May is “Mental Health Awareness Month” and given the current state that the world is in, we are ALL way past due for a mental health check.
So how are you doing? I mean reaallllyyyy doing? And I am asking the real you. Not you as a mom or wife or the rock of your family. Not the you that has to hold it together because you have so many people depending on you and a To-Do list a mile long and bills to pay. Strip away the titles and reasons why you can’t feel the way you feel and tell me how you’re really doing. Not so well? Yeah, me either girl. So let’s work on that, together.
Lately I have felt my mental health being on the decline. With every blessing that I’ve been getting lately there has been bad news soon to follow. And although that’s life, I can’t help but feel worn thin. Life is rough enough when you have the option to forget your cares for a while at a Happy Hour or Brunch but unfortunately that won’t be an option for a while. And since the corporate office at Target still refuses to put a bar in any of their stores we’ll have to figure out other means of maintaining our mental well-being. So I’ve put together a list of 5 things I’ve been doing to incorporate self-care into my daily routine.
1. Prayer and Morning Devotionals. Girl I pray every day. Every single day. And I try my best to start and end my day with prayer and daily Devotionals. As a Christian I find it so important to seek guidance from God each day and to take on the day in his strength and not my own. I use the Bible App to do my daily Devotionals each day because of the wide array of Devotionals they have. But whether you practice a religion different from my own or no religion at all it is important to ground yourself each day in your truth.
2. Maintain A Gratitude Practice. There is so much power in counting your blessings. Taking note of what you’ve accomplished in life and the beautiful occurrences in day to day life helps so much with shifting your perspective. And once you have a more positive perspective on your life overall, your mental health will improve tremendously. Some people like to keep a journal but even taking time to verbalize what you’re grateful for each day is a good practice to keep.
3. Exercise. Okay…okay, hear me out. I know this sounds crazy but exercise really does improve your mood! The chemicals in your brain called endorphins are released whenever you exercise and those are your body’s “feel good” drug. Not to mention you’re moving closer to whatever body goals that you’ve set for yourself so that’s a bonus. Here are a couple quick exercise videos that I’ve been doing.
4. Adult Coloring. Yes! One of our favorite childhood pastimes is perfect for relieving stress. I find it so therapeutic to color. I feel like I’m bringing a dull black and white picture to life and seeing my masterpiece is so rewarding. There are tons of physical coloring book options for purchase on Amazon but if you want an option that is readily available whenever you feel that panic attack coming along, these are the apps that I’ve been using.
5. Talk to Family and Friends Regularly. What is life without the people you love? I am my most happy when I’m talking to my loved ones. Laughing is definitely my favorite past time and I have the most entertaining tribe on the planet. No matter what challenges or rough days I am facing I can count on them to brighten my day. Whether we are taking trips down memory lane or poking fun at each other, it is always a blessing when we connect.
6. Bonus Tip: Drinking Coffee. *Pauses for dramatic effect. Mamas everywhere rejoice! I have recently found out that drinking coffee has been linked to lower rates of depression, according to Mental Health America, and it’s a shame that this news has brought me this much joy! So now when I’m on my third cup of coffee to keep up with my wild two year old I can rationalize that it’s good for my Mental Health and you can too. You’re welcome.
While I love to lighten the mood in my posts and provide my readers with a light hearted read most of the time, I feel it important to stress the importance of seeking professional help if you feel as though your Mental Health has declined past a point where you can regain your footing on your own. There is nothing wrong with seeking out help from a physician or licensed therapists to talk to you and walk you through options such as medication or therapy sessions. Many Mental Health resources are paid for by insurance, I know first hand. And there are other free options available as well.
3. Crisis Chat
Please remember the importance of your Mental Health. As mamas and women in general we tend to put ourselves on the back burner, we are naturally selfless. But you can not be the best mama, wife, daughter, sister or friend if you are not the best version of yourself. Don’t forget you. ❤️