In one of the many TED talks I listened to recently (I did say I loved them!) it talked abut how we are rubbish at taking care of our mental hygiene. We go to the dentist, we go to the doctor, we find time to go to the gym…but we never take the time to look after our mental health.
Mental hygiene isn’t a term that’s used in everyday life, so what is it?! Simply put, it’s maintaining and “manicuring” our mental health to ensure our wellbeing.
Very few of us ever think “I really must do my half an hour of mindfulness today otherwise I might get mentally unwell”. We might think “I must exercise to keep my heart healthy” or “I must brush my teeth to avoid cavities”. But taking care of our mental health is always low down our priority list.
Why the hell is that?! Our mental health is one of the most important things. It protects our character, our happiness, ensures we can look after ourselves properly (which in turn impacts on our physical health).
I, like most of us, find it hard to find time to focus on my mental wellbeing. I’ll squeeze in a run or a workout, I’ll take extra time going up the stairs rather than zipping up in the lift, but I can never find the time to do even 60 seconds of mindfulness! Even my therapists raving about the benefits of mindfulness (and the fact I KNOW how good I feel after practising mindfulness) has not helped me incorporate it into my day!
Well, I’m determined to do something about it. Work offered a free 8-week mindfulness course (how cool is that?!) and I joined up straight away! Every week for an hour and a half we get a teacher-led session, supplemented by homework to do over the week. I’m really hoping that if I put in the effort over these 8 weeks this will form a habit that will last forever (cue cheesy music).
I thought it would be interesting for me to share my key takeaways with you, along with my favourite task from the week. That way you can start incorporating mindfulness in your lives too!
Have you ever done mindfulness?