My daughter wrote a poem about Kindness last week. I will share some of it below:
Kindness is not a blanket but it can warm you up. Kindness is not covid but it can spread. Kindness is not a butterfly but it can fly around the world. Kindness is not the ocean but it can grow deep in your heart. Kindness is not a bucket but it can fill up your day.
by Bonnie Fraser aged 9
I love these words and they are a great reminder about the power of simple actions we can take to be kinder to others and ourselves. Kids can often be our greatest teachers. I also shared a lovely little clip on my reels of her talking about the power of our words and the scars that we can’t see. Tune into it here. It is simple but hard hitting.
Last week on time for a mojo injection episode 149, we spoke about being kind to ourselves and tuning into what we need each day. A happier mind is often a kinder mind. Often when we think of the word burnout we think of the corporate world and the image of working far too hard. But there are so many layers to it. Burnout can be working far too many hours to the point you are exhausted. It can also be when you’re overwhelmed and emotionally drained from:
A lack of boundaries.
Raising kids or caring for sick family members and making no time for yourself.
Exercising too much.
Too much negative consumption such as news updates, social media and difficult conversations.
Living your life based on the expectations of others.
Burying past trauma.
The list could go on but I am starting to feel negative just writing it. So instead, let’s think about some things that we can do to help our mind to be a kinder place. This week on the podcast, I talk about the art of surrendering in what can feel like an overwhelming world. Often when we think of the word surrender, we think of spiritual practices such as prayer and meditation. These are of course wonderful ways to let go and quieten the mind. We often know when we have taken the time to surrender and let go, because we feel lighter. Here are some other ways that you can practise the art of surrendering.
Take time to look up every day. Star gaze, sunset gaze or simply look at the clouds. Be still and let it all go. There are days that I simply love looking down. I look down to write, like I am doing right now. I look down at my kids and ask what they need. I like down at my phone and get sucked into playing sonic (I love it) or looking through social media. I look down into books. But looking up is so important too. It is also useful to remember that we can easily become overstimulated by looking down. Life admin can get on top of us, I can get overwhelmed by the most simple thing like forgetting to wish people on facebook happy birthday or reply to a message on Instagram. I can get stressed by emails with more demands. The list will never go away but unless we take time to look up and find balance, we will become frazzled and unproductive.
Cold water therapy. Get out in nature and into the cold water. Focus on the sound of the waves, the birds, the wind or noise around you. Tune into your breathing. The more we get still each day, the more we realise the times when nature is calling us. I was desperate to get out to the beach yesterday and I am so glad that we made the effort to get the kids packed up and go. We spent a few hours on the beach. I loved swimming in the sea, sitting listening to the waves. I loved the feeling of the sand on my feet and watching the kids going to look for crabs in rockpools. I loved just being still and connected.
Put on some music you love and shake off any negative energy or sit calmly and enjoy the sound washing over you.
Have a hot bath and allow the thoughts to drift away.
Write a gratitude list to get you into a more positive place, letting go of any anger or fear. I love doing this in bed at night.
Go for a walk in nature.
Sit on a beach and listen to the sound of the waves.
Hug it out. There is nothing like a nice long hug to quieten the mind. I often tell the kids that a hug a day keeps the Doctor away. They are also well aware that I don’t do stingy hugs and we need to hold them for at least 25 seconds.
Light a candle and send some loving thoughts to others.
Imagine you are dancing with someone you love. Close your eyes and visualise the moment. If you want to go all out, why not imagine you are dancing with someone you are struggling to forgive. Embrace dancing and pour all the positive throughts their way.
Journal your thoughts out and take time to observe them without judgement and then see how you can move past them. You could even write someone a letter, even if you don’t plan to send it. It can be a way to let go of blocks.
Get lost in some art. Paint, draw, colour in, make a card for someone.
Jump up and down on a trampoline.
Go and have some fun. Play a game of hide and seek with your kids.
Watch something that will make you laugh.
Take time out to cook something from scratch that you love. Even if you feel that you don’t have the time. The simple art of creating something can be a sacred ritual just for you to enjoy.
Book yourself a spa day or bribe someone at home to give you a good massage.
Lie down on the floor and do a body scan or simply focus on the feeling of the hard surface. Get into swan pose or child’s pose. I love these positions for letting it all go.
Go and buy yourself some lovely flowers. Take time to smell them (rose are my fave, give them a good sniff).
Get out in the garden and get your hands messy.
Try some laughter yoga.
There are so many things we can’t control. Like the weather, the waves, other people’s actions and opinions of us. We can’t control the past. But we can choose to accept where we are at, to be thankful for the small things every day and to just get still amongst the chaos and connect to ourselves.
Jump in below for some more tips. You got this!
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Jojo Fraser is an award-winning mental health researcher, author, podcaster and keynote speaker, dubbed as ‘the Queen of positivity and a kindness advocate. She is a Tedx speaker and a regular contributor on BBC radio. Jojo is known for normalising discussions around our mental and spiritual health, making it accessible and relatable to all. She has quickly grown a reputation for having a huge impact even on the most sceptical of people.