Recently I’ve spoken a lot about mental health here on the blog. In the last couple of years I have touched up my personal struggles with mental health very lightly but since having Tyler and being diagnosed with post natal depression and general anxiety disorder, I decided that it was time to really start talking about mental health and how it effects me. So far, the response to all my posts regarding mental illness have been amazing and I can’t thank you all enough for your kind words. So today, I wanted to share with you five things that help me day to day with my mental health.
I wish I could tell you that there was a magic button that you could press and all of your mental health issues would poof into thin air, but sadly this isn’t the case. Sure, there are anti-depressants and they help, but they don’t 100% take the depression away. I’ve learnt that a lot of the recovery with a mental illness is how much you are able and willing to put into bringing yourself back up. I do not have the “walk it off” mentality believe me, but I do think that you can aid yourself in your recovery. These five things that I want to share with you today haven’t “cured” me from depression but they really do help to make life a bit easier and brighter for, so I hope that if you are able to implement them into your life, that they will help you too.
Having a routine/schedule
This is the number one thing that has really made a huge difference to my life this year. Having a baby really does throw your life up in the air and make you run around like a headless chicken. Before having Tyler, I had a pretty strong routine with day to day life as I worked set hours at my full time job, but now that I’m a stay at home/work from home mama, having a routine can sometimes seem like an impossible thing.
Once I realised that I needed to set myself a proper routine and implement it into everyday for all things baby, home and work, I’ve not only become much more productive, but I have found myself in a better mental head space, daily! My brain thrives off of plans, it always has done. Plans, instructions, rules, all things that make my brain very happy.
Of course, having a baby and battling mental health issues does mean that sticking to the routine isn’t always possible, but trying my very best to is what keeps me going through each day. It’s also important not to get yourself down if you aren’t able to stick to your plans each day. Implementing your routine is certainly only the start but you totally got this!
Having daily goals
Sort of tying into my previous point, having daily goals helps me to feel accomplished which in turn boosts my mood. By daily goals I don’t mean “run 10km before breakfast” “write a novel” and “prep 6 weeks worth of meals” because you and I both know that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Each night, take 5 minutes to make a list of daily goals for the next day. Write down everything that you’d like to accomplish in the next 24 hours.. and I mean everything! From having a shower and brushing your hair to hitting your water intake goal and writing that blog post. Again, some days, not everything on your list will be ticked off, but you can carry them over to the next day, no problem!
Getting “ready” on a morning
I’ve read a lot of blog posts from women who werk from home and one of the number one tips I always see is to get up and get dressed and ready for the day as if you were leaving the house, even when you’re not. There is something very inviting about writing from your bed in your pj’s but really, who’s able to give 110% when they’ve not even got out of bed yet?
Getting up, grabbing a shower and at least brushing my hair and washing my face in the morning makes me feel put together and ready to tackle the day ahead. The days when I haven’t prioritised well and end up not being able to get showered until gone 5pm, I get so much less done and feel 110% worse compared to the days when I’ve whacked my favourite jumper on and re set my mum bun.
Okay, so this might seem like a strange one.. I can’t sing, well. I can sing, it’s just not the most pleasant thing you’ve ever heard, but I bloody love trying to hit those high notes in Misery Business(doesn’t everybody?). You know that cliche saying, “sing like nobody’s listening, dance like nobody’s watching?” it’s actually a great mantra!
I have always found comfort in music. I did find that after Tyler was born I lost touch with music a little as I just didn’t have the time, plus, I was never on my own with my headphones in, which is how I have always escaped into music. But then I thought, why don’t I put the radio on or stream my Spotify to the TV? So that is what I do now, at least once a day everyday, even if it’s just for two songs whilst I’m doing the washing up or feeding Tyler and have a real good sing song.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while or know me in real life, this one is probably the most obvious one. I’ve always had a thing for writing. It is such a release for me. I wrote a lot of short stories as a child and pre-teen and then I discovered fan-fiction, yes I wrote fan-fiction, a lot of it! I don’t think it’s something that I’m amazingly talented at, but I do think that my writing skills are better than my singing skills so that’s something.
When I wrote my post about post natal depression, although it took me several weeks to write, I felt so much better for finally getting it all out and into writing. I’m not saying that you need to write a blog post or Facebook status explaining to the world what you’re going through(although you totally can if you want to!!) but you could write in a diary/journal or even just on Word on your computer!
I’ve recently rediscovered my love for creative writing as well as blog writing. This is because of three people and one other reason. Jack, my partner, is an amazing writer and inspires me everyday, the same goes for my beautiful friends Erin and Hannah, who are both incredibly talented women and the fourth reason is the new clarity I have on life. I was recently walking into town with Tyler, he was asleep in his pram and I was just observing the world around us and for the first time in a long time, I could feel it, I could feel it all.
As I stood in the street, furiously tapping at my phone to get my thoughts down, I managed to write out an entire paragraph about how I felt in that exact moment. For now, I’m keeping my creative writing to myself, but you never know, I might start sharing those pieces on here in the future!
So those are the five things that help me with my mental health, daily! They might not all be right for you, but if you’re having a bit of a tough time and are looking for some ways to try and get a better hold on life then I really do suggesting giving these things a go! Let me know how you get on with them if you do! What are the things that help you the most with your mental health?