As I am writing this, I am at Nampula airport. I am on my way to Berlin for the Young Founder’s Conference. On the way from Lilongwe to Nairobi, our flight made a 45 minute stop in Nampula to offboard and onboard passengers. The flight descending was slightly wavy and rocky.
A few days ago, I travelled with my mother to Blue Zebra Island Lodge. Her birthday is coming up, and I will miss it because I will be in Berlin for the conference. I also relocate to New York for a graduate programme soon, and I wanted to experience the Lake Malawi one more time before I go.
On our way to Blue Zebra, it was very windy. There were strong waves on the lake – a 5, according to the mariners who are my parents. Both my parents were both very averse re getting on the boat and onto the island. They discussed at length the prospects of sleeping at a lodge at the shore, and going to the island the next day, but I knew I was not going to get another opportunity to see the Lake Malawi, and particularly my favorite destination.
I recently experienced a huge career shift which has been overwhelming to say the least. I am relocating from Malawi for a very brief while, and I am trying to take in as much of Malawi as I can before I depart.
I have been mentally and emotionally overwhelmed, and I’ve been needing a lot of time to unwind and take care of myself.
We made a decision to proceed to the island, with assurance from the lodge staff that we would be safe.
Because of the strength of the waves on the Lake Malawi on our way to the Nankoma Island, we had to ride the wave. We were moving slow and steady, riding each wave as it came. The Blue Zebra staff in charge of the boat were moving slowly but forward, ensuring the winds were not hitting us on the sides but rather on the front, and that the waves did not have enough power to overturn the boat.
The action of riding the waves got me thinking about self-care. Below, 6 ways in which I am choosing to ride the wave, and take care of my mind, body, and soul.
1. Pause. Take some time off – disconnect
I have invested the past two months (even against all of life’s demands) in pausing and taking things slow. This seems a very odd choice especially at this time in my life, but it has been very healthy for mentally; but also good for the work that I do.
When I am not doing okay mentally, I tend to accumulate clutter. My physical space gets as messy as my head is. Declutter physically as myself actually helps me work through the things in my mind (because cleaning is fairly thinkless work).
3. Work out
I have not been fit or active in the past two or so years, but when I have the time, working out is so good for my mental health. It is physically challenging which is amazing, but it is also thinkless enough for me to be able to allow the thoughts in my head to float before they settle.
4. Spa treatements
Spa treatments are my absolutely go to for my mental health. I am committed to at least a weekly spa day – from massages to manicures, pedicures, facials and definitely massages. Also a thinkless activity, and I think you are getting a hang of how ‘not thinking’ is super amazing for my slowing down and riding the wave.
5. Travel – reconnect
Speaking of spa treatments – my favorite spa is on Nankoma Island at Blue Zebra Island lodge. I like getting away, being away from the normal and particularly the city and fast life. I get to reconnect with nature and my Tao, and what better way to do that than somewhere on an Island, on a beach or on the top of a mountain
Lastly, I meditate. It is nearly impossible for me to bring my brain to a standstill, that making the active effort to meditate is great for me. It’s also great for me to allow some things to figure themselves out without my active interference.
To my fellow young professionals / entrepreneurs; take things easy. It’s okay to slow down. You are your most important asset, and you should be intent on keeping you well and safe.
All my love,
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