Welcome to the eighth week of our 'Summer of Self-Love' project
Each week throughout the summer, I'll be giving you one suggestion of something to do to enrich either your mind, body or soul.
I'm sharing a weekly video on our Facebook page each Monday, with that week's idea.
However, I don't like watching videos, so in case anyone else feels the same way (which is basically 'Why can't I just read it?'), each week I'll also be doing a blog post like this, one, where you can either read what to do, or watch the video (just scroll down).
Welcome to week 8 of 'Your Summer Of Self-Love'. Each week we're looking at focusing on either our mind, body or soul, and this week it's our minds.
Mental health is really important, and often neglected – not consciously, but just because we don't really think about and concentrate on our mental health very often.
Lots of us have really active minds, that it's very difficult to switch off from. My brain is constantly buzzing with stresses, ideas, all kinds of things. Having watched my mum tip over from severe stress to psychosis, you'd think I'd be more mindful! Actually it just gives me one more thing to be anxious about.
So this week is about taking 2 minutes every day to meditate. If you immediately have a mental picture of sitting cross legged on a cushion doing the generic pose, you can do that if you want to, but it's not necessary.
All you need to do is sit comfortably, whatever is comfortable for you, or lie down if you prefer. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. If it helps you can think 'I'm breathing in', 'I'm breathing out' as you inhale and exhale.
This sounds really easy to do and it really isn't, which is why I'm saying just try for 2 minutes.
There are websites and apps that do guided meditation if you need a little help, but the biggest thing to remember is that you can't fail at meditation.
If you manage 10 seconds before your usual thoughts rush in – it's OK. Try to be aware that your mind has drifted and bring it back. If you realise at the end of 2 minutes you only did that 10 seconds at the start, it doesn't matter. Lots of people find meditating difficult, so it's not about being able to quiet your mind for that whole 2 minutes, it is only about attempting to. And this is where people give up, and think they can't do it – trying is doing it.
If you can try this every day, you will get more and more able to focus on your breathing over time – the great thing about meditating is that you don't need to do it for a long time, little and often is perfect.
Let me know how you get on and I'll see you next week.