I know that all over the world right now there are amazing women who are struggling with being in isolation, in lockdown, and coping in the face of such worrying news.
Personally, my chronic illnesses have kept me isolated at home for extended periods of time for many years, which has been very difficult, so I can totally empathise with those women who are facing this now for the first time.
The most important thing that I want all women to do right now is to look after their mental health. We should each be nurturing ourselves, letting positivity flow in and allowing ourselves to lift any pressures we may feel. Over the years I have built up a list of activities that help me to re-fill my cup when my health has put me into isolation, and I wanted to share it with all of our amazing Bliss ladies…
Laughter is a Healer
I love to curl up on the sofa with a great book or Netflix boxset when I am feeling low, however I find it the most beneficial for my mental health if the program I am watching or book I am reading makes me laugh. At times like these the endorphins released by laugher will help to reduce stress, strengthen our immune systems, and can even ease physical discomfort. If you watch something which warms your soul and makes you laugh, don’t forget to share it with your friends who may be struggling too.
Take a Wellness Bath
You don’t have to be in Bali to take a wellness bath! At Bliss we have worked hard to make beautiful wellness baths for our ladies which I often recreate these at home, and you can too. Run yourself a warm bath and fill it with your favourite products, essential oils and bubble baths. Light candles in your bathroom, dim the lights and maybe play some soft meditation music. I often find that when sinking into the water I can switch off from the niggling stresses of the day, finding a moment of peace just for me.
Connect with the Earth
When struggling with my chronic illnesses I have often practiced earthing to relieve pain and inflammation. Earthing is a practice that allows a transfer of the energy on the earth’s surface into the body, which neutralises any free radicals in the body. As well as relieving physical pain, the act of sinking your bare feet into the earth truly helps you to connect with nature, notice the beauty of your surroundings and ground you in the present moment. Next time you are in your garden, or on your daily walk, I recommend all ladies take off their shoes and give earthing a try.
Plan, Dream, Envisage Your Bliss
One thing I have noticed during isolation is plenty of women sharing their achievements on social media. While this is great, for some of us it can cause an extra pressure. If you don’t feel like getting up to do a workout or taking up a new hobby, then that is completely okay and instead you can use this time to dream about things you would like to bring into your life, places you would like to visit, meals you may want to try. Dreaming and planning, maybe even creating a Blissful vision board of images and quotes that bring you joy is not only a wonderful way to realign yourself with your goals, but will keep the mind busy with positivity and things to look forward to.
Better Out Than In
While taking care of our mental health is about embracing positivity, it also involves accepting and recognising anger, worry and fear. Rather than letting negative emotions cloud and overtake my mind, I write everything out on a piece of paper, then triumphantly tear it up and throw it away. Letting out these emotions and then physically destroying them will help to shake away the negativity and leave room for you to nurture positive thinking. If you are still struggling to treat yourself with self-compassion I would always recommend speaking to a counsellor. Having the courage to reach out if you need support is something you should be proud of, and with online and phone counselling always available you don’t need to worry about breaking isolation.
Eat and Drink Well
When I am alone and feeling low, I always make sure that my diet is packed with immune system boosting leafy greens, and snacks that will help to raise my serotonin levels. It can be easy in isolation to get into the habit of eating too little or too much, so I like to make a meal plan for the week, full of food I know will heal my body and soul. Pineapples, Bananas, Dark Chocolate, Nuts and Omega-3 rich foods like salmon are often on my menu! Don’t forget that it is also essential to make sure you are drinking plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and your mind sharp.
Sing it out!
While isolation can be lonely, it also gives you an opportunity to let down your guard and inhibitions. Nothing makes me happier than singing my favourite songs at the top of my lungs, knowing nobody is around to watch me having a bedroom boogie. Make a playlist of songs that you love and pump up the volume, and if you find any song makes you feel overwhelmed with emotion, play it again and listen to the words, embracing the emotions they make you feel.
While we all want to be in the best mental health shape right now, it’s understandable that there will be days, moments, hours and minutes that are harder than others. Be mindful of your emotions, recognise and notice them, and if you do find you feel especially negative or worried, then address it. I find that if I keep note of when the negativity begins to cloud in, I am able to self-soothe by getting up, making myself a cup of tea, calling a friend or taking a walk to help return to a calm mindset.
My final tip is that all ladies start and end the day with thankfulness. We all have the space inside us to say thanks and to show gratitude. Maybe the sun is shining on your morning, perhaps you had a particularly tasty or enjoyable meal, or a lovely message from your best friend. Be thankful for family, for friends, for the music that makes you dance and for the nourishment you give yourself every day. No matter how big or small, find that thing that makes you grateful, and take a moment to sit with and recognise it. I hope all of you wonderful women are taking care of your mental, physical and emotional health, and supporting each other with daily phone and video calls and funny messages. We will all get through this together!
We wanted to share our Bliss experience as far as it can go and so we created Bliss News. Even if you can’t go on a beautiful personalised Women’s Retreat right now, we hope you can take the time to add a bit more bliss to your life in whatever way you choose. Self love comes in all different shapes and sizes but the one thing it has in common is that it starts with you. We hope some of our ideas and laughs and wellness retreat additions are something you can incorporate into your everyday life... love Zoë xxx