Cathedral Grove

A Brief Introduction to Mindful Walking

Each year, October 10th marks World Mental Health Day – a day with the objective of raising international awareness about issues pertaining to mental health. While this year’s awareness day may have now come and gone, it is never the wrong time to discuss mental health. With this in mind, I’ve scheduled a few related posts to pop up over the remainder of October, each looking at ways we can make small but significant improvements to our own mental – and ultimately physical – health in our daily lives. 

This week, I’d like to start off this short series by focusing on the art of mindful walking. 

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Photo by Vlad Bagacian from Pexels.

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6 Small Acts of Self-Care to Try in This New Year

It’s been a bit over a week now since the start of the new year, which means a return to work for many. For a lot of folks being back on the job might also mean a return to feeling tired and stressed out, which means it’s a good time for a friendly reminder about the importance of self-care. 

Self-care can take many forms, as what each individual needs in any given moment will of course vary. Here are just a handful of simple, easy things to help make life that little bit better if you find yourself feeling stretched to your limits this week or in the future.

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Nurturing Your Connection with Nature This New Year: 7 Suggestions

It’s the start of a new year and for many people that means the making (and maybe breaking…) of new year’s resolutions. While I don’t make resolutions myself, ticking over into a new year does make me more mindful of my tendencies and habits. It’s important to tweak or phase some things out from time to time, and maybe even to introduce a new practice or two for the benefit of your total wellbeing.

One thing that always seems to better my life at any given moment is spending time in nature, and it’s something I strive to do even more of. There are a TON of ways in which being in a natural setting for even a short amount of time can improve wellbeing. Many studies have been done showing nature’s ability to boost mood and self-esteem, inspire awe (which in turn fosters kindness and other prosocial behaviors), improve creative reasoning, and reduce stress.

With all this in mind, here are seven suggestions for anyone resolving to get their nature fix in this new year. 

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A Post-Thanksgiving Challenge: An A-Z of Gratitude

Although this year’s Thanksgiving Day has come and gone, I feel it’s always the perfect time to practice giving thanks for the many positive things and wonderful people we have in our lives. With this in mind, I’ve done a bit of brainstorming and put together my own little A-Z of Gratitude after being inspired by other bloggers and writers across various platforms.

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Feeling inspired too? Feel free to share your list in the comments below. 

I’m grateful you’ve stopped by… 🙂 Read More

4 Simple Ways to Help Yourself Stay Merry and Bright This Winter

Winter is definitely coming (…or perhaps it’s already here, depending on where you live in the world…), which means it’s time to start preparing for darker days and colder temperatures. But fear not, seekers of light and coziness! Winter can still be a time of wellbeing and contentment, so long as you do your best to shut out the seasonal blues.

Here are a few suggestions and friendly reminders that will hopefully help you feel merry and bright throughout the coming months.

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Mindful Moments: 3 Small Challenges to Help You Practice Being in the Present

In honor of World Mental Health Day today, here are a few simple mindfulness practices you can try if you have less than 30 minutes to spare. Try one or all of these mindful moments challenges during a break at work or once you come home – it’s up to you. 

What is mindfulness, you might ask? For me, mindfulness is when I am aware of the present moment. I am gently focused on what I am feeling and sensing in the moment, without passing any judgment on those things as best I can. I am not overwhelmed by what is going on around me, and I neither dwell on the past nor try to anticipate the future. I say ‘I’ in all of this but – truth be told – my wandering, imaginative mind often finds it a bit of a challenge to achieve this state of being! But that’s OK – it just takes practice.

Anyway, without further ado, here are 3 little opportunities to practice a bit of mindfulness in our every day lives.   Read More

10 Simple, Easy Self-Care Suggestions for Mental and Physical Wellness

It’s World Mental Health Day on October 10th, so all week I’ll be posting tips, resources, and challenges related to boosting wellbeing. To begin with, here are 10 simple, easy self-care suggestions that also happen to be budget-friendly. When we’re not busy at work or with other obligations many of these things are quite obvious and instinctual, but sadly we often need reminding of them when stretched thin by stress.

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World Mental Health Day, October 10th

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Each year, October 10th is World Mental Health Day – a day for mental health awareness, education, and advocacy.

In England, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue each year.¹ Worldwide, it is estimated that 1 in 4 people will be affected by a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime.² So whether or not you personally have had dealings with anxiety, depression, or another mental health concern, it’s quite likely that someone you know is dealing with something of the sort right now. Read More

‘May you be happy. May you be well.’ A bit of loving-kindness to all.

On Friday, American chef, writer, and TV host Anthony Bourdain passed away at the age of 61, the manner of death reportedly suicide.

Honestly, reports of celebrity deaths do not usually phase me. It isn’t at all that I don’t care – no. Even when unfamiliar with the person, my heart goes out to their family and friends and all the others they may have positively impacted in their life. Any death is a great loss to someone. But this particular news – I must say – hit me a bit harder than usual.

There have been many moving tributes to the man, his words, and his deeds in the days since (such as this one from the network for which Bourdain worked, CNN), so I won’t attempt to summarize and eulogize his life and works here. Suffice it to say, I enjoyed watching his shows, I appreciated his unapologetic honesty about his struggles, and I admired his open-minded acceptance of people from all walks of life around the world.

Unfortunately, suicide as a cause of death is on the rise in the USA. According to a recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention release, the suicide rate has risen by about 30 percent in 25 states over the span of time between 1999 and 2016.

These are heavy things to consider, for sure, but hopefully something positive can come from their discussion. I have noticed, for instance, that in each news report about Bourdain’s passing (as well as that of 55-year-old American designer Kate Spade who also took her own life this past week), the report has ended with a helpline number or link to another important mental health and suicide prevention resource. Good mental health is integral to our overall well-being, so the more ways we know of to help maintain it, the better.

For anyone out there who may be struggling, please know that you are never alone, you are loved. There’s a particular type of meditation called loving-kindness which includes the saying of a mantra I’d like to share with you now so that you might share it with yourself and others in the future during moments of unrest… ‘May you be happy. May you be well. May you be safe. May you be peaceful and at ease.’

 


 

Please also find below a few resources for yourself or others if needed. I hope they can be of some positive assistance.

For UK residents, the NHS has a comprehensive list of helplines and support groups to do with everything from anxiety to OCD to eating disorders.

For those living in the US, see the CDC for an array of mental health tools and resources. You can also find the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline here.