Sadly it turns out I am useless at writing blogs. When I see other people’s blogs that I like, and admittedly it’s only a few I look at – my sister’s (You Can’t Hide The Spark), an ethical lifestyle one (Moral Fibres), a great women’s health one (Alignment Monkey) and a yoga and movement one (Jenni Rawlings) – it seems so straightforward. Have an idea, write it down, maybe research around the topic a bit and use some nice images. I love all that and my nerdy scientific brain gets very excited at the prospect of sharing interesting yoga, health and wellbeing and lifestyle facts and tips with you.
But it seems a combination of lack time and the desire to always produce something perfect halts me in my tracks.
Hence my blog today will be a mish mash of some of the things I’ve wanted to share for a while but haven’t got around to doing. I have promised a blog on Coherent Breathing and that will be next… I promise.
I’ve struggled to come to terms with the changing of the seasons this time around. Summer was so good I guess. And also I am suffering from a strong emotional response to Climate Change. Hard to stay chirpy when the world is in such dire straits. So I thought I’d share some of the things that I do which I know help with my mental health, in no particular order:
Gardening. I’ve spent a lot of time in my garden this summer, not just reading the paper in the hammock but actual gardening – with wildlife in mind at all times (check out Gardener’s World Episode 29 which is dedicated to gardening and mental health). Have discovered that Kilda who comes to one of my classes is a great Gardener and has a lovely Insta page (@kildameadows). I don’t look at much on Instagram, mainly 2 or 3 inspirational yoga sites and the odd friend who posts nourishing things. I rapidly unsubscribe to anyone who posts a picture of themselves half naked in a yoga pose. Just doesn’t float my boat. Here’s one of my cats on the bird bath – in side lying child’s pose? not a bikini in sight.
Yoga and meditation. Naturally. I attended a 3-hour restorative and yin workshop with Chris Nuttall at the Ton Boon Temple in Bradford on Avon on Sunday along with a friend who needed it more than me. Wonderful.
Wild swimming – especially under the Dundas aqueduct where I’ve seen kingfishers many times this year and last. Here’s me and a friend a couple of weeks ago:
But also in lakes in wales, the ocean, anywhere. A new German friend swims all year around and I would like to but… For inspiration, check out the film Kim Swims on Netflix (she didn’t have a warm shower for 6 months – what?!?!) and also Ross Edgelys crazy and amazing Great British Swim (swimming non-stop around Great Britain) which he completed last November. You can watch (and I have of course!) his video blogs during the swim here and I highly recomend you do. What a guy.
Foraging. I love to forage. Michael and I found a wild damson (or possibly bullace) patch on a run recently. We went back with bags and tuppawares and collected haw berries, rosehips and loads of damsons. So now we have lots of homemade goodies ready for Christmas presents:
I also have foraged / picked from my garden in the last few days: hazelnuts (before the squirrels took them all), apples, chives, lettuce, parsley, rocket, radishes and dandelion leaves.
Trail running. I have a weird relationship to running. Sometimes I love it and other times I just can’t get myself out. I did the Great North Run back in 2003 and sort of enjoyed it. But pretty much know that I prefer 10-12k runs maximim and definately prefer cross country running to road running, and running with someone. That way, I get community, diversity of movement for my body (styles, gates, dogging stones and roots, ducking under branches etc) and Vitamin Community as I can chat to my mate. So I’ve done a leg of the Man v Horse event in Wales a couple of times, as well as the Mells Scenic 7 run which was also great fun, once I got over the fact that most of the runners were from clubs and I was certainly going to come in near the end (not at the back as it turns out!). I recommend checking out Tony Riddle (no not the guy from Harry Potter, that’s Tom Riddle) who ran from Lands End to John O’Groats last month – 30 miles a day for 30 days . Wow that’s cool. Must have been tough. IN BARE FEET. What now?! My point is if he can do that, I can pootle around a 7 miles hilly run.
And probably other things too. Like cleaning and clearing out (not very good at this as anyone who comes to my house can testify – but I like doing it), walking, playing the fiddle, watching Gardener’s World and the Bake Off plus any good comedy. Good to have a laugh.
The Environment – Take Action Lastly, I’d like to share how important I think it is to tackle any sort of apathy or inertia you may feel about the climate emergency situation we are in. I had my head firmly in the sand for years. I would live an ethical lifestyle (of sorts) but wasn’t facing up to the reality as I knew it. Only now am I admitting what I hate to admit – that it is real and happening and awful and yes governments and companies have to step up. Big time. Essential. That’s a huge part of the issue and one which XR (Extinction Rebelion) of which I am a supporter, is working on. And I hope to go to London for the big rebelion later this month. But we all must make small and big changes to our lifestyles too. It makes a difference, it really does. We all have to find the thing that we can do. I am looking into taking direct action locally by volunteering with Bathscape to plant new wildflower meadows, look after woodlands etc.
What are you doing to support yourself, your community and your planet this Autumn?