Hey there, I’m Ellie and I thought I would change the Verve Blog up a little bit this week.
Over the past while, I have noticed my mind craving a break, a challenge, a holiday, a night out with pals. These are my usual go to when I have had a busy week or need to switch off. As we all know, a vast amount of our ‘breaks’ are somewhat limited, we find ourselves looking for things to revitalise or refresh the mind. So, what can we do to spice up our evenings or weekends and more importantly, how to give our minds the break that it needs?
Everyone talks about mental health, and tells you to mind yourself or say things like ‘make sure you don’t get too stressed’ but rarely do you hear people say, “ I was really struggling so I did this to make myself feel better”. Almost 60% of Irish people have said they have suffered with their mental health over the past 18 months.
With this in mind, I have put together some tips that I found helpful when it comes to minding my mind and keeping my ‘shit’ together. They might just inspire you to try something new or explore an avenue you may not have thought of.
Sometimes you forget to look at your area through the eyes of a tourist. Recently I found a secret beach in Howth on google maps, I did a dash there and witnessed the most beautiful sunset. Whether it’s the Howth cliff walk, a walk up Killiney hill or a stroll to the Poolbeg lighthouse, go and explore. Or for those who like going on long walks, why not go on a hike instead? We are blessed in Ireland with 221 mountains, from the Mourne mountains, McGillicuddy Reeks to the Wicklow mountains. The therapeutic feeling of being in the wilderness, with a goal to get to the peak of a mountain to witness the rewarding, spectacular views is satisfying to say the least. Don’t forget to prepare before hiking, download the All-trails app, find a route and stick to the trail. Bring lunch, a waterproof jacket (it is Ireland after all), an extra layer of clothes, a torch and a friend.
Where to start your adventures? Pick a date, a location you have never visited and go from there. You never know what’s waiting around the corner…
I will put my hand up and say yes, this is me, I did it, I have taken up rollerblading and dare I say, I love it. Rollerblading makes me feel nostalgic to my childhood days. Concentrating hard on not falling I forget about any woes I may have and I find myself living in the moment. With the wind blowing in your hair, while getting some exercise, you won’t know yourself. It’s a win win, well, unless you’re very uncoordinated, then cycling may be the safer option.
It doesn’t have to be rollerblading, it can be any new hobby. What about trying sea swimming, reading, learning to play an instrument, writing stories or poems, cooking, painting, or even playing PlayStation. During the first lockdown I did try to learn the ukulele, but let’s just say I shall stick to rollerblading.
Calling all the aspiring crafty folks out there who would like to be creative but are not sure where to start. So many people are dabbling in DIY around the house, gardening, painting etc. You can buy a cheap vase and upcycle it, upcycle furniture, make pallet furniture, go all out and build a bar in the garden. Who knows you could find a talent you never knew you had? There are so many great Instagram pages out there to follow for tips and ideas. Vintageirishkat is one of my favourite pages to follow for creative tips and tricks, an added bonus is that she is absolutely hilarious. (Two fussy blokes instagram page also share some super upcycling creations)
When WFH you tend to move around alot less than when you were commuting to the office, so the little midday walks are important. I would suggest adding a 30 – 45 minute session about three to four times a week. It could be a yoga class, a cardio class, resistance training, a jog around the block, anything at all. Exercise is statistically proven to do wonders for your brain, it reduces anxiety, depression, a negative mood, improves self-esteem and cognitive function. There are also lots of great free classes online like Yoga with Adriene.
Some people are just not into meditation and that is totally okay, it’s not for everyone but if you have never tried it, why not give it a go? If you are one of those people who are always on the go like myself, why not try to take five or ten minutes out a day, pop on some ‘zen’ music, take some deep breaths and chill. There are some amazing apps these days you can download and do meditations sessions. (Two super apps I recommend would be calm and headspace).
There is nothing better than a day spent with a friend talking about everything and anything. Sometimes it’s all the therapy you need, laughing and joking, telling stories or talking about any issues you want to discuss or just having a good old chin wag. Being that shoulder to cry on or crying on someone’s shoulder. You’re always just one conversation away from feeling better.
Someone once said to me ‘a car can’t run without fuel’. If you give your body good foods, your body will feel good. It improves your sense of wellbeing and overall mood. I’m not suggesting plain boiled vegetables every day, but try incorporating a few more vegetables, fruit and whole foods into your diet. Try experimenting, pomegranate in your salads, fry asparagus in garlic, grated courgettes in your stir fry. Yum!! The Happy Pear has lots of great veggie recipes on their Youtube you can check out here
As a night owl I struggle to go to bed early and get up early for that matter. Early is not a word used to describe me in general but I know if I go to bed early and get a full 8 hours of sleep, I feel better, I am in a better mood, I have a better attention span, I am motivated. Sleep is essential – It is as important for our bodies as eating, drinking and breathing, it also helps recover from mental and physical exertion.
If any of these tips help even one person or inspire you to get up and try something new, I feel my job here is done. Thanks for having a little read, now off you go on your next adventure.
Verve is an agency celebrating 30 years at the top of the events, experiential and marketing industries. This podcast pulls from that wealth of experience, giving key insights from the past, tips for the future, and everything in between.
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