By Ramatoulaye Kaloga
Steering Committee Ireland
For me, the session was about how to look after my mental health.
We live in a busy world where everyone is worried about the next thing to do.
As a result of this there is less, and less time being spent on ourselves. I call this personal neglect, which can be built over time. Therefore, it is important to take some time regardless of your busy schedule to look after your mental health. This may involve taking time to reflect on the previous day, in order to prepare the next day and train yourself to have a positive mindset.
I learned two important things int the session, which are freedom and mindfulness.
To me, freedom is having the ability to do anything, at any time and anywhere without being worried about what others may think about your actions. It is a feeling of liberation, relief, enjoyment and most importantly feeling fulfilled. This could be the simplest thing on earth for example, watching the sunset but as long as you get one of those feelings listed above, it is freedom to me because it has fulfilled its purpose of making you happy.
Mindfulness is an important thing that I have also learned about and realised that did not pay attention to before the session. This is simply because I always get worried about the next thing or the multiple things that I have on my to-do list. As a result, I lose focus and do not get to enjoy the activity or the moment. The lack of focus is what causes me, or others, to make mistakes and errors as their mind is not focused. Mindfulness helps focus more and feel present on what I am doing.
I really enjoyed the moment I had to learn how to breathe in and out and take a moment to reflect on my day. I enjoyed the fact that 5 minutes was able to make a difference on how I felt about my day and myself. The session made me realise how important it is to take some time to meditate and take a breath from everything else. The session made me feel calm, relaxed and good about me.
The session has changed my approach about mindfulness and made me realise that I need to look after myself and my mental health. It has given a clear insight on how I perceive mental health.
This time made me think differently about my life and how it is important to look after yourself first before caring for others. Mental health is a very big issue that we face in our society today, that people often neglect, and it is only detected when it is too late. It is clearly important to do things that make you feel happy, liberated, relaxed and aware of your surroundings. It is also important in my view not only to feel these things, but also to be present so your mind can feel the effect of the action you are taking to have a healthy lifestyle.