Today I wanted to share with you a list of things that work for me to keep my mental health from getting too bad.
Now I purposely didn’t say that these make my mental health “good” or anything because doing these things doesn’t necessarily mean I will feel great. Or that I will never have low or anxious days. These are just the things that I know keep me from sinking to the bad place. Things that keep me from the extreme end of poor mental health.
- Writing: when I’m writing a lot or generally just putting words to paper (or laptop), I feel a lot better within myself. I feel I’m in my element. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, writing is my anchor. It’s my saviour. It’s the thing I’ve turned to when I’ve been lonely, unemployed, scared, lost, poor, confused, ugly, overwhelmed, bored, the lot!
- Reading a good book: perhaps my second anchor; I feel good and productive and calm when I’m reading. It’s like if nothing else, just read! It’s never wasted time. And it makes me feel good about myself and I’m learning and escaping; it’s all the things.
- Communication: when I bottle things up, I know it. It sits inside of me and creates this heaviness and tension. But I know that when I speak about how I’m feeling or what I need/want, even when it’s hard, it makes me feel so much better. It’s like this blockage in my spiritual waters has been cleared and everything runs more smoothly!
- Spending time and energy with good people: spending time with people I don’t like or who don’t get me doesn’t feel good. But when I’m with the right people and it’s good vibes, that feels good. I’m an introvert so I’m very protective of my energy. I’m drained easily so I am only filled up when I have good conversations and I feel connected to a person.
- Walking a lot throughout my day: being active is key to my mental and physical wellness. Walking is underrated!! It’s all you need for a healthy body and mind, really. This year I opted out of having a car, and decided to cycle to work where possible instead and walk as much as I can. Some may think it’s a waste of time, but I’m starting to see it as not only good for my health in EVERY SINGLE WAY, but also reflective time and creative time and audiobook time!
- Eating good meals: that don’t leave me feeling heavy, overly full, or sluggish afterwards. Taking time to cook is very therapeutic, too. Discovering new foods I like makes me feel immense joy, especially as a recovering fussy eater.
- Getting enough rest: this will depend on your week, if you’ve been particularly busy or had deadlines or whatever you may need more rest than usual. This means saying no to invites or tasks or whatever if your body and mind needs to rest. It means tossing the to-do list out of the window (or delegating or asking for help) so you can rest.
- Putting in a bit of effort to look good: when you feel more confident about your outfit or hair and face, you carry yourself differently throughout the day and feel genuinely good within yourself.
- Moving my body, in a freeing, feel-good way: yoga, dancing, climbing, playing around in a field with my dog and partner, whatever. No aggressive or forceful movement that doesn’t feel good to do. Get your heart rate up, release those endorphins, and enjoy yourself! Active lifestyles needn’t be a punishment and they make a world of difference in our internal wellbeing, too.
- Being organised: it’s more stressful when I don’t know what’s going on, what I need to do, when by, who with, etc. That’s why I love lists and multiple calendars and whiteboards and journals. Organise my thoughts, to-dos, deadlines, studying, writing, cleaning, partner time, family time, reading, and so on! It might sound like a lot but organisation helps you deal with adulting and feel more in control of what could otherwise feel very stressful and overwhelming.
There you have it, my top 10 things for keeping my mental health in check.
What are yours?
Sending you peace from this side of the world (please send it back round, I need it!)