As a mental health worker and survivor of some seriously horrid life experiences, people often ask me how I stay mentally healthy…
So, I thought I’d share some of the things that form my day to day mental health maintenance routine. You might be surprised that they are fairly simple, like shock horror the mental health worker doesn’t have some whizz bang fancy routine. Nope. Nup. Never.
To me, mental health maintenance has to be simple. Easy. And light. It can NEVER feel like a chore… so I don’t make it feel like one! Simple.
Here we go… 5 things I do to keep my mental health in check…
I always use positive self-talk
Not 100% of the time (hello, I’m a realist!) but definitely 90-95% of the time. I always back myself and use words that inspire me rather than those that deflate me. Likewise, I praise myself regularly… maybe when I’ve handled something really tough or made progress on something I never thought I could do. Positive self-talk it VITAL to mental health because the relationship we have with ourselves is THE most important relationship we will ever have. When you constantly put yourself down and focus on the negative you attract that into your life. Truth. Whether you believe in ‘energy’ or not.
I do what I feel I need to do… not what I ‘should’ do
This one relates to day to day living … like housework, responding to invitations, taking on work tasks etc. I don’t set stupid cleaning goals or epic social commitment goals for myself. I just do what feels good. I listen to my heart and go with that. I do what I can manage. Finally, I set healthy boundaries and I don’t feel guilty for it.
I stop and take a breather
I schedule in break times (hello crazy busy 'all-hat-wearing' self-employed life!) and I also sit and watch the news each night, guilt free. At night, if I’m exhausted, I don’t force myself to push on, I do the bare minimum (kitchen and school stuff) then I watch tv, read or go to bed. I know that stuff can wait. And it does! Stuff will wait for you too, regardless of what your inner mean girl may try and tell you!
I always have something to look forward to
Whether it’s a lunch with friends, a new business venture, holiday planning, a tv show I’m hanging to watch, a new book I’m off to buy, takeaway to enjoy… whatever… I ALWAYS look forward to all the cool, fun, enjoyable stuff in life. Cheap, free, expensive and otherwise. Looking forward is almost certainly the best way to keep your eyes from turning back to focus on misery, hard times and obstacles that have come up in your life.
I always come back to gratitude
Do I have everything and everyone I want in my life? Absolutely not! But I don’t dwell on that… I don’t throw pity parties for myself, I don’t say “I can’t afford that” or "I can't do that"… I say “How can I make this work?”. I am seriously thankful for my hot water, clothing, food, comfy bed, nice house, all my possessions, nature, my kids, my FREEDOM, the money I can earn… EVERYTHING. Gratitude makes what you have enough. Maintaining this attitude of gratitude reminds me of exactly how much I have that is beyond what I need. I bet it’s the same for you!
On top of these things I also regularly read, make photo books, journal, go for long walks, watch doccos, do some gardening, go to events and read inspiring books. I’ve got plenty of hobbies, interests, passions and goals and, as a result, I consistently stay in a healthy mental space. Trust me, it is possible to live happy and free from worries… because everything comes down to our attitude and our resilience.
So, there you have it… 5 things I do to keep my mental health in check…
If you’ve enjoyed this article I’d be very grateful if you could share it with someone you love using the links below. By sharing these easy to implement mental health maintenance strategies you might actually change someone’s life!
Finally, you may like to check out my articles 5 Ways To Feel Happier Today and if you’re interested in getting some support on board you may like to check out What Happens In Your First Counselling Session?
Otherwise if you want to learn more about me you can check that out here!
Until next week…
Yours in better mental health,
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Erica has a passion for Women’s Health. She works with women who want to be heard, supported and empowered! Erica is a survivor of many life experiences. A Mum. A travel lover. A green thumb in training and an eternal optimist!