Updated: Apr 3, 2019
On Saturday 30th March I was presented with the opportunity to speak as a guest panellist at @whatyoudomatters Wellness and Growth event in celebration of International Women's Day 2019.
Sharing the spotlight with inspiring entrepreneurs such as Lynne Northcott (Run Leader with England Athletics & Mental Health Champion), Vea Koranteng (Creative Director & Founder of Brantuo Studio), Acacia George (Founder of ACMG Consultancy) and Jacqueline Fernandez (CEO & Founder of What You Do Matters) was such an honour and privilege, and having the opportunity to meet with a group of individuals who all have the similar goals of trying to find balance between professional and personal growth was overall a truly positive and inspiring experience.
We started with a few introductory icebreaker activities before the What You Do Matters team took turns in talking about the importance of maintaining self-care.
We were shown examples of tools and resources that could help us find what works best for us to gain a healthier state of personal well being - see below photo for tips and feel free to try some out and let us know how you get on!
After a prompt break, we as guest speakers introduced ourselves, shared some of our own experiences/battles with mental health, spoke about how we find the motivation, touched upon how we deal with "the fear" and entertained a Q&A.
It was the FIRST time I'd ever had a crack at public speaking and to be honest, although feeling super self-critical afterwards, nervous during and anxious about how I spoke and was received (I trip over my words a lot when I'm nervous), I can't express how grateful I am to Jacqueline for seeing something and having the confidence in me to have included me to be part of this special event.
To wind down and close the afternoon together we did a 30 minute Yoga session taught by Sara Laake.
I've never done Yoga before but it has been on my list of "things to try out" this year and I must say this is one I would like to further explore.
OK, so I couldn't fully relax throughout as a total newbie and had to attentively look up to follow all the positions etc. (I couldn't remember all the names - memory of a fish lady me) AND granted I nearly fell flat on my face after realising I can't hold my own body weight up BUT I felt so relaxed afterwards, especially after all the deep breathing techniques and good stretch! I will definitely like to try it again and improve!
MY personal message:
I'm a mum of 3.
running my own business
my physical health (yes, still waiting for that diagnosis for the night seizures/episodes - with results from last months hospital stay to come back soon!)
my mental health (because add all of the above to the mix without any break or "me time" is a disaster waiting to happen)
People often ask how I get through each day practically and one thing I can honestly say that has worked for me (which I shared with this group of amazing people and now sharing with you) is creating daily "to-do lists".
It might sound ridiculously simple that writing a list can make any impact on your daily routine or mental well being BUT if you write 3 things each day, set REALISTIC goals and manage to check off even just 1 of those things, each day you would have made progress and in time feel a sense of accomplishment.
I feel like there's a bit of truth to what some people may say:
"you can't pour from an empty cup"
"happy mummy, happy baby" (that one's debatable - ha!)
"happy wife, happy life" (again, possibly debatable - haha!)
Again, this is a process that has personally worked for me and might not necessarily work for others and I admit that I'm still trying to find and improve the right balance for every aspect of my life but I think with all things considered I'm currently in a position of content because of it.
Also, I've mentioned in my previous blog and social posts that I've been seeing a therapist on and off for the past 8 years and I was happy not only to share this with Saturday's panel and guests, but celebrated the news that I officially had my final session with my most recent therapist two weeks prior to the event (yay!) and have since felt a sense of progression (let's hope it sticks!).
Granted I'm a bit poorly and nursing a cold at the moment (perhaps because of London's awesome weather and most recently overworking my brain and body - excitement of being out of the hospital) but attending events/workshops like these that are centred around wellness and growth is something I passionately believe in and serves as a reminder that sometimes slowing down and taking good care of yourself doesn't mean stopping. Pausing for a moment (which IS OK and allowed!) to reflect and maintain yourself is paramount. (After all, if I'm not well, how do I expect to keep my littles well hey?)
To finish, I just wanted to say another HUGE thank you again to Jacqueline and the What You Do Matters team for letting me be a part of this journey (it was a pleasure meeting you all) and I can't wait to see what will come next! (Yoga part 2 maybe? Nap time for mums perhaps? --- ooh a nap sounds good!)
If you'd like to find out more about future events and learn about the amazing charity work this non-profit organisation do please head over to www.whatyoudomatters.co.uk
Until next time, have a great week!