When I decided to work on myself this year, I didn’t realize that my mental health was going to play such a huge role in how I felt overall. This summer I was diagnosed with anxiety, another story for another day, and that diagnosis has made all the difference in my life these past three months! Beyond taking medication regularly, I’m more mindful and aware of my emotions and the feelings that anxiety brings up. I have been able to pep talk myself out of feelings of overwhelm that show up for no good reason and threaten to ruin my day. I’m also more intentional about what I do with my time each day and have noticed that the things I do combat my anxiety almost better than the medication that my doctor prescribed.
Things I Do Regularly for My Mental Health
Things I do daily
Get ready for the day - Some days I only wear mascara and let my hair air dry and other days I put on a full face of makeup and curl my hair. No matter what, I get up before my kids so I have time to shower, get dressed, put on some makeup and do my hair.
Take my anxiety medication - It’s simple, but it makes a world of difference. I didn’t realize just how much I had been struggling until I was a few weeks into my medication and looked back and saw just how different I was feeling. There is a lot you can do to combat mental struggles, but sometimes medication gives you the little extra help you need.
Make a to do list - I shared about my to do list earlier this summer and how it’s one of the things that helps me feel productive and stay as balanced as possible with all of the roles that I play in life. Having a prioritized to do list and a place to write down the tasks that come to my mind and threaten to throw off my day makes a world of difference for me. I’m no longer dwelling on all of the things I have to get done. I focus on the current task and know that when I finish, the others will be there waiting and I won’t forget about them.
Physical activity - I love to go on walks on the nature trail near my house, but some days my physical activity consists of dance parties and changing my kiddos around or cleaning up the house. I have a step count that I try to hit each day, and I feel better on the days that I do.
Something I love - I mentioned last week that I’ve started investing time in myself each day. I work to do one thing that I love every single day, whether it’s singing or reading a book or baking up something delicious for my family. I do one thing that I know will make me happy because I deserve it.
Spend time with my husband - Joe keeps me grounded and helps me think more rationally about situations when my emotions get the best of me. Spending time with him each day helps keep me calm and laughing.
Have fun with my kids - I used to get so caught up in my daily activities and those things I felt that I had to do as a mom, I would forget to take time for the fun parts of being a mom. I plan one activity daily, sometimes just a small one and other times a fun outing, that allows me to live life with my kids and lets us giggle together.
Clean up clutter - Clutter and messes bring up my anxiety and waking up to those messes start my day in a whirlwind. Each night before bed, I spend a few minutes picking up any clutter and cleaning up messes. Going to bed and waking up with a relatively clean house brings me join and keeps me calm.
Get enough sleep - When I get 7 to 8 hours of sleep, I have a better outlook on life and helps me feel my best.
Things I do on a regular basis
Take a nap - Every Friday while my kids are napping, I watch a movie from my bed and work on my laptop. If I start to feel sleepy, I set my work aside and let myself sleep. Sunday afternoons are for napping as well. I don’t always take advantage of the nap time because I don’t always need it, but when I do, I feel so much better!
Go on a date - Every opportunity I get to escape with my husband for an hour or more, I do. I love setting aside our responsibilities and focusing on the fun side of our relationship, without any distractions.
Plan a girl's night - I’ve been getting out with friends on a more regular basis lately and it’s just what my heart has needed!
Spend time by myself - Sometimes I go get a massage or go on a leisurely shopping trip. Other times I pick up my favorite takeout and watch a chick flick while I paint my nails. Having time to spend with just me has helped me build a better self love relationship.
Work on something I'm passionate about - I love spending time on this blog each week or crossing one of those things that I want to do off of my list. Sometimes my passion is cleaning and organizing a space in our house, other times it’s decorating a space that I’ve been envisioning for a while.
Relax - I’m a busy person and I always have to be doing something. This year I’ve worked to relax every day. I sit and stare out the front window while I listen to music or a podcast, watch a movie or an episode of my favorite TV show without a project in front of me, or cuddle up with my husband and a cup of hot chocolate.
Every day I take inventory of where I am and what I can do to improve my mental state. Some days I’m in a really good place and other days I find myself struggling. The good days are a lot more frequent than the bad and a lot more good than my good days were in the past. My conscious efforts to improve my mental health are paying off and I’ve noticed a huge difference in myself.
Photography by Sadie Banks Photography