What do we do at moonbird to take care of our own mental health?
September 21st, 2022,
5 min read
Paying close attention to your mental health is important to everyone. But how do you start here?
Although only you know best what works for you, we’d like to inspire you with our stories. Because at a start-up, we deal with long, busy, and sometimes pretty stressful days. Of course, we like to practice what we preach. What do we do ourselves when it comes to taking care of our mental health?
"When I’m in need of relaxation, I notice a tense feeling in my shoulders and back. I then shift into a higher gear and start to do everything faster, like I’m in a hurry. At the same time, my mood drops, and I just can’t make jokes anymore. I also notice I need to relax more when my sleep is getting worse.
When I start to notice this, I consciously try to slow things down a bit. By doing breathing exercises with my moonbird, meditating, taking a bath, cycling, going out into nature, or hanging out with friends."
“I notice immediately that I need more breathing space when my focus diminishes and my sleep quality deteriorates. Signs that tell me I need to slow down. I then play sports, cook, travel, or go out with friends. I also like to chase the sun. Whenever possible, I try to take a day off when the sun is shining and the weather is nice. That always pleases me.
Self-care to me means adequate sleep! That's most important to me. And now and then a nice warm bath :).”
“I am a real go-getter, who is always on. I have a lot of energy and like a busy schedule, but sometimes I go into overdrive. Then I feel it's time to slow down, and I schedule the necessary me-time to recharge my batteries.
For me, relaxing means walking in nature, going out for a nice meal with friends, and/or cuddling with Maurice, my cat. In addition, traveling is the perfect way for me to really relax. The new environment and impressions you gain elsewhere give me fresh energy and stimulate my creativity.”
“As soon as I go into overdrive, I get headaches and fatigue and feel irritable. Then I know I can (read: should) take it easy. Or my environment will tell me to do so.
At such a moment I like to go out into the fresh air, for example for a walk. A good night's sleep also goes a long way. Preferably, if possible, I try to take some time off to recharge. I plan a trip to a sunny place. And just do nothing."
“When there’s too much going on, I can think less clearly and I can get a little frustrated. I then first try to take a moment to come back to myself, for example by focusing on my breathing.
I also like to get active and play some sports, such as mountain biking, squash, or running. By doing this, I can completely clear my mind again.”
“When I’m in need of relaxation, I notice increased tinnitus, I experience more repetitive thoughts and negative conversations in my head (my monkey brain gets activated), and I have difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep at night.
I then meditate and take time for myself. Meditating provides the exact opposite of what I described before, it helps my monkey mind slow down. I become much more present in the here and now. Also, I like to chat and reflect with friends."
"It is not always easy to focus on a subject, as sometimes I want to do too much at once. I can get a headache or have trouble concentrating if it becomes too much for me.
If I can - because it can take up to two hours - I like to go for a walk in nature with my dog. Sitting outside and eating a piece of fruit, for example, also helps me relax. Also, I like to take a bath every evening - if I have the time. For me, that's a moment where I can truly relax and everyone leaves me alone for a while.”
"When I experience a lot of tension in my body, I feel like moving. My head often stays calm and focused for a fairly long time, but after a while, I notice that I lose track of things and I don't really know what I'm thinking or feeling anymore.
I enjoy exercising, especially running. Running longer distances (20 km) forces you to deal with yourself for a while. You have no distractions, you can only run. This works super calming for me. The focus you get from running also gives you the opportunity to sort everything out, or, on the contrary, just to be focused on running so you clear your mind.
After running, I feel completely recharged and back in balance. Even short distances of 3 or 5 kilometers get you out of the rut. I would recommend that to anyone. Besides running, I also like to meditate. Sometimes a guided mediation, or simply focusing on the exhalation."
“When I’m in need of rest, I get headaches, brain fog, fatigue, and muscle tension. It is as if my 'funnel' becomes full or clogged with all the impressions and stimuli, and then I can’t process it all properly. I can no longer think clearly and I become emotionally out of balance. Then I know I have to slow down.
I then get away from the computer, that is often the first step. I like walking a lot, that always helps. After a brisk walk I feel reborn, and my mind is clear again. If I don't have time to go into nature, I still make sure I take 10,000 steps a day in and around the house. Yoga, meditation and breathing are also part of my daily routine. Singing is also a great outlet. I am by no means a singer, but I love to sing! And I love dancing to music too, in the morning in the bathroom, for a good and positive start to the day.”
“When my muscles and body start to feel tense, I know I need to give myself some rest. My triggers are very much linked to perfectionism. This can manifest itself on a work-related level, but also socially, where I often have the feeling that I always have to perform or do well, instead of sometimes allowing myself to just be ;-).
I perform my breathing exercises three times a day, including heart coherence with moonbird. In addition, I regularly do body scans and you can often find me in the yoga studio. Eating healthy meals does me a lot of good as well.”
"When my eyelid starts twitching during the day, I know I am tired, often without really realising it. A good sleep rhythm is vital here, and after 29 years I am starting to master this. In my mind, I immediately notice that I am in need of relaxation if it is not 'quiet' in the evening. If my inner conversation is still running overtime, I know I have to find a way to relax. Otherwise, a healthy night's sleep is out of the question.
When I am physically tired, I try to stay far away from alcohol. I notice its effects immediately, although it is often a process of several days. I try not to drink by default during the week but in summer this is sometimes difficult. To quiet my mind I like to read. I try to stay away from social media as much as possible, but if you look at how social circles are built today, it is almost impossible. Reading (especially fiction) allows me to put all my thoughts into fantasy and to get away from life, the news, and social media for a while."
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