fulfilling everyone’s needs is not your responsibility but fulfilling yours IS.

Give yourself an acknowledgment that you’re doing your best as a working mum and forgive yourself for not doing everything.

Do give a form a go and if fulfilling your needs is/will be a challenge then let me help you overcome this.

I’m always here to help. And don’t wait too long when you can change something that will make your happier.

So are you ready and willing to rise above this social conditioning and start living a fulfilling life?

Love

Claryn x

When juggling too many balls.....

Almost all of us working mums do not escape juggling jobs, home and kids. A social life becomes a non-existence for many. My social life involves a sofa and a book or binge-watching something on TV whatever-is-on-at-the-time sort of watching. We are BUSY, ladies, and it is often hard-going as we struggle to juggle all of those balls up in the air and at the same time feeling content and fulfilled with it all.

The good news is that I’m pretty adept at self-care. But the not so good news is that sometimes I don’t do what I preach. Without making excuses, I’m human and I’m not perfect. However, the better news is that I recognise the signs when I need to jump back on the self-care wagon. That is by reviewing my basic needs – whether they are met or not and my boundaries. For me they are my most vital ingredients to feeling vibrant. Because I never want to revert to how I was before – feeling unhealthy and not so good about myself and how this impacted on my family, relationships and work.

A recent vitality retreat ran by One of many highlighted an area that needed an immediate action – that was to address my on-going skin and gut issues which were closely linked. I have since taken a couple of tests and am now awaiting results. This retreat has been a great reminder that when you address something, it has a ripple effect. Using this example, whilst awaiting for the test results, I have started looking into my diets again and different ways of changing things that I can weave into my already busy schedule. This has also required me to look into everything that’s happening in and around me.  Mindfulness and consciousness come to mind. To cut a long story short, even with little changes, the effect is already positive for me, my family and my work.

This has been a powerful reminder that I needed to review my commitment and always keep a close eye on how my body feels and give myself permission to switch off, rest and relax. There needs to be a balance in everything, without balance things can go wrong, our health suffers for example.

As always, the intention for my posts is always to help, guide and remind you to prioritise yourself and your needs. Take control before control controls you. Slowing down, taking a break, and resting isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength. Asking for help is a strength.

Self-care is always an on-going process, it’s a great habit to get into, like brushing your teeth. I’m sharing what’s working for me at the moment. The emphasis is the ‘process’ and not a destination. It’s a process that supports you to get to your destination, wherever it may be. It becomes an anchor. The ebb and flow of life requires more of us sometimes and we can only give our best when we are at our best.

So let me invite you now to review your commitment and self-care schedule. If you have any problems around this, feel free to reach out and I’ll be more than happy to chat with you.

Is it time to say No?

Saying No when you need to is self-care. It is a huge part of boundaries. Saying No is hard. Building and maintaining boundaries that are healthy is hard. What is healthy and what is not is pretty much subjective, do you agree? Think about what you’re willing to accept and not willing to accept.

I’m naturally a people’s pleaser and I believe most women are too. We learn the hard way to stop people-pleasing; it costs us our happiness and joy sometimes. I used to have a hard time with boundaries especially when it comes to family and work. For many reasons, it was often hard for me to ask for what I need and to say no to requests/demands. In one way it felt good being needed but in another way I also felt resentful toward myself for saying too many yeses. I used to feel torn between letting people down and letting me down and was always thinking of other people’s priorities and needs first before my own. I still do now but I get over it pretty quickly once I decide that ‘no’ is the answer.

Without boundaries, conflict and misunderstanding can arise. This often leads to resentment and frustration. And if not dealt with or addressed sooner it could lead to bigger things such as relationship strains.

In a physical world, boundaries are easier to identify, for example the boundaries of your property; you know what belongs to you and what doesn’t. It’s much more difficult, of course in a non-physical world where it can’t be seen but it can be heard, thought of and felt. But it is just as real as the physical ones. According to Cloud and Townsend, boundaries define us - they define ‘what is me and what is not me’. A boundary shows where my part ends and someone else’s part begins. It defines ownership, responsibility and accountability. It defines self-care and self-love for sure.

The simplest form of boundary setting is the word NO. And this needs to communicated clearly and simply. And you don’t necessarily need to apologise for saying no. Yes it may be uncomfortable but this will be nothing compared to if you didn’t say no and defend your boundaries. So have the courage to say no sooner than later because sooner or later, it will catch up with you and you’re the one that is left burning with resentment.

Next time you have trouble saying No, remind yourself that you’re protecting your property, and that property is YOU. You’re not only supporting yourself, you’re supporting others too. Because by saying no to them, you’re empowering them to make other decisions and seek other help for themselves. You also become a role model for your children, friends, family and others around you.

What can you say No to? Let me know in the comment. And if you need some support to set your boundaries, please drop me a line, I’ll only be too happy to help.

Love

Claryn x