My mental health hasn’t been amazing these past few months. I’ll be absolutely fine one day and the next I will feel like I am drowning in a sea of “my life is genuinely falling to pieces around me & I don’t know what the hell to do”. I’ve just been feeling really rubbish in myself. My diet has been piss-poor, there are days where Teddy eats lovely homemade meals & I will have had a biscuit all day. Then there are days where I eat anything & everything in sight & it’s never anything nutritional. It is just so easy to put yourself at the bottom of a very long list of priorities. I thought I would share with you some changes I am making to my lifestyle to improve my mental health.
Just before having Teddy I attended CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) & it was amazing, therapy is definitely something that works for me & i’m so glad I decided to explore it and give it a go. When I was pregnant my mental health was the best it had been in a long time – I felt confident & so content. I did mention to my midwife at my booking in appointment that I suffered from anxiety, she was really supportive & asked me at every appointment after that how I was feeling, whether I needed any help or if there was any extra support I needed. However once Teddy arrived & the newborn fuzzy love bubble disappeared, my anxiety reared its ugly head. I felt nervous leaving the house in case he cried, the thought of feeding in public brought me out in hot sweats & it was just a case of genuinely not knowing what the HELL I was doing. I did speak to my health visitor about this when Teddy was a few weeks old & we went back over my CBT, what techniques worked best for me & what we wanted to do moving forward.
This past month I have been thinking about little changes I can make that aren’t too drastic or out of reach, to really help improve my mental health.
As I mentioned my diet has been shocking these past few months. It goes from one extreme to another; either skipping meals or eating ten meals a day with snacks in between. My diet definitely has an effect on both my mood & my skin. If I’ve had a particularly long stretch of crappy foods eg a few naughty dominos & a Chinese, it leaves me feeling really sluggish and tired. My skin ends up really dull, dry in places with the hormonal breakouts of a teenager. I’m 26 for Christ sake! I shouldn’t have to worry about spots the size of peas appearing on my chin.
I am going to start by having a structured meal plan, not just for tea time which is what I usually do – but also breakfast & lunches. They don’t have to be certain meals on set days, set in stone but just so I have an idea of what I have available. I am still going to make sure I have plenty of snacks in, I love the occasional biscuit as much as the next person & as I am still breastfeeding, i’m blaming that for my never ending appetite. I just need to prioritise eating & remember that it is just as important that eat, as it is Teddy.
As I mentioned, my skin has not been playing ball recently. It is so dull & lack-lustre. I have been really neglecting my skin at the moment & my skincare routine was a quick wash and that was it. I have treated myself to a couple of face masks recently that have really been helping me get back into looking after my skin. I’m also on a mission to drink more water to help improve my skin. You know it is desperate measures when I am actually contemplating drinking water!
I started a bullet journal in the middle of September, after watching one YouTube video & I became obsessed. I have been on a Pinterest mission to pin all kinds of spreads, trackers & designs. I just love them & I love doing mine. I find it so therapeutic filling in each day, ticking off my to-do lists & colouring in my habit and mood trackers. I HIGHLY recommend adding a monthly mood tracker to your bullet journal if you have one, it really helps give you an overview of how you have been feeling over the past month & seeing it colour coded according to your mood really gives you perspective. I like try and do a little bit everyday – usually whilst listening to a podcast, which is something I have been doing a lot more of recently.
Reading is my favourite thing to do & after really struggling to find time for it when I first had Teddy, I have really made the effort this year to pick up more books and make a little time everyday to read, even if it is just ten minutes before bed. Reading is definitely my biggest escape when it comes to anxiety & motherhood in general, especially when I am completely engrossed in a story & get truly lost in it. Those are my favourite kind of books.
Those are just a few of the changes I am making to my lifestyle to hopefully improve my mental health, i’d love to know if any of these have helped you?