We’re all feeling the effects of what is happening around the globe in one way or another right now and we are living through challenging times. With unexpected pressures, very different day to day lives and ever-changing circumstances, it’s difficult to know what to do with ourselves.
Vicky Kakos of The Wee Retreat, one of our Wellbeing Awards finalists, shares her thoughts…
It’s challenging living with uncertainty and change, but there are things we can do to help navigate our way through this.
Many of these techniques stem from ancient practices, such as yoga and meditation, and are as relevant and practical today – or perhaps even more so.
Most importantly, these practices help keep our attention in the here and now. By being present, we have less worries, we are less concerned with the future and the past and, therefore, have fewer things to ‘deal with’.
Here at The Wee Retreat in Glasgow, we’ve noticed how having a regular self-care practice has helped us these past months. There has never been a more important time to look after your wellbeing!
If you’re feeling the consequences of the dramatic changes we’re facing, our advice would be:
a) If you already have a self-care routine, double what you are doing!
b) If you don’t look after your wellbeing on a regular basis, start!
There are many ways to looking after your wellbeing. The most important thing is to do something. If you’re not sure where to start or are needing a change in what you do, see what’s out there, experiment with different modalities and see what works for you. Ask friends or family members what they do, what works for them and just give it a go.
Once you’ve found a class or method that you like, the next part it to create a regular practice. We recognise, though, that this can be a challenge in itself. So below are our top 5 tips for sticking to a routine and creating a practise that works for you.
How to stick to a routine and find a wellbeing practise that works for you
- Patience – it would be difficult to become fluent in a language or learn how to play the piano overnight and it is the same with looking after your wellbeing. Whenever you feel yourself getting frustrated or unmotivated, remind yourself you are learning a new skill or deepening your existing practice – be patient with yourself.
- Kindness – we can be so good at being kind to others, yet it can feel so difficult to be kind to yourself. Notice the way you speak to yourself, the tone of voice and language you use when you’ve forgotten to practice or think you’ve made a mistake… when you can, imagine you are talking to a friend and see if that makes a difference,
- You do have time! – there is a Zen proverb which says “you should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” Believing you are too busy to spend 10-20 minutes looking after your wellbeing is a sure sign you are paying too much attention to your thoughts and a red light that you need to slow down.
- Consistency – just as you wouldn’t expect to take one vitamin for a day or two and expect to feel the differences, looking after your wellbeing needs consistency. This also means looking after your wellbeing when you feel on top of life; by maintaining a consistent routine through lifes ups, we are able to cope better through the downs.
- No one can do it for you! Making the decision to look after your wellbeing has to come from you. Once you’ve taken the decision, jot down a few of the reasons you want to look after your wellbeing and stick it somewhere visible to remind you when you feel your routine or commitment slip. Adding wee notices you make along the way can help to remind you how far you’ve come/well you’re doing.
If you decide to focus more attention on your wellbeing, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to do it alone. Having someone else play a part can provide extra motivation, accountability and support.
You’ll find that a friend, family member, colleague or neighbour is just waiting to be asked or, if you prefer, there are an amazing amount of experienced and supportive wellbeing practitioners in the area ready to help – and if we can provide that for you, don’t hesitate to ask!
Here are some extra give-it-a-go ideas:
- Regular walks in the park
- Journaling or creative/free writing
- Breathing exercises
Get along for a Wee Cuppa!
The Wee Retreat is running a virtual ‘Wee Cuppa’ every Wednesday morning between 11 and 11.45am. Sessions are free to attend and offer a chance to have some friendly company every week.
The sessions are hosted by the Wee Retreat’s Meditation and Community Crafts host Donna Jamieson, who is known for her warm and friendly style.
Donna is excited to have the opportunity to welcome both new and old faces every week.
The sessions will run for four months throughout the winter season. To book, visit The Wee Retreat, where everyone is welcome.