FROM RACHAEL CLAIRE | PARENTING & LIFESTYLE BLOGGER

CHANGES I AM MAKING TO MY LIFESTYLE TO IMPROVE MY MENTAL HEALTH

changes I am making to my lifestyle

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.

DIET

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.

SKINCARE

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!

BULLET JOURNALING

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

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?

 

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I find reading really helps to just zone out, in a better way that just watching mindless TV which I’m terrible for. I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed recently so have picked up the books again. Thanks for these tips – all really useful. Hope you’re OK xx

  2. Great post! I’ve found that guided meditations and looking into the Law of Attraction have helped for me personally. I’m also making some lifestyle changes and moving from my job where I was working 12 hour shifts and travelling to London every day to something closer to home which should make a huge difference. Fun fact- I have the same postcard as you!

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