3 things I’m doing to help my mind

3 things I’m doing to help my mind

I’ve made it no secret that so far in 2019 i’ve been on the verge of a breakdown approx 243 times.

Now I will just clear up that whilst yes I have been very stressed it’s nothing too serious, so as always please take my dramatic attitude with a pinch of salt.

I don’t plan to go into detail about the causes of my stress in this post but to give you a bit of context you can read my post here outlining everything that’s made me cry so far in 2019.

One thing that I have struggled with recently is actually letting go of things. I’ve found myself waking up in the middle of the night and my first thought it ‘ohh I must remember to send this email’ or ‘I should have probably done X Y and Z at work today’. Either way it’s absolutely not what I would be waking up thinking about in an ideal world.

In an ideal world I wouldn’t be waking up in the middle of the night at all but throughout this period of stress I have been struggling with sleep a lot more than usual.

I’ve also struggled to switch off in the evenings and just stop myself from thinking about work, so I’ve made a few changes recently in the hopes it will ease my mind and help me chill the F out.

1. Not taking my phone to bed

Now this might seem like such a small thing that wouldn’t make an ounce of difference but honestly, I can see how it helps. Until a couple of weeks ago, my phone was the last thing I looked at before I slept and the first thing I looked at when I woke up. How depressing is that? It’s kinda weird to think on some occasions you speak to someone on Instagram before you even speak to the person lying next to you…

If you’re looking at your phone right before you go to sleep, it’s likely that whatever has or is going on online is going to be on your mind during the night, consciously or subconsciously. And it’s the same in the mornings. Whatever you look at first thing sets you up for the day. Maybe you’ve had an irritating message cancelling plans or let’s be honest more likely, you’ve lost a bunch of Instagram followers (dramatic I know but we all know the feeling), this could easily put you in a funk.

To avoid this, I’ve been leaving my phone in the living room overnight. This means I have a decent amount of time before I go to bed where I’m not looking at a screen, and I usually don’t check up on notifications until after my workout in the morning. It’s definitely helped my sleep and I’ve felt healthier since doing so.

2. Enjoying activities offline

Something I used to do when I was younger and sadly slipped out of the habit of doing is reading. Almost every night I would read before bed and would always look forward to loosing myself in a new book on holiday. I’d get through a whole book in a week, now I’m lucky if I read a page a week. I guess with the introduction of phones at the age I was growing up meant I kinda swapped the pages of books for the screen of a phone which makes me so sad. On the topic of phones I recently wrote about switching mine off for 17 hours which I would recommend to anyone and everyone, its just here.

I’m trying my best now to get back into reading. I know for one it will help with sleep but it’s also such a good way of escaping, relaxing, and avoiding too much screen time. Current book of choice is A Hand Maids Tale and I’m already four chapters in…YAY!

Recently I was very kindly sent a beginners knitting kit from the lovely people at We Are Knitters. I’ve chosen to (hopefully) create a chunky knit blanket and I think this is SUCH a fab thing to do to focus the mind on something other than work, or social media. I’ll keep you updated with how I get along!

3. Meditating

As I’ve mentioned, recently I’ve been finding it hard to switch off from work. I’m finding myself waking up in the night thinking about something to do with work which honestly is quite unpleasant. I’d much rather wake up thinking about food…I’m also finding it hard to take my mind away from it in the evenings and at weekends so I’ve downloaded the HeadSpace app.

It’s an app designed to take you through simple stages of meditation and honestly does wonders for helping me relax. With just a short three minute session I find it helps create a barrier between work and down time.

Help my mind pinterest graphic

I’m already starting to feel better after making these small changes and I would recommend anyone struggling to switch off to try something similar.

Do you have any tips for switching off?

P.S This post contains items gifted from We Are Knitters however there was no obligation to include them in this post.

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12 Comments

  1. March 4, 2019 / 8:19 am

    I tried not taking my phone to bed but I got super paranoid that I wouldn’t hear my alarm in the morning so it wasn’t a restful night😅 although I’ve been trying to journal before bed instead rather than looking at my phone – you must have more will power than me! x

    • estherruthwyse
      Author
      March 5, 2019 / 10:02 pm

      Ahhh I have a separate alarm clock which really helps! It wakes me up with natural light and the sound of birds so maybe look into something like that! Sounds like a really good idea 🙌🏼 I sometimes give in too! Xx

      • March 6, 2019 / 12:05 pm

        I am literally the type of person to groan and switch something like that off at the plug/mains😅 xx

        • estherruthwyse
          Author
          March 7, 2019 / 7:03 am

          Love it! xx

  2. March 4, 2019 / 9:47 am

    The ability to switch off the ‘work’ section of your brain at the end of the day is a real skill, and one I really struggled with for ages. What worked for me was to have the car journey home as my time to ‘vent’ and talk about my day in the office, and then as soon as I arrived home, the topic was off limits.

    Reading is also a fantastic idea, and the same as you, I really enjoy it as a way to wind down. I must make the effort to do it more often!

    Em x

    http://www.emsworld.co.uk

    • estherruthwyse
      Author
      March 5, 2019 / 10:03 pm

      Ohhh I like that idea a lot! Maybe I should use car time more wisely…🙌🏼🙌🏼 yes me too! Thank you for the comment xxx

  3. March 4, 2019 / 2:31 pm

    Awww girl, I hope these tips are helping you feel a bit more at peace now. I love the idea of not looking at your phone right before bed, it can leave you feeling so awake and wired. We try to leave our phones outside and pick up a book instead right before bed. It’s helped so much. Thanks for all the awesome tips!

    • estherruthwyse
      Author
      March 5, 2019 / 10:03 pm

      Thanks for the lovely comment 😍 completely agree it’s not the most relaxing is it?! Reading is so much more relaxing xxx

  4. March 24, 2019 / 6:23 pm

    I have so much love for this post. Your tips are so obvious yet things that none of us have ever actually thought of! I’m one of life’s worriers so wouldn’t sleep without my phone in fear of sleeping through my alarm but I get a whoosh of comfort & relief turning airplane mode on a night. x

    • estherruthwyse
      Author
      March 25, 2019 / 7:16 am

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment – my advice would be get an alarm clock! I have an alarm clock which wakes me up with natural light 🙂 I’m a worrier too – haha!

  5. March 28, 2019 / 6:39 pm

    I’ve found taking the time to enjoy life offline has made a big difference to my mental health. The last few weeks have been somewhat turbulent for me and I knew tat staring at a phone screen would make things so much worse. I started going out more, whether that was to the pub or into town. I’ve not been checking my phone every few minutes. I feel so much better!

    • estherruthwyse
      Author
      March 31, 2019 / 8:49 pm

      Hope everything is ok lovely girl, I know it’s made a massive difference to me too! It’s all about changing small habits for the biggest difference🙌🏼🙌🏼💖💖

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