Beside the sea is my favourite place to be.
I love being around people who energise me, and I do my best to do the same in return. However, there comes a time when my energy levels run low, and I know I need to take time out to reset and recharge. This is my ‘Me-Time Alert’!
I am familiar with the feeling now, although it took me a while to become aware of it, accept it (i.e. it is ok to feel this way!), and then learn to do something about it.
Here are my ‘Me-Time Alert’ signs:
- Different thoughts start jumping about in my head and I can’t process them rationally
- I struggle to relax, feel ‘on edge’, and am easily distracted
- I quickly switch from wanting to be around people, to wanting to be alone
- Cravings for junk food (fish and chips, and lots of chocolate!)
I now know not to fight this feeling. Usually, I put my trainers on and head straight out onto the Connswater Community Greenway for a brisk walk, or take a short drive to the shore at Seapark or Helen’s Bay. If the weather is unpredictable, I’ll reach for one of my Eckhart Tolle books and enjoy a cuppa. However today, lured by a long drive and a great new Spotify playlist, I jumped into my car and drove north, to Marble Hill beach in North West Donegal.
In Northern Ireland/Ireland, we are incredibly fortunate to have such natural beauty on our doorsteps. Marble Hill is a blue flag beach in Sheephaven Bay, a rural area near the small town and former fishing port of Dunfanaghy. The area is rich with wildlife, and the sand dunes which surround the beach are great for watching birds and spotting wildflowers. It is also one of the few places in Ireland where visitors can hear the corncrake calling.
Sound of the Waves
On Marble Hill beach, the crazy thought machine inside my head magically switches off. I listen to the sound of the waves crashing in the distance and the occasional bark of a happy dog. Further out, little boats bob gently upon the ripples of the water, and there is a gentle hum from the bees amongst the wildflowers behind me. The only drama, in these peaceful surroundings, is from two opportune crows, who swoop down to investigate my sandwiches as I watch hermit crabs scurry along the water’s edge.
For me, focusing on the senses – particularly sights and sounds – is powerful, and an effective channel into the present moment. Do you experience any of the feelings I described earlier? Do you acknowledge them when they appear? Have you a special place you like to escape to?
As for me, I’m feeling refreshed and am ready to hit the week ahead, although I might just call by the fish and chip shop on my way home…