I have a confession: I have never been much good at looking after my own mental health. With a tendency from childhood to internalise problems and threats, the first indication that my emotional wellbeing was under par would be a blinding migraine or severe digestive problems. Typically anglo saxon, I discovered in early adult life the wonderful mood lifting benefits of physical exercise and took up running, hiking and dance as my panacea. No mindfulness for me.
Vicissitudes of life
Eventually though the vicissitudes of life became more than my nervous system could deal with and no amount of physical pounding could help me deal with a worsening emotional state. Always drawn to self help, I dabbled on and off with self-led creative therapies, but natural scepticism repelled me from anything I felt to be ‘new age’ or having overtones of eastern mysticism. Mindfulness therefore passed me by for a long while, until I was approached by a mental health charity to lead a mini hackathon for young people to design a digital tool for mindfulness in schools.
Mindfulness with compassion
Introduced to Karen, founder of MindfulnessUK, and her colleague Angie, I started to understand how transformational mindfulness practice can be. They even started me on meditation, something I never believed I would ever be able to do. I am now a keen advocate for mindfulness, particularly ‘mindfulness with compassion’, which is Karen’s specialism. It is not a cure-all and it may not suit everyone, but mindfulness has the advantage of being easily learned, can be practised daily and can help to restore balance to our lives.
For frontline workers
Recently Karen very kindly produced two mindfulness practice videos, designed specifically for our Mind Of My Own community of frontline workers in children’s services. Here they are, our gift to you:
Please be good to yourself, find a quiet space and try these practices to enhance your wellbeing.
Have a lovely day!
Yvonne, co founder Mind Of My Own