At the moment, millions of minds are racing. It’s a very strange time as we navigate through our new normal. Your mental wellbeing has never been more important. To slow down, we need to get grounded. You can use this free grounding meditation guide I made earlier this year. Sometimes when you sit or lie down, you may notice that your mind is very noisy. Perhaps you need to lie down longer and use some more tools. I like to pick a couple of tunes that chill me out. It’s also important to be self compassionate. The fact you have a fast brain is a huge compliment. You are active and no doubt achieving lots which is impressive. But that can only last for so long before you are in danger of crashing.
When I got sick, my mind wasn’t just full with work. It will full with everything. Relationships and what needed to change or improve, inspiring friends, energy and my faith and how real it felt. In many ways, I was super excited and felt like I was transforming at a fast rate. When we make time to get still and open up our minds, these feelings are to be expected. I was also confused and worried about some behaviours I couldn’t control that had an impact on my day to day life. I flipped from a highly positive and loving lens to a scared and negative lens. It all got too much and I stopped sleeping, which over time, made me very unwell. As I had never experienced a mental illness, I didn’t know the warning signs. A racing mind is always a warning sign. One I will always manage going forward, because now I know that my mind can shut down and at an even faster rate than lockdown 2020.
As the Queen advised the nation last week, it’s great to have healthy routines such as prayer and/or meditation before bed or when you wake up. I love breathing slowly in the shower and bath, driving with musis or going for a run to clear the mind and feel a sense of calm. When we go through our day feeling grounded, we are more present which means that our conversations are more meaningful. You can ground at any point in the day, it can often start by setting an intension. Perhaps your intension is to listen harder and show empathy or to have a mindful walk during your lunch break. I also try to ground myself during yoga and other forms of exercise. Before lockdown, I attended some incredible yoga sessions which involved creative writing towards the end. When we carry out activities that slow down our mind, we open up our hearts. I loved hearing Andrew Johnson talk about this recently on my podcast.
I read recently about ‘tree bathing’. A tree is naturally grounded and I adore spending time walking in the woods or a forrest. I ensure I take the current allocated daily walk with the kids or run. I always feel refreshed with a slower mind after this, of course it is better to leave the phones at home. I love making vlogs when I am out and about, but try and leave my phone home 80% of the time. I also have a new rule, no screens in my bedroom after 7pm at night. My sleeping has improved dramatically, almost too much zzzzzz.
There are lots of things that can trigger your mind. For me, at the moment, it is feelings of guilt and confusion that come in and out from the period I was unwell and not myself. The nurses remind me that my words and actions then were not Jojo Fraser, they were an illness. Journaling helps me process and dump the stuff that no longer serves me. As do long snuggles with my kids and sitting in the hot tub, gazing at the sky. Find your things and make them a priority. I spoke on BBC radio yesterday about how we need to switch off the constant news alerts and switch on some trash cough love is blind on netflix does the job. We all need a little bit of distraction. Take it.