I’ve been doing things a bit differently. Obviously you can tell from the last post. I have to. Things get crazy and it’s easy to fall under the fog and let your anxiety and depression get you down. Yep, I said depression. It’s okay. You get sad for reasons you can’t explain. So how do you do things daily to stay mentally sharp so your lows don’t seem so low? Well I have been reading a lot about mental and physical wellness and trying to see how it can actually work for me without breaking my wallet or who I really am. Yes, it’s okay to talk about mental health as a woman and a mom…
So let’s see:
Well, I eat …. better. Don’t skip breakfast. Don’t work through lunch. For the longest time, I was skipping meals because my life is so hectic I wouldn’t even thinking about eating until I was ready to fall asleep, so I’d grab a snack… or worse… I would just go to sleep. No good.
Oatmeal is my goto. I didn’t do breakfast because I am not much of a morning person. Oatmeal is not as heavy on my stomach like eggs or pancakes. If that’s not enough, add yogurt.
If you are feeling extra fancy, slice up some fresh fruit before work put it in a ziplock container. Munch while you’re checking your email. Healthy and productive. My favorite: cantaloupe, strawberries, mango, and some blueberries.
Mom tip: make two, maybe it’s just my child who is a greedy fruit monster… but I’ll take it.
“exercise exercise exercise”
Ok so there are 24 hours in a day. I’m not going to break them down hour by hour but I’m busy af. As I am sure you are too. I don’t want to make excuses but I don’t have time or money for the gym right now. I travel a bunch for work and a lot of my hotels have gyms which are cool but when you’ve been out of the game for so long, it’s a bit intimidating. It takes steps… literally. So my hotels also have elevators, but I only use them when I have a ton of luggage. Otherwise, I use the stairs. Park far from my office, walking at upstairs to talk to my coworkers rather than IM them … you know, everything you read in cosmo. It helps a lot during the day when I start to mentally clock out early. If you are a bit more advanced than I am, there is a yoga channel on YouTube the instructors name is Adrianne and she chill but not an unrelatable level of zen. Another easy quick fix: squats. Morning noon and night.
“live by the ACV”
If you don’t know, now you know. Apple cider vinegar will love you down head to toe. I was super skeptical at first. I also didn’t want to walk around smelling like vinegar but It’s worth it! Here are some Ways to use ACV that I live by.
AVC shots in my tea in the morning.
Face masks with bentonite clay and ACV.
Natural hair cleanser.
You’ll find something you love!
That word sounds too… real. But forreal. Just take a seat. In mom terms: take a potty break. I usually only get one to myself and that one is usually as soon as we get home. If I yell through the door “mommy is pooping” I usually buy myself 5-7 minutes. I completely rethink the entire day, good and bad, then I leave it all there. Start a fresh night with my little lady.
The best advice I got that mediation does not mean sitting in silence and not thinking at all, that’s impossible… for me at least. I’m a thinker. An over thinker. Meditation is supposed to be whatever fully relaxes you head to toe. For me that’s identifying the problem and getting over it. For some that’s sex or cleaning… clear your head.
“control your space”
Clean your room. Yes you’re an adult, I know. But I have noticed I feel better when my space looks better. When I am not stepping on toys. Even menial things. Crawling into a made bed. Driving a clean car. You spend so much time taking care of others… your kids, spouse, your clients… take care of your stuff not just because it’s general house keeping. Because you appreciate you. For the first time in my life I have an entire house so it’s been hard for me to live outside of my bedroom. I’m used to having a defined space so to have a full kitchen, dining room, basement… all that cool stuff is new to me. For the longest time my walls were empty, my mantle was bare, my grass was up to my knees… it really took me stepping back and saying “this is mine, I need to take care of it” for me to decorate and find a lawn guy. Utilize my ample storage. I had to take pride in the entire house and really intentionally make it a home. And I feel better. I rush home after daycare, ready to light some incents, turn on some music or an audio book and make dinner while fi plays in one of her many self defined spaces. It is easier to leave work at work when I come home to a space that is clear and enjoyable. Where things are organized in a way that works with me. My bed is made but I do not have to immediately put the important mail in my bedroom so it doesn’t get mixed up with others… it’s just my stuff. It’s nice. Your home should be your sanctuary. For me, comfortable and clean is the number one tool for anxiety reduction. Same thing with my office, I’ve never had an office before. Usually just a large desk shared with students… so this is nice and for a while, just like at home, I didn’t alter it much. I just did my work and left. I knew the only way for me to feel comfortable in my position and confident in my role was to claim my space. Even with things as small as a plastic framed photo of fi and I and some of her school drawings to my degree hanging on the wall… finally not collecting dust next to my couch. It all seriously makes a difference in the energy that enters your space and the energy you give off while in your space.
“enjoy your own company”
No, I am not saying sit at home alone all the time… but if you happen to be alone, at home, it shouldn’t be discouraging. In high school I was always one of those people constantly making plans with like 5-7 of my “closest” friends so when everyone grows up and apart where does that leave you? I am just saying, it is kind of hard to know and love yourself when you are constantly aligning with the schedule of others. So many people (myself included) have been or are currently stuck in relationships they have no desire to be in because the thought of being alone is worse than the unhappiness they experience with their partner. At 23, I have to call bull on that. I value all of the relationships I’ve been in good and bad… but I’ll be damned if I do not love shopping alone, Netflix binging alone, working out alone. I am never “lonely” because I love the space I am in and because I know myself. I know that I rather take people and heavy situations in doses. Does that mean I’ll never want to share this energy with someone? No way of course not. But I know that someone will respect and appreciate the separation needed to have a fulfilling relationship… for me at least. I used to feel bad for people eating at restaurants alone but I’ve easily become that person and the thought of a 16 year old waitress taking pity on my complete serenity has not even crossed my mind.
This could be the mom in me speaking but idk… try it.
“do it. Just because you want to”
This seems almost too easy to include but idk it took me some serious time to get a handle on this. I needed to develop a “F*ck it” button. Not all of the worlds problems can be solved in a day. Seriously I was making at least 4 to do list a day and getting so frustrated as they seemed to be never ending then my frustration would cloud my mind and I was mentally useless. My solution for getting overwhelmed used to be “work through it” then I lost 25 pounds (not on purpose) and my face, hair, skin… were all showing my stress. I had a tough time saying no to people. No I can’t drive you to the airport or no I can’t wait for the cable guy at your house. Even with projects I am working on, it was hard for me to stop myself mentally. I was always always taking notes of ideas or staying up until 2 am editing different things or researching things. These things done occasionally are not that bad. But this became part of my normal routine and I didn’t care how I felt because I was getting things accomplished. I had to figure out that the biggest accomplishment is setting realistic goals and reaching them without compromising my health. Basically I just needed to be a bit easier on myself which has helped because I work so much better when I am well rested and well nourished. So don’t feel guilty when you take care of yourself or take a step back.
Ideas to add ?