Recently I have been feeling a tad… overwhelmed. And I don’t think that’s true of just myself, a lot of people around me continue to say that their head feels full and they need a break. Usually, I would just go for a nice ride and everything would feel better but for the first time in my life, that isn’t happening. If anything, I feel like I want to ride less, like I just need a few days to recharge, refocus and rewire. Even writing that makes me feel so guilty, it isn’t the ponies’ fault that I have to fit in so much. But unfortunately, as we all know, horses are a luxury and sometimes life’s necessities have to come first (as sad as it makes me to admit this!)
I’ve been on a bit of a search really to find what can give me this headspace that I so desperately need. I don’t feel physically tired but more just full to the brim. Taking on too much can be difficult for us all, although I don’t even feel like I have done that, I just feel like I have taken on too many thoughts and not let go of things that simply don’t matter and so are taking up space in my brain.
So, my usual outlet isn’t working, a tad worrying but I need to stay positive about this. I’m all for helping your mental health, in the hope that it will help me later on! I have decided that what I need to do is enrich my mind with positive thoughts and experiences which will in turn, allow me to think more clearly and concisely. So, in an effort to always be pro-active, I have made a list of things which I think may help me.
- Diet- My diet is pretty poor, I absolutely hate cooking and always leave eating ‘til the last minute, hence why it always ends up being rubbish food. This week I have eaten a completely clean diet, no saturated fats at all and only good carbs. I think it is too soon to tell if this will help, but it will certainly help my overall health which has to be a good thing.
- Putting down my phone- something I struggle with. I know this seems so obvious, but it’s sad to say that I actually find this quite difficult. My job involves being on my phone and the internet constantly and so some time away from this is always positive. I allow myself to use it freely, after all I’m not going to put strict time restraints on myself because I think that would stress me out more. But I am conscious of how much I am on my phone or laptop and am really trying to make an effort to be ‘present’ even if I have less photographic memories!
- Positive mindset practices- I haven’t got as far on this one… I have a journal which I write in every day and do ‘challenges’ in, these can be found on pinterest and aim to explore different areas of your life. It just helps to view the bigger picture sometimes, plus it distracts me from my phone! Sometimes I do really cliché things like write 5 good things that happened today or 5 things you are grateful for, but it can also be a bit different to that like ‘your views on education and religion’. I guess it just helps you find a sense of self and reality, which I like.
- Audiobooks- this goes with the ‘enriching the mind’ idea. I love learning and I think I have lost a sense of that since leaving education, I guess you can say I am just really nosey and like knowing things! Listening to audiobooks is so stimulating for me, from interviews to mindset advice to discussions on topics I wouldn’t usually be interested in, I find it all so interesting and more often than not, it can put perspective on your own life and relationships.
- Ride more worry less- whether this is right or wrong, I often have the wrong mindset to riding my horses around work and other commitments, something which has only recently become apparent to me. I treat riding my horses like a job, I ride them as often as I can, and I take it probably too seriously. Perhaps this is why I don’t always find riding a stress buster, because for me it’s another job on my list to complete. I like to work them both 6 days a week, however recently I think it’s good for both them and me to just have a day off. I think the hot weather hasn’t helped with this as it seriously demotivated me. I’m desperate to find the enjoyment in it again and feel like I want to compete them, I’m hoping that as my mindset changes, so will my motivations to ride.
I know I’m not alone in feeling this way and sometimes talking it through helps to makes sense of it, nothing is ‘wrong’ as such but we all know in ourselves when we just aren’t feeling right. The quote “you cannot pour from an empty cup” has been posted quite frequently on my Instagram timeline recently, but I still couldn’t recognise the signs that I was burning out. Sometimes we forget that just because we aren’t physically tired, our mental capacity is totally different to our physical. I’ve always been intrigued by just how much we need to look after our mental health and how much maintenance we have to put into it to remain functioning, especially as this has only really been publicised over recent years. The best thing is to rest but be active in your approach, identify the areas which are leading to you feeling like this. As nothing is ‘wrong’ in my life, I know it is just an internal issue that only I can change. I just keep saying, “think objectively, make the changes that are going to help you.”