Holly Health stories: Mary's meditation journey

November 3, 2022

We recently sat down with Mary, who has been using Holly Health for six months. Having struggled with managing her anxiety for many years, and always looking for new ways to make proactive and healthy changes in her life, Mary discovered Holly Health.

Mary learnt about Holly Health through an SMS from her GP and, curious to find out more, she downloaded the app and has not looked back since. These are her experiences of using the app over the last six months.

What were your initial aims when you first found out about Holly Health?

Mary: When I heard Holly Health encouraged living a healthier lifestyle, I thought this can only be good – especially for older people. It can be hard to find something that has been designed for the older generation as we have different needs. One thing I have come across a lot is that exercise or yoga tutorials online are often led by younger, fitter coaches, and I know that it is hard for me to do lots of the moves. So, when I saw that Holly Health has videos with a coach that does seated yoga, and adapted movements for the elderly population, I set myself the goal to learn how to become more active.

I also have previously struggled before with being present and calm in some stressful situations, so I wanted to learn how I could use techniques like meditation to manage those feelings.

What habits have you most enjoyed creating and doing regularly? Which ones have made the biggest impact?

Mary: I have really enjoyed the mindfulness programs, and I often find myself turning to them for a few minutes of peaceful reflection. Even though I knew that meditation was useful, and maybe something I should be doing, it really helps to have somebody talking you through it. I really enjoy taking walks outside in the countryside but, when it’s a bit dark or miserable, it can be hard to find the motivation. However, I think that my learnings from the mindfulness programs have helped me focus more on the wonderful surroundings of the outdoors, rather than letting my mind wander. I now find it easier to get up and outside for my walks, and always feel refreshed and glad that I went when I come back.

“I never thought meditation would be so helpful for me, and now it’s a regular practice in my life. You will always be surprised by what you can achieve when you just give things a go!”

What are some of the features on the Holly Health app that you have found particularly useful?

Mary: The reminders really are very useful. I know I'll need to continue practising the healthy habits within the Holly Health app for longer to ensure they turn into lifelong practices. By the time you're older, you’ve had a long time to develop some habits that aren’t quite so beneficial to your health. So, I've really appreciated the gentle nudging and encouraging approach. Sometimes health advice in the media can be quite pressurised, but I started to realise I shouldn’t feel like I have failed if I can’t manage a walk or a meditation every day. It’s not true that in order to start making healthy changes to your life, you have to do them perfectly – that's the pressure that you put on yourself. So instead, I’ve learnt to be more kind to myself when untangling old habits and being proud of how far I’ve come. It’s very much worth it.

What advice would you give to anyone using the Holly Health app for the first time?

Mary: Well, If you’re retired like me, then my advice would be to take the time to explore – you never know what is going to appeal to you until you try. I never thought meditation would be so helpful for me, and now it’s a regular practice in my life. You will always be surprised by what you can achieve when you just give things a go!

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