How I'm Dealing With My Mental Health Right Now
A few weeks ago I wrote a post all about how I take care of my mental health in the colder months and when I wrote that post I said that I for once, wasn’t finding this time of year as difficult as I have done in the past. Granted, we are only just starting to get the cold weather so time will tell but something that I’ve not done in a while is done a general mental health update. For so long I believed mental health was something that was linear but it’s not at all and there are highs and lows and that’s ok, even though at the time it can feel devastating like you’ve lost all your progress it’s not the case. So here is how I’m currently dealing with my mental health at a time that I typically find incredibly hard.
GETTING OUTSIDE EVEN WHEN I DON’T WANT TO
You might think having two dogs that I have to get out whatever the weather but having two dogs that are very sensitive to the cold and will cross their legs until they can’t anymore when it’s raining definitely takes the pressure off me when the weather is really bad. And lately, the weather really hasn’t been nice at all and the combination of a stinking cold made me want to bury myself in my sofa duvet and never want to leave again. But forcing myself to get out even when the weather has been miserable has ultimately made me feel far better than when I don’t get out. It’s something that I mention time and time again but there is absolutely no denying that it makes me feel a thousand times better than when I stay inside all day. The number one thing to remember when getting out and about at this time of the year is dressing sensibly, which is definitely something that I’m getting better and better at as time goes on and I did recently write a whole blog post about it (read that here) but here are my serious cold weather essentials.
The North Face touch screen gloves, they’re the best if you have petite hands.
taking the pressure off having hobbies
Something that I’m really good at is always thinking of something that I can be doing. I’ve always got plenty of ideas for hobbies and spend far too much time daydreaming about what I’d do if I had unlimited time and if money was no question. And because there are so many things that I want to do I tend to get really annoyed at myself for not being able to do it all, which is daft because the point of a hobby is that it there is no pressure surrounding it. Because I’ve been so incredibly fortunate that my biggest hobby which is this blog has evolved into how I earn my living I find it hard to strike that balance between the two as so many things that I create are very much still for fun. And I know that hobbies are really important but I find once that the pressure starts to have a seriously negative effect then they don’t seem so important.
finding the joy in food again
Since 2010 I’ve dealt with chronic stomach problems and even though now I know the reason to why I struggle so much with my digestive system I can’t say that it’s helped me have the best relationship with food. Because when you’re eating and it’s causing you to be in crippling pain then there is bound to be some negative emotions that then become attached to food. But over the past couple of years, I’ve really worked on my mental relationship with food as it was something that caused me so much distress, panic and anxiety and it’s been a long journey. And even though my digestive issues haven’t just melted away maintaining a somewhat positive relationship with food is the most important thing to me, taking things slow and building things up over the months has really helped. When I was at my worst health wise Christmas was always something I struggled with, so going into this festive season not anywhere near as anxious as I used to be is such a relief.
planning for the year ahead
For me, 2018 has been the year of plodding along. Which doesn’t exactly sound exciting or very girl boss of me but I think years like this are somewhat important. Years that are just you getting stuff done and making ends meet aren’t something that are spoken about enough because I like I said, they don’t exactly sound aspirational but they deserve more love because making ends meet is a big deal. And even though I’ve appreciated this year for what it is I don’t want next year to be another one of them, I want 2019 to be a year of doing new things and really pushing myself work-wise. Planning is something that really helps me slow down when I’m really anxious, over thinking and generally working myself up into a serious state. Especially when it comes to finances, I have to sit down and write everything down so I know exactly what’s going on and obviously it’s good to get in the habit of going through your finances. I've never been the most business minded person but it's something that I really want to work on in the future and because the new year is coming up all of this planning can be done in a brand new notebook. Which is something that brings me far too much joy.
a digital declutter
Something that I’ve been doing quite a lot this year is decluttering my digital space. So keeping on top of my files and making sure they’re properly organised has been a large part of this but the biggest and probably the most important element of my digital declutter has been my social media. There is a lot of guilt around unfollowing someone and to the person being unfollowed, no it doesn’t feel nice there is no denying that but if something isn’t bringing you joy and you can change that then there should be 0 guilt surrounding that. I try and keep on top of who I follow pretty often, and it's not always if that person doesn't bring me joy either I might just not be connecting to what they're putting online anymore as naturally interests change and evolve. Not following huge numbers of people is something that I find helps my mental health a lot, after all, social media is something that should bring us joy rather than anything negative.