Arts Muse

Podcast Recommendation: Wake Up/ Wind Down

Elizabeth Walsh on how social media helped her find a more positive start to her day

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Image Credit: Spotify Studios

I would certainly describe myself as someone who is stuck ‘in their head’ quite a lot.  I often find myself feeling jealous of those who seem so effortlessly chilled out all of the time. I would firmly place myself in the category of an ‘over thinker’ and now more than ever, being stuck inside with too much time to think, I have found myself amplifying seemingly minor things. Under normal circumstances they may be things that would otherwise seem irrational to be spending so much time obsessing over.

Have I been using my time well? Am I navigating this lockdown the right way? Do I need to be more productive? I can only speak for myself of course, but I’m guessing that a lot of others are feeling the same way.

Recently, I was scrolling down Instagram as usual, aimlessly flicking through stories, when I came across one that made me stop and think. Now, I’ll admit that I don’t actually know the person behind the story. A friend of a friend perhaps. However, what they had to say was interesting.

As is often the case with social media, we put on a front. We only post when we look our best and sometimes scrolling through can make you feel bad about yourself, especially if you feel like your life isn’t going as perfectly as those in the pictures presented. Having said this, it can also be a positive platform to share with friends and even strangers, and express our feelings. This post caught my eye as it summed up pretty much exactly how I had been feeling, a bit ‘stuck in my head’ and under self-induced stress a lot of the time.

The story I saw recommended a mindfulness podcast on Spotify called Wake Up/Wind Down, for when you find yourself feeling out of control of your thoughts. It’s a podcast that forms part of the Spotify playlist ‘Daily Wellness’ and is hosted by Niall Breslin, a renowned mental health advocate and public speaker. His short podcasts are posted on Spotify twice a day, first thing in the morning and then again in the evenings.

Taking place every weekday, Wake Up/ Wind Down offers a unique way to start and finish the day, serving as a reminder that at times our own thoughts and self-inflicted pressures can be our own worst enemy. Wake up, allows you to tune in and start the day in a positive frame of mind and Wind down helps you to refocus and collect your thoughts after the day’s activities. It is important, now more than ever, to remember to take some time for ourselves and to engage with how we are feeling.

Wake Up/ Wind Down is a relatively new podcast as it only launched on the 27th April this year. Each podcast is short and concise with running times of between 2 to 10 minutes, perfect even for busier days. I recently tuned in to listen to the short series and have vowed to try and make it a part of my daily routine from now on.  Sometimes a different voice can be comforting and Breslin’s Irish accent is definitely that.

What started as just another Instagram story not only showed me a way of keeping my thoughts in check and how social media can have a positive influence. It also added some form of structure to each day, something that has definitely helped me feel more in control amidst the uncertainty. Although most of the time it’s best not to take what you see on social media too seriously, it can also help to pay that bit more attention sometimes. You might uncover something eye opening and we can definitely learn from one another.

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