‘Life is too serious to be taken seriously – besides no-one gets out alive anyway.’
This has been my life motto that has served me well in my attitude towards not taking life too seriously all the time. So here we are, a brand-new year, we get to choose our attitude and the many ways we can look after our mental wellbeing.
Meditation gives us time to just stop and be in the moment. We don’t have to be busy-busy all the time and taking time out actually makes us more productive. In one of my ‘Tip of the week’ videos, I invite people to take the one-minute challenge, taking a minute out to pause and just to be still. You can try it out and do it with me on my ‘Take the one-minute challenge’ video on Sheila’s YouTube channel
Shower Of Light
For those of us working from home, it can be useful to have a technique to switch from work to home life. Just before you walk out the door of the home office – and I don’t mean No. 10, actually speaking about number 10,
2 old friends were talking one day. One said, “By the way did you hear Jimmy died at 72”, the other replies “Well I live at 71 and I heard nothing about it”
Anyhow…back to the shower of light…when you leave your office or cupboard that’s a makeshift office, before you open the door, imagine there is a shower of light above your head that washes away the day. When you step outside the door then give yourself a shake, like a dog naturally does, and shake away your working day. If your office is your living room or kitchen too, then do the same as you walk out the door and walk back in again visualising your home space again.
Be Ok With Not Being Ok
I delivered mental health workshops at the SEMH School Midlands Conference. Some teachers said that when they had recently received bad news, they had put the news to one side so that they could be on ‘top form’ for their pupils. When I asked them, “If a pupil had some bad news, would you expect them to put that to the side and be on ‘top form’?” They said “No”. So, you can be OK with not being OK. We need to take the pressure off and remove the expectation to be ‘on form’ all the time and then model this behaviour too.
Does Your Size Define You?
A counsellor friend told me that some of her size 12 mates will absolutely refuse to wear a size 14. What messages are they telling themselves? That if they were a different size, they are to be ashamed of themselves, that they are no longer worthy people if they wear a different size? Would we say that to a friend? – yet sometimes we say it to ourselves.
I came across a bracelet that is made up of different size tags – it highlights that as human beings most of us go up and down three sizes throughout our lives. This is normal and we get to choose our attitude towards this. When someone sees you, they don’t see a number on the inside of your outfit, they see you. If they judge you then the judgment really is about them. You are a lovable and worthy person regardless of any number.
Having A Laugh
It is important to find ways to have a laugh! I recently had the pleasure of performing stand-up comedy at The Mama Life Magazine Masquerade Ball. As someone who loves performing comedy, I can easily say it’s one of the best feelings in the world when an audience shares my sense of humour, enjoying jokes like…
My partner suggested changing positions tonight, I said “Great idea! Why don’t you do the ironing, and I’ll lay on the sofa and fart”
I have noticed that a lot of people have reflected on the friendships they had before the pandemic and are unsure if they want to continue them. For some friendships, everything can seem fine and look fine until something happens – like the pandemic. When people go through tough times it can highlight other sides of friendships that might be missing, sides that people now want more of. This could be understanding, not having to play happy friendships all the time and friends that can be emotionally available. This can be very difficult if someone is not in a good place to begin with. If both friends are not in a good place, they can both feel resentful and feel let down by the other friend. It is so important that within our friendships we can openly communicate and talk when things are not going right or don’t feel right. Tough times will highlight if a friendship can handle the downside as well as the good.
Some people are friends with someone just because they have known them for so long but might not actually have anything in common now – they may not even like each other! As we get older, we change, some friends change with us and some don’t, it’s nobody’s fault – it’s just different. Sometimes we have to let friendships go for the sake of both people in the friendship.
There is a saying that some people find helpful.
There are 3 types of friends
‘Friends are there for a reason, a season, or a lifetime’
There is also a saying that
‘Your friends are the family you choose’
Keeping It Real
Some people have loved not having to socialise over the last two years. This is about your life and whatever suits you. You can also manage other people’s expectations like one business owner did when they put up a sign that read…
‘Do not enter the office. Please respect my PERSONAL SPACE. Nothing to do with coronavirus – I am just a miserable b#@tard’
Have More Orgasms
Did you know that orgasms can have great benefits like boosting your immune system, lowering anxiety, relieving stress, improving mood, and helping you sleep better?
Orgasming releases oxytocin, which reduces cortisol and can reduce anxiety. Whether you are in a relationship, have a friend with benefits where it’s all consenting and fun, or just want to have fun on your own, having an orgasm creates pleasure and that can create great benefits
We can continue to be inspired by how people choose to use their time. My mum who turned 80 last year has taken up piano lessons. Taking up a new skill is a brilliant way to increase confidence, brainpower and add variety to your life. I decided to face a real fear in the hope of inspiring others. After giving a talk to a motorbike club, I agreed to take myself out of my comfort zone and learn to ride a motorbike if the bikers would watch my free video on ‘How to help someone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts’.
I really struggled at first with this challenge as the idea of it triggered a road accident from years ago, where the driver put their foot on the accelerator instead of the break and the car somersaulted through the air. I found the thought of learning to ride a motorbike very frightening and emotional as I had the fear that I would use the throttle in the wrong way and crash. After doing some self-therapy and ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyway’ I have done two training sessions and plan to do my CBT (Compulsive Bike Training).
As a result of doing this, there have been over 150 extra views and several people sending me messages to say, ‘I’ve watched it’. I feel proud of myself and others for getting out of our comfort zones. If you want to watch the 10-minute section on ‘How can I help someone with suicidal thoughts’, then you can watch it on ‘Sheila’s YouTube channel’.
So, what will you decide to do in 2022? My partner says he achieves his New Year Resolution every year. He says that every year he decides he will have no new resolutions and he achieves it!
So, remember folks – each to their own and it is whatever suits you. Regardless of what you decide to do or not to do, I wish you all great mental well-being in 2022.
Love YOURSELF first because that’s who you’ll be spending the rest of your life with.