Mindful in May – Week 1Heidi Hadley
Wow! I can’t believe we are in to May already! It means only one thing! That’s correct, Total Somatics will be focusing on the Theme of ‘Mindful in May’ for the next 5 Wednesdays. The purpose of this theme is to encourage you to take stock and think about your daily activities. Each week we will look at different ways to be mindful and create a Somatic lifestyle so we can glow and flourish from the inside out.
Below is a 1 minute video I have created for you to highlight this week’s Mindful in May task. Afterwards I will encourage you to look at how you can develop this theme further.
Task 1: Create time to Recharge, Refresh, Recalibrate and Recuperate.
If you follow Total Somatics on social media, you will know we have recently opened a wellness centre. Total Somatics now has a home in Adelaide, South Australia. The reason I mention this is because my husband and I have had to practise this, creating time to recharge, refresh, recalibrate and recuperate. Life can become very hectic. It is very easy to get caught up in the deadlines and pressures of daily life. However when we make an effort to step away from the demands, we realise that life continues and things will not collapse without us being there! In actual fact, when we create time to wind down and rest, we become much more productive.
Stress and anxiety are very common issues and we need to be aware of the importance of identifying when we need additional support. However there are techniques and boundaries we can implement. For instance creating a schedule, learning to say no and not feeling guilty for taking time out for yourself.
Stress creates changes within our body and increases inflammation, so the more we can take control of our internal system from the external events, the less health related issues we will encounter. Let us consider a few examples.
Create time each day to be mindful in nature. Look and listen to the wildlife, enjoy the fresh air, feel the sun or cool breeze on your face. Move away from your work environment and take a walk outside and around the block. Just getting out, moving your body, reducing stress hormones, boosting feel good hormones and blowing away the cobwebs can sometimes be the best choice in order to feel refreshed and gain greater clarity with your decisions.
During this week and beyond, SCHEDULE time, even if it is 10 minutes to get outside, stop and smell the roses.
Consider these following cues for your mindful practice:
Look at the sky. Notice the colour. Is it cloudy? Is it clear? What colour and shape are the clouds? Is it warm? Is it windy? Listen to the sound of the wind through the trees.
What colour are the leaves in the trees around you? Are there flowers or buds nearby? What are the shapes of the leaves? Do the leaves have an aroma? What texture do the leaves have?
Is there water near you? Is it a pond? River? Ocean? Puddle? What patterns on the water does the wind create? Is the water calm? What colour is the water? If you are at the beach, can you smell the salt air?
Listen to the sounds around you? What can you hear? Birds? Transport? Laughter? Stop and absorb what is happening around you. Allow yourself time to step away from other demands and enjoy the moment.
Sleep is crucial. If you hear people saying they sacrifice sleep for work and live on 4 hours of sleep each night to achieve their goals, they are heading for serious health issues. We need 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Scientists have discovered in recent years, Amyloid protein. They discovered that amyloid protein builds up in the brain when we either have a stressful event or we have stressful thoughts. To the brain, the feelings have exactly the same effect. Amyloid protein is a harmful protein in the brain. Scientists have noticed people with Alzheimer’s disease have a large accumulation of amyloid protein. Interestingly enough, neuroscientists have noticed that the levels of amyloid protein decreases during sleep.
So could you schedule your activities to finish at a time which will allow you get to bed at a sensible time? My husband’s grandmother used to say “an hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 hours of sleep after midnight.” She was correct, sleep experts have noted that the first few sleep cycles are imperative for cognitive function and mental health. So remove electronic devices from your eyes before bedtime and allow your mind and body to wind down and prepare for sleep.
Practising somatic movement before bedtime is a fantastic way to prepare for a good night’s sleep. Plus there are added benefits to practising Mindful somatic movement at bedtime and it relates back to amyloid protein. TO READ WHY, CHECK OUT MY BLOG BY CLICKING HERE.
Let me know what beautiful views you enjoy this week as your become mindful in nature and schedule time for YOU. Tag me @total.somatics (instagram) or @totalsomatics (facebook) with your view this week. I would love to see and share with you, wherever you live in the world, the beautiful scenes that you are enjoying. Keep in touch.
Have a brilliant week!
Heidi Hadley xx