Afternoon everyone, Ashley here.
Here we are, nearing the end of October and our focus of gratitude. How have you found the focus? At the beginning of the month we talked a lot about finding 3 things you could be grateful for in regards to different aspects of your life, from childhood through to work. More recently we have given thought to the people in our lives, from those who have supported us and been by our side when we needed them most, to those who we are no longer in touch with or able to speak to but still recognise the impact they have had on us and the part they have played in our journey to where we find ourselves today. Hopefully we are showing lots of different ways to practice gratitude and how quick and simple this can be if you take a minute out of your day to try it...
How are you making the most of the extra hour you are gaining this weekend? We get it, SLEEP!! But let's be honest, our body clock is much more in tune with time than we know and realistically we will still wake up after the normal amount of sleep we usually get... So, what will you really do with the extra hour? Maybe you can let this weekend be the opportunity you have been searching for to sign up for that run or start the meditation Sam and I keep going on about! Maybe you can read that book you put down and haven't had time to pick back up, or cook that recipe your friend sent you and said you would love. Still stuck for ideas? Why not really explore the idea of gratitude a little further and make that list of all the things you have to be grateful for? Or, as we discussed in class this week, why not reach out to the people you are most grateful for? Could you spend your extra hour picking up the phone or visiting these people to practice gratitude in person?
Think of this extra 60 minutes as a present given to you. Open it and enjoy it, make the most of it and maybe find a way of passing that joy on to someone else. Be grateful for all 3600 seconds
Finally, I would just like to add again how grateful Sam and I are for YOU. These past few months have been so exciting and rewarding for both of us because of SMASH, but SMASH would not exist without you! So thank you for coming to class or reading our emails or offering your encouraging advice. To our friends and family who receive these emails but are not able to get to class due to location, thank you also for supporting us on this journey - we are forever grateful!
Have a great weekend and however you choose to spend it, enjoy those extra 60 minutes
Sam and Ashley
.S. We know the clocks going back signals the start of darker days, which can bring about seasonal affective disorder for some people. Research shows that exercise, healthy eating and meditation (SMASH!!) can ease the symptoms of this and hopefully our focus on a positive mindset these past few month will also make this winter a little easier...
Another top tip from me would be to invest in a sunlamp to keep next to your bed. I bought one of these last year and the past two weeks I have been up early for work and have been using it a lot. I don't suffer from seasonal affective disorder but I can really see the difference it makes to my morning mood when I am up at 4am! You set the alarm and for about 30 minutes before the alarm goes off a light comes on that mimics the sunrise so that you wake a lot more gently. There are some great options out there and most are very reasonably priced too, well worth the investment
For Body For Mind For Life