Overthinking is something so many of us do. It can be harmful for our health and wellbeing. Overthinking, worrying and ruminating on things, can lead to stress, anxiety, even depression and other mental health issues. Overthinking can affect our immune system and make us more susceptible to illness. Overthinking can interrupt sleep and affect our energy levels and our mood. If we live with a health condition that we manage, overthinking can increase symptoms and pain, and it can become a vicious cycle. If we spend all our time in our heads, ruminating and overthinking about everything, we can create a lot of imbalance in our minds and bodies, but there are many things that can help and support us, and I mention just a few ways here.
The words we say to ourselves, the language we use, the choices we make, the foods we eat, the relationships we have, the ways we choose to practice and lean into what supports us and nourishes us - all of these things, and more, are vital for us to truly appreciate and love ourselves. To feel connected within, to feel self assured and confident in all the ways that are true and right for us.
These words that are voiced so often in everything we read and hear. Words so many have said to me, "I can't stand this phrase", "I'm so tired of these words", and I know that feeling too. I always think about changing the word 'navigating' to something more uplifting, or positive - but then, I think it's just a realistic and honest way to describe how so many of us are feeling, and how these times just are. We are navigating these days, these times, still. We are taking each day as it comes, and finding our way through. And in reality, so many of us know this feeling of 'navigating' uncertainty in other ways too. Navigating a new normal through other life circumstances and experiences, some deeply changing, and ways we've learnt to carry ourselves through. I know this is true for me and it's not a phrase that's unfamiliar at all. Perhaps this has felt true for you.
We all have the ability to take control of our health and our wellbeing. Whatever we live with - virus, illness, pain, disease - we can choose empowering ways to support ourselves to feel better, and well. Before you read a few ways I've mentioned below, I'd love for you to just take a few moments to think and see yourself as a holistic being, all parts of you, connected - your mind, body, spirit, heart, soul - physical, emotional, spiritual, energetic parts are not separate, but all functioning and supporting each other together - as you are one whole being. Seeing ourselves in this holistic way, is one of the most empowering things we can do, to choose to support ourselves through all health issues, illness, pain and disease.
I set myself just one very certain and clear intention for this year, and that has been to slowly ease myself into things - in my own way, my own time, my own rythmn, at my own pace. I'm so very pleased to have truly honoured this, as it's allowed me to thrive during this time of transition, flowing from one year into new beginnings. I haven't had a holiday like many have, I've still been working behind the scenes, but I've taken things more slowly during this time. As the new year rolled in, it was a natural flow for me, from just one day to the next, and I was very conscious to not get caught up in any 'hype', feel pressured, or place any new year expectations on myself. Instead, to just to stay focussed within, connected to my own vision and plans, and to gently ease myself forward, one day at a time. As I continue to, and deeply encourage this for you, too.
Listening to our intuition can support us to let go, and to move forward. There are times we can hold onto things so tightly, even when we know it's not serving or supporting us. We can find ourselves in places or spaces where we feel a little uneasy or something's just not right. Our intuition might be speaking to us so loudly, in many ways, and yet - we still hold on, we still cling tightly, and we stay - or we choose the way that's most comfortable for someone else, and neglect our own needs.
It's a new year, and whilst many have been away for a break or a holiday, others of us haven't been, and it hasn't felt quite the restful period we hoped for! For all kinds of reasons, including the obvious ones of rushing home and ending holidays through border closures, and so many personal challenges in peoples lives right now too. There's a feeling of continued uncertainty, wondering how things are unraveling, here and around the world, and the start of this year hasn't had the uplifting feel we hoped for, and for some, it's been and felt really sad. Perhaps you've been feeling a little flat, worried or even anxious about things. Finding it difficult to stay calm within so much that seems unknown and changing in your own life perhaps, and with everything around us.
I'm writing this journal piece out in my courtyard, very early on a beautiful warm clear morning, and it almost seems as if it's just me and the birds who are awake, and the rest of the city is in a restful (or hungover, perhaps!) slumber. It's new years day, 1st January 2021, after a very quiet and gentle close to the year. No big celebration. No big new year intentions. I'm a non-drinker these days, so most celebrations are quieter, for me. I chose to be very low-key and close the door on this year, and just gently open it to the next. Today. I've been finding so much more so, through not only this year, but other times of uncertainty and change over the past years in my life (or perhaps just as I'm getting older!) - how much I savour a quiet and gentle life. I notice that I make far more conscious and intentional choices, just as a natural way of being now, every day. Taking things as they come, allowing life to unfold and to evolve as it will, with an acceptance of just what is, and finding ease and calm within it all. I was reflecting on some of the gentle practices that support me with this, and I thought I'd share some of these thoughts here, as a gentle way to begin your new year.
Mattering matters. Feeling that you matter to someone, within a community, and as part of this world. It's fundamental to health and wellbeing. I did a podcast episode on this topic a little while back, if you choose to listen in. And I thought I'd write a journal piece too, as it's something that feels important to express from my heart, as a few vulnerable yet honest reflections, through this year.
This is a reality for us all at certain times of our lives. We find ourselves 'here' and we may want to be 'there'- and instead of allowing things to be, or to unfold, and to trust in the so-called 'timing of life', we can feel frustrated, sad, and even anxious that we just aren't 'there'. I thought I'd share an experience of my own through this year, and how I've changed my way of being within this space between, in a more positive way.
Katie Jane is a Holistic Therapist, Life Coach, Health Coach, Nutritionist, Naturopath, Meditation teacher, writer and author. Katie has been working in the wellness industry for over 15 years, in private practice and online, and brings all of these qualifications and skills, along with her own lived experiences through challenges, changes and transitions. Her approach to life and wellbeing is truly holistic and unique for each individual. She supports and coaches clients to make powerful changes, to feel calm through uncertainty and change, to embrace self care as a way of being, and to thrive through life transitions.