Are you thriving or surviving?
“I used to really push myself with 7 day weeks and no real downtime. It wasn’t long before the crunch came. I started to experience extreme fatigue, panic attacks, low blood sugar, feeling empty, tearful and depressed.
All coping mechanisms gone, I returned to NZ and had to exit the plane in a wheelchair. Learning how to balance my life, body and mind and having fun again have been very important lessons for me. Learning to respect my body’s needs helps me to stay well.” Louise, 38 years of age.
When you read the story of what brought Louise to seek help, did you relate to the story in some way for yourself? Would you say Louise was thriving or surviving?
The keys to thriving not just surviving
You may have heard about surviving or thriving in podcasts, magazines or even from a healthcare provider. Today we want to take a look at what it means to be surviving or thriving with our mental wellbeing. Let’s look at a survey done in the UK.
In March 2017, the Mental Health Foundation conducted a survey of members in England, Scotland and Wales in order to understand:
- The prevalence of self-reported mental health problems,
- Levels of positive and negative mental health in the population and the actions people take to deal with the stressors in their lives.
- 2,290 interviews were completed, with 82% online and 18% by phone.
What do you think the results showed?
Do you think people on average were thriving or surviving?
- Only a small minority of people (13%) reported living with high levels of good mental health.
- People over the age of 55 reported experiencing better mental health than average. People aged 55 and above are the most likely to take positive steps to help themselves deal better with everyday life – including spending time with friends and family, going for a walk, spending time on interests, getting enough sleep, eating healthily and learning new things.
- More than 4 in 10 people said they had experienced depression.
- Over a quarter of people said they had experienced panic attacks.
- Nearly 3 out of 4 people living in the lowest household income bracket (less than £1,200 per month) reported having experienced a mental health problem – compared to 6 out of 10 in the highest household income brackets (over £3,701 per month).
- The greater majority (85%) of people out of work have experienced a mental health problem, compared to two-thirds of people in work and just over half of people who have retired.
- Nearly two-thirds of people say that they have experienced a mental health problem. This rises to 7 in every 10 women, young adults aged 18-34 and people living alone.
How Louise began to thrive again
Louise was a go-getter who drove herself to achieve her goals and was relentless in her pace and the standards she applied to herself. When she had been single this was easier.
Once a husband and a child entered the mix, things got tricky. It was only when she could not keep going that she was stopped by her body, and in her own words, her body’s coping mechanisms were gone!
We don’t all get to this level of burn out but we can get close in our own way. Recently I saw some research on happiness levels across the age from 16 years to 80+. Interesting that at the age of 16 years and in our 60’s statistically happiness levels are highest. In the child-rearing years, career years and early ’50s when caring for elderly parents can come into the mix too, the demands upon us can be tough.
Louise explained well what we all need in order to thrive not just survive.
“Learning how to balance my life, body and mind and having fun again have been very important lessons for me. Learning to respect my body’s needs helps me to stay well.”
Work-life balance is about feeling satisfied with the way you divide your time and energy between paid work and the other things you need and want to do. The meaning of work-life balance changes for people throughout life, often in response to milestones during the course of life.
What provides a sense of balance varies from person to person. It is not a simple formula of time spent at work, compared with time spent on activities outside of work. Hours worked is an important factor, but may not be the principal one. For some people, achieving work-life balance may entail making a decision to work longer hours at some times of the year or at certain stages of one’s career.
The sense of having the opportunity to achieve, or at least work towards, desired work-life balance is highly related to a sense of control, choice, and being able to match work patterns to your own lifestyle and life stage.
A regular routine is the key to maintaining high energy and life enjoyment throughout your day and throughout your life.
Consider the time you get up, your morning routine, how often you eat and exercise, along with your work time, we time and me time.
Striking a balance between these components ensures that each day you will be able to enjoy optimal well-being. Let’s consider some key areas of a healthy balanced daily routine.
Action Plan for Thriving
- Sometimes the body gets run down and just needs herbal support.
- Consider taking MA1123 Aswaganda/Amla/Brahmi complex 2-4 tablets prior to breakfast and evening meals along with 2 Stress-Free Mind (MA1693) after meals.
- Sleep is crucial. Be in bed by 9.30 -9.45pm latest, with light out for sleep. Keep mobiles, tablets, ipads, computers, tv’s out of the bedroom. Create your bedroom as a place of rest and recuperation. If you have difficulty sleeping take 2 tablets of Peace at Night (MA107) to help to go to sleep, or if you find you have a tendency for waking in the night.
- Be up with the sun and take a morning walk as the sun is rising. Even consider doing 3-6 cycles of Sun Salutation to help lift your mood for the whole day.
- If you have a tendency to feel low in mood then do consider taking Blissful Joy 1-2 (MA1402) tablets after breakfast and evening meals. Clients regularly tell me that it has helped lift their mood in a natural way.
- Rest is nature’s cure and practising Transcendental Meditation provides a daily experience of very deep rest almost twice as deep as the deepest point of sleep.
- Be sure to start the day with breakfast, stop for lunch and eat your evening meal by 6-6.30pm. Favour foods that help you stay balanced. Vata Balancing Food for Autumn and Winter or Vata Imbalance
Kapha Balancing Food for Spring or Kapha Imbalance
Pitta Balancing Food for Summer or Pitta Imbalance
- Do what gives you joy or happiness Aim to do something that you really enjoy or that makes you smile each day! Every day take a moment to express gratitude as an expression of gratitude is one action that helps people thrive!
Read “A Guide to the Doshas” to discover dosha balance.
Wishing you the bliss of balance
Linda Sinden, Maharishi AyurVeda Consultant
Linda Sinden has been a practising Maharishi Ayurveda Consultant since 1990 and is a regular contributor to our weekly Insights. She has a practice in Auckland, New Zealand and also provides phone or Skype sessions for those who need assistance, but don’t have a consultant in their vicinity.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this document is presented for the sole purpose of imparting education on Maharishi AyurVeda and neither the information nor the products are intended to diagnose, treat, mitigate, cure or prevent any disease. If you have a medical condition or are pregnant or lactating, please consult a health professional and it is recommended that you speak with your physician before making significant changes to your diet or routine.