Staying healthy


This week has shot by and it’s December already. There’s no noise from the kids about putting the Xmas tree up, but I’m sure that will come. Every year there’s that frisson of danger: has some fiendish fieldmouse crept into the loft and nibbled the decorations? Not that we have a mouse problem – next door’s cat is very attentive – but living out the sticks, we see quite a bit of wildlife. Still, at least it’s just foxes, crows, and squirrels. I saw a rat down by the canal last week at work. Feel free to make your own gag about a despised politician or celebrity of your choosing. 🙂

Yesterday I happened to attend one of those working lunch gigs. It was about mindfulness and stress in the modern workplace. What stress is like in the less than modern workplace I’ve no idea, but if you know, do tell. 🙂 Mindfulness seems to have been doing the rounds over the past few years, but I’ve found it helpful. It’s not always easy to tune out the noise of your own mind, so the breathing techniques have been useful. I also tried attending a workmate’s meditation class which sort of takes things a little further. If you’ve not tried either, I would say it’s worth a spin. If nothing else, it’s something new and possibly a new crowd of people to talk to.

Talking of the latter, the modern workplace presentation included some tips on reducing your own stress. The top five, as it were, are: giving, relating, exercise, appreciating and trying out. The presenter did go on to explain them a little, but I’m going to have a go at them. They may have a slight trans bias 😉

Giving: Or more accurately, giving help or time to people. I think there’s definitely something in helping others, be it the simple acts of day to day kindness, to stopping and going out of your way to help someone. I don’t help out at Chameleons for the props, I do have a vested interest. That said, seeing at evening go well, or reading about a person’s first-time visit is very rewarding emotionally.

Relating: Being involved with people and actively listening to them. I’ve been doing some training in coaching of late and that’s been really helpful. Certainly, the active listening and knowing your own biases has helped. Relating isn’t just me talking about me – which this blog sort of provides – but that vital two-way conversation we have. That whole line about a problem shared and all that.

Exercise: I know I don’t do enough of this for the amount of food that I eat. That said, a walk with the dogs in the morning, and a cycle ride between offices at work gets me outside. It may not be much, but that 15 – 30 minute break from not looking at the screen, and just enjoying the world really helps me recharge.

Appreciating: I once read “it’s what we don’t have that makes is miserable” and it took me a while to get my head around that. Rather than chasing stuff, I don’t have, or even won’t have, taking the time to enjoy what I do is a trick I’m still working towards. Take this month for example, in previous years I’d have been flapping about finding the right Christmas dress. This time, meh. I’ve got plenty I could wear and while there’s some pretty outfits in the shops, I’m quite looking forward to putting something together with what I already have. Likewise, it’s another week or so until Chams, so no cross-dressing for a bit. But, if I play the mindfulness card and think on the thermal leggings I’m wearing, I can appreciate the fit and the feel. Not in a pervy way, but they don’t feel like my bloke jeans either.

I am rooted in the me…. and thinking of fab shoes.

Trying Out: This was doing new things. The job I’ve been doing has been good in this regard. Less staring at screens, but working with people and so much learning to do! How people work, how systems hang together, and new techniques from old workmates on organising activities. Plus, with a bit less presenteeism, the occasion course out of the office means I’m meeting new people and picking up new skills.

All reasons to be cheerful!

So, next time someone asks you about a mindfulness practice, think on about your favourite shoes. How do they feel on your feet? How do you walk when you wear them? My name’s Lynn Jones and I’m guilty of owning perhaps one too many pairs of beautiful, beautiful heels. 🙂

Take care,

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