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  • Writer's pictureShani Yeend

Mental Health Week

More than ever our mental health is being edged to the frontline. There is no denying this pandemic is pushing our buttons mentally & emotionally. Constant change, heightened health anxieties & uncertainties on the horizons is freaking us owwwwt! There is also no denying how exercise, fresh air, nature & connecting with humans in human-form warms our cockles. We come together to move, laugh & play. To feel those sweet post-exercise endorphins running through our veins. The Fitbirds side-effect of being strong & looking your finest is quite simply that, a side-effect. Personally, my first experience with feeling unusually low was after our miscarriage. It took a full year of soul searching, of trying to heal through nutrition & natural therapies. Although I haven't felt that low since, I am not more aware & respectful of my day-to-day mood & natural fluctuations of being a human, woman & mama. This week we want to bring awareness to our mental health. We want to make sure you all feel safe & comfortable to share with your Fitbirds community (and everyone else around you) your highs & your lows. We love celebrating your highs as much as we are here to hold you through your shitty times. This week we will spark conversation around our mental health. We will offer practical ideas & exercises within each class to help you light your spark! We invite you to share your personal experiences surrounding mental health with us & your fellow feathered friends. We learn by others life experiences right? Let's make sure we all feel safe & supported during times where darkness may takeover.

We have listed our top tips on how you could make a big, positive impact on your good vibes! By making small differences to your daily routine you could find you are shining your light a whole lot brighter. Try one each day this week. Notice your mood after each. Maybe you might decide to slip some of these in to your daily routine, just as we brush our teeth twice a day! 1. Do one thing for YOU today. This might be the smallest nod to yourself; sit down & really enjoy a cuppa with your face in the sun. Take the full shower-spa experience. If you have more time in your day perhaps bring out your old paints, do a spot of gardening & get yourself in to the lido! You are worth it birds.

2. Take a mindful walk without your phone. Connect with your breath, observe the sounds of nature, the feeling of the fresh air & the sun on your skin.

3. Simple breath work before you drift off to sleep. Spend a few minutes setting your body & mind up for a deep restful sleep. Using this simple breathing technique to tap into your parasympathetic nervous system will quite literally send the "I'm ready to drift off to sleep now" signal from body to mind. Get comfy on your back & place your hands onto your belly. Inhale into your belly for a count of 4. Feel the belly rise with your inhale. Retain your breath for a count of 4. Slowly exhale for a count of 6. Feel the belly empty with the exhale. Continue for as many rounds as you can until you feel yourself drifting into a sense of calm & peace. You're welcome. 4. Step away from your phone. Prioritise time away from your phone (and all screens) Spend time reading, writing, creating with your hands (cooking, crafting) staring out into nature. We were not designed to stare into blue light for as long as we do, give your eyes, mind & body the peace it deserves.

5. Call your bestie. We all know how good it feels to hear our besties voice. To dream & plan holidays together. To have a little moan about sleepless nights, about feeling old. To share each others anti-aging secrets .To reminisce on the old times. Pick up the bloody phone & call them birds.

6. Cook your fave meal. Because soul food is soul food. Enjoying the therapy of cooking & sharing your meal with loved ones is everything.

7. Give yourself a facial. Slip cucumber on our tired eyes & a podcast or your fave chill album. A reeeelax. We already know many of us suffer from mental health, we love your willingness to share with us when you are feeling the need to recoil & be alone. By simply sharing you have acknowledged your true feelings & what is real to you.

Observe, acknowledge & acceptance will make space for change.



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