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And breathe...

“Try to remind yourself how far you have come and when your mind wanders, bring yourself back into the present. Try to use all your senses. Look at your surroundings, walk out in nature and listen to the sea, the birds, and notice the little things again.” - Helen Gaskin

Last year, Cornish Ramblings was very fortunate to have partnered up with the wonderful Helen of Mindfit Cornwall to bring 14 people a winter mindfulness-filled day retreat full of all the tools needed to create space in their minds, energise their bodies and souls, and all whilst being surrounded with like-minded people in need of pausing, resetting, and taking time out.


Throughout 2023 Cornish Ramblings will continue this wonderful collaboration with Mindfit Cornwall, and we have two incredible retreats coming up that still have a few tickets left. You can find out more about what to expect on these upcoming day retreats by clicking the button below. But please also keep reading to find out all about our first retreat last year, and how wonderful it was to spend a day with some incredible women.



Reflection

Before I go into all the details of the wonderful day we spent together at the gorgeous Limehouse Yoga Studio in Perranporth, I thought I'd take a moment to reflect on how I felt after because for me personally, it was incredibly life-changing at a point in my life where I was really struggling.

If you follow Cornish Ramblings on social media (mainly Instagram and Facebook) then you may already be aware of my mental health struggles over the past few months.


Sidenote: I was diagnosed with depression in my early twenties, as well as a hormone imbalance and polycystic ovaries soon after. I'm a triple threat baby...


Throughout the years, I have handled my depression in various ways but, I never decided to take up the offer of medication. I wanted to know I could survive without leaning on medical intervention - not because of any other reason than I just never thought it would be for me. However, fast forward to last year and I hit rock bottom in a way I'd not experienced since before my depression diagnosis in my early twenties.


Trigger warning: suicide - please skip past this following paragraph if you feel any talk of suicide could trigger you.


In my early twenties, before I realised I was severely depressed, I was drinking heavily and got to a point in my life where I just didn't want to be here anymore. I felt like I had no purpose, I felt incredibly lonely, I hated my job, I was struggling with my sexuality, I felt I had no identity, I had zero hobbies but drinking and partying, and I just dug myself deeper and deeper into my little pit of despair.

Not long after, after a situation landed me in hospital, I realised I needed to seek medical assistance and started a course of counselling, followed shortly by a diagnosis of depression, body dysmorphia, and anxiety.

The reason I'm explaining this is to give you a general idea of how hard I had once hit rock bottom, and how I suddenly felt myself escalating toward this similar kind of rock bottom last year.


Fast forward to now...

Through being in a much healthier state of mind since my early twenties, I have learned various coping mechanisms and ways that would, hopefully, never let me reach those dark places again and for years, I grew stronger, let go of those people who no longer served me, and kept those close to me who bring out nothing but the best in me as a person. I started Cornish Ramblings, met incredible like-minded people, found a purpose, changed jobs, and started taking care of myself mentally and physically. I also realised one of the reasons I got myself into such depressive situations was because of my hormone imbalance and not understanding how much this impacted my day-to -day emotions.


But I still struggle and there are times when going for a walk and eating a broccoli head just doesn't cut it and won't pull me out of my dark place.


After a few different life changes and events unfolded last year, I realised I needed to seek medical assistance again and this time decided a course of anti-depressant and anxiety medication would be beneficial to my current headspace.

After a couple of months of recovery, plenty of being kind to myself, a bucket load of spending time with friends and family, receiving endless support from my work colleagues and ramblers, and my happy pills lessening the crying making space to tidy up my mind a little, I entered 2023 with a much more positive disposition and a seemingly healthier outlook to life.


Part of my recovery was also spent co-hosting the first Cornish Ramblings x Mindfit Cornwall Retreat which, admittedly I was super nervous about because, throughout my mental health dip, I suddenly lost all ability to socialise! But my word, I definitely feel through attending/co-hosting this mindful retreat and sharing my love of walking with these incredible humans aided hugely in my mental health recovery journey.

What I enjoyed most about this retreat was how easy it was to suddenly turn my roaring brain off. After weeks of feeling every single feeling so intensely, crying several times a day for over a month, wanting to isolate from the world, and feeling incredibly lost, it was the first time in a long time that I had managed to spend almost the entire day not thinking about anything other than what was happening in the present moment. And honestly, it felt like a huge weight had lifted off my heavy hurting chest.

My favourite session was the 60-minute relaxing and breathwork session with Helen of Mindfit Cornwall. After this session, I felt lighter, more in-tune with my body, a tad spaced and tingly (in a good way) from falling so deeply inside myself, and a little tearful from the relief of being able to empty my mind and truly relax for the first time in weeks.


It was also profoundly transformative speaking with some of the fellow women who had joined us for the retreat, and hearing how they had felt before and after the retreat. It really is incredible how taking the time out for yourself, to really breathe, stretch, and concentrate on every inch of your body, can transport you into a much more mindful space.


How we spent our day...

Our 2023 day retreats are laid out slightly differently compared to last year's retreats, but all of our upcoming retreats will ensure you receive an entire day filled with mindfulness, fresh air, and relaxation. However, keep reading for a snapshot of how we spent our 2022 winter energiser retreat...


🥾 It was a 9:40am start where we began our day with me (Cornish Ramblings) leading the group on a glorious 3.5-mile ramble, taking in the majestic Lost Church and dune systems of Perranporth. Along the way, we incorporated some mindful breathwork on the cliff overlooking the boisterous waves below, and then at the halfway point, stopped on the beach for hot chocolate and homemade cake. Some of us even went for a sea-swim which was certainly refreshing!


🥗 After the mindful ramble and sea dip, we all came together for a (vegetarian) salad-box lunch, provided as part of the ticket price. The loves over at The Mindful Menu, St Agnes provided our yummy lunch and it was the perfect way to end off the ramble before our day of relaxation continued.


🌬️ After a delicious lunch we then congregated in the spacious and airy Lime House Yoga studio for a 60-minute relaxation and breathwork session with Helen, founder of Mindfit Cornwall. We were also joined by Holistic Therapist, Amelia of silk-healing, to show us a few massage techniques.


📸 The afternoon continued with some mindfulness photography with Celina Jennings where we spent some time looking at how images and photography can help the brain relax and be more mindful. Celina also provided some of the photography from the day and I have included some of her images in this blog.


🧘🏻‍♀️ As if that wasn’t enough, we were then joined by Falmouth-based physio-led yoga and Pilates instructor Zoe for a 45-minute Pilates session. If you are not a Pilates expert or have never tried Pilates before, all I will say is don't worry...because neither had I but I managed the entire session without feeling out of my comfort zone. Plus, Zoe was fab at ensuring we were all doing it at our own individual pace.


🎶 To finish off the day, we experienced an hour sound bath session where Holly, a Cornwall-based singer, guided us through a meditative experience where we were bathed in magical sound waves...what a way to end a mindful-filled day!


🎬 The day then finished at 5pm and I can safely say, I have never slept so soundly in all my life.


Upcoming Retreats...

As mentioned at the start of this blog, we have two exciting day retreats coming up in March and June. There are still a few spaces left on each of these retreats and we would love for you to join us in Perranporth. Please click the below button for more information on what you can expect on the day, and please follow both Cornish Ramblings and Mindfit Cornwall on Instagram to keep up to date with retreats, like this, in the future.


Mindfit Cornwall: Instagram

Cornish Ramblings: Instagram

Imagery: Celina Jennings

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2 Comments


Guest
Mar 13, 2023

Jody, you are amazing 💜

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Guest
Mar 13, 2023
Replying to

It’s Laura Maclaren btw! Sorry I haven’t been to any rambles recently; life has been chaotic. Really hope to book on one soon x

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