When I was a little girl and I couldn’t sleep my mum used to make me rest my head on her knees, and she would tell me about my beach. I lay on the sand and listened to the cool breeze ruffling the leaves of the trees around me, and the calming sounds of the sea gently lapping at the sand. I could feel the water at my toes and smell the great outdoors; the briny smell of the salt and the sand and the soft noises of the birds as they flew. She used to stroke my hair and my breathing would slow until I forgot whatever monsters were parading through my head jumping up and down on the butterfly thoughts that should have been forming, and all would be well.
Everyone has a beach. And in actual fact my beach exists. But you can’t always go to the place you need to, so you have to make do. If I had a helicopter I would take myself to California when times got too tough (running, really?! What a surprise!) But in the absence of that I like to be near water. It has a calming effect on me and causes any mind cloud to dissipate and take me back to my normal self. I love the coast in the winter when there is no one else on the beach; it feels so desolate with the wind howling around you and the waves jumping, uncontrollable and strong. The sea is a force to be reckoned with and it reminds me that over the years I have formed an inner strength and I have the power to get through anything if I put my mind to it. I might be a bit of a closed book to the people around me and I am unlikely to let people in unless they prove their worth, but if you protect yourself then you don’t run the risk of getting hurt. You can just tell yourself “I told you so!” and move on. Vulnerability is my weakness; I’m not very good at it and I think it can make me come off as quite cold, but I think that is a risk you have to take sometimes to maintain your sanity.
When I’m feeling particularly stressed and unable to grab my keys and run (I do this a lot!) I regularly listen to Ellie Goulding. There is one particular song of hers that just soothes and calms, and it’s called Little Dreams.
What do you do to calm yourself and ease your mind?