50. What Have You Done For Your Mental Health Today?

 

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So presumably if you’re reading this you have some form of depression or anxiety … If you don’t and you really have nothing better to do on a Saturday morning, then you may well have other issues! Hopefully however, you’re here to seek out others in a similar situation and their thoughts and ideas and it’s not simply the old adage of misery loves company and you want to wallow in the ghastliness of it all and indulge in some self flagellation. (If it’s any consolation, yup, I’ve been there.)

Let’s be clear here, just because I have had my fair share of depression and anxiety, does not mean that I don’t laugh. The fact that I often laugh at myself perhaps describes a slightly self-deprecating personality, or else I’m just trying to get in there first before anyone else has a chance to laugh at me, as I point out my flaws, foibles and find some humour in them and they hopefully then will laugh with me. Anyway, I know I have them in bucketloads, ten tonne truck loads bigger than the road gritters up here in Bonnie Scotland, the only difference being that I’m not spreading and sharing my faults today … Today is about positivity!

So my question today is as per the title, What have you done for your mental health today?

If you’re at the lower end of the spectrum, I would assume that you are up and about, (unless you’re in the States, in which case you should be fast asleep and snoring happily into your duvets).

If you’re right up at the top end, falling over the edge and hanging on by a mere finger nail, I suspect that you can’t see the wood for the trees and are fumbling and stumbling around in the fog, utterly exhausted and unable to frankly do anything. Yes, sadly lots of us have been there and have the t-shirt and full set of hospital gowns to prove it.

However, somewhat annoyingly (because it’s the absolutely last thing we want to do), we all know that to get moving and fight the lethargy will and does make it better. Believe you me, when you’re at rock bottom and someone suggests you go for a nice jolly walk around the garden, I know, you want to hit them with a shovel, but irritatingly, it does actually help. Sorry, but it’s true.

So, the very basics ….. You wake up ….

  1. Turn on the lights, open the curtains, open the windows unless you too are facing ‘The Beast from the East’ (the UK’s current storm). Turn on the radio or the tv. (If you can’t bear the news, find something else … doesn’t matter if it’s the shipping forecast. Let the light, sounds and world into your world. Don’t hide away. We’re safe in our home, but we also need to engage with the universe.
  2. Start a routine of getting up, washing, make up, clothes, making the bed, tidying the room all to be done before you start on stuff downstairs. Keeping things ordered and tidy helps clear the anxiety. ‘A tidy home, a tidy mind’ is not as daft as we might think. It’s therapeutic. Make your room a positive, relaxed environment. And yes, we do feel better if we put on clean clothes and a bit of slap (makeup) on the face …. if we slob around in a tracksuit, it’s all too easy to curl up on the sofa and not move all day. Even if the only person I’m going to see is the postman, I certainly don’t want to frighten him. It’s self discipline.
  3. Food! Eat the good stuff …. Im certainly not going to talk about kale smoothies and do a Gwyneth Paltrow on you, but eat something, even if all you can face is a yoghurt with crunchy bits in it. You cannot run on empty.
  4. Make a list for the day – essential things that need to be done (telephone calls, emails, cleaning a cupboard) plus a few things at the end that you want to do, but that can only be done when the needs are completed. (Long soak in the bath, good book on the sofa etc)
  5. One thing that we MUST include every single day is some form of fresh air and exercise. Even if it’s just washing the car, gardening, or cleaning out all the bins – it doesn’t matter. Just something, outside so we raise the heart rate and get out into the world. Get the endorphins and dopamine working for you.

For me, the most important part of the day is the very start. It sets and determines the tone for the rest of the day. By making and keeping a simple routine, it sets us up for a good solid day ahead. It becomes as easy as breathing. Slowly we can add to it, increase it and we can have our rewards (the fun things) at the tail-end of the day. First we do the things we need to do, then we do the things we want to do.

Start simple, but do start, it’s the only way to move forward.

Katie x

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31 thoughts on “50. What Have You Done For Your Mental Health Today?”

    1. Then you are my hero of the day … without a shadow of a doubt. It is a fight and the worst possible type because we’re not only fighting the disease but also ourselves, as in, we’re having to force ourselves to do something that we really don’t want to do. And we’re a tough bunch. I just have to keep reminding myself about short-term pain and long-term gain. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading more from you ☀️☀️

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for kind words. I was a mixed martial art instructor and my club and saying. Discipline no excuses, and the Bushido basic code of conduct. I need things like these as they motivate me to be active and I don’t want to be in conflict with my codes as I know it will bother me later. Small tricks with my mind to try to move on with life.

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    1. Yes … you’re spot on … me too. If I’m having a shabby day then just to do something small, doesn’t matter what the heck it is, but just doing something gives one that feeling of accomplishment. And then I can add to it, slowly slowly … thanks for reading and sharing. ☀️☀️

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Great advice! Things are, have, turning the corner for me. I saw the sun and embraced the warmth. Did not feel guilty. Well a slight bit of guilt slipped in. I remain cautious as hell though. Things can turn stormy in a second so as much as i am rejoicing my mind is telling me beware. J

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    1. Oh my goodness, can I be excited for you too? I don’t want to jinx it! I’m genuinely happy for you. Whatever it is that you’re doing, keep doing it (and tell the rest of us!). Thanks for reading and keep me posted ☀️☀️

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      1. Thanks for that sunshine!! Not sure i know consciously or completely understand how this is happening. Certainly my therapist’s push to volunteer and find a purpose in life has steered this ship right. And in my travels there are numerous road bumps, while unexpected rocks have marooned me on an island where i have had lots of time to think….

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  2. I find my morning routine very relaxes because it’s such a set routine. Even my pet guinea pigs are into it; they know that they get their celery when mama gets up to make her first cup of tea, and then their cucumber to go with mama’s second cup.

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    1. Yes! That’s just the same as me (minus the guinea pigs!). When we had our lovely dog, she was all a part of it too … a nice walk in the park and the BEST park with waterfalls and rivers – perfect doggy territory! I love that your guinea pigs have celery and cucumber! Lucky things 🥒🥒🥒 … It’s so great that your routine relaxes you too … It keeps me sane even though it’s really basic and simple. ☀️☀️

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  3. Not sure I have a form of depression, might have some anxiety. But I started out here because when people like my blog, I try to get over to check theirs out. 🙂 Cheers! (PS THINKING about getting up and getting “ready” (dressed, makeup) makes me depressed. 🙂 I hate the getting ready routine!

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    1. I’m looking forward to reading your posts! As for the getting ready in the morning, I think I’m probably a bit girly as I like to have all my makeup and lotions and potions all out beside the basin, and it becomes a bit of a ritual, using them and keeping them nice and in theory keeping me nice (not that quite frankly any of these bottles do anything more than a bar of soap would do! But it makes me feel good). ☀️☀️

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      1. I only “get ready” when I am going out. Otherwise I teach an exercise class that has me getting way to sweaty to bother with makeup and hair. Then I run my errands afterwards so as not to have to make two trips out for the day. So I have gotten away from having to have makeup on for everything. Also – at my age, putting it on just seems a waste since it seems to slide right off or smudge up instantly. 🙂

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  4. I obviously need to print out (and follow) your list. I’m guilty of assuming the lows will simply never return when I’m not there.
    And I loved your “you’re at rock bottom and someone suggests you go for a nice jolly walk around the garden, I know, you want to hit them with a shovel, but irritatingly, it does actually help.”

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    1. Thank you! Sorry to make you teary though! I find as I go along, the more I do the better I am, but I’m not only fighting a disease, I’m fighting a part of me, the negative part of me who wants to curl up on the sofa all day and sleep. That part is incredibly powerful and takes a rocket to get me moving. ☀️☀️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So true. If my feet touch the floor wrong in the morning and I hesitate, then the day is never as good. Walks I sware by and eating little and often. Lists are great and not reading the newspapers. Black dog days are gone but you still need to be mindful. No invatations to Mr misery being sent from my home!

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  6. I used to dread waking up every morning (that sounds so crazy I know). It’s so hard to wake up and get through the day when you live with mental illness. Things have gotten so much better lately. I’ve realized that happiness only happens when you make the choice to be happy. I’ve learned to push past the bondage that mental illness causes (if that makes sense), but I’ve also accepted my current limitations. Such a great post! Thank you for sharing with us

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww that’s lovely … I’m so glad for you ❤️ It’s hard isn’t it, but somehow once we get started it seems to get easier. But as you say, also knowing ones limitations and triggers is key, otherwise a step back for me tends to be inevitable. Steep learning curve I’ve found but it sounds like you and I are on the up! ☀️☀️

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  7. I’m going to make some notes in my pad on this.xxx I enjoy makings lists too, it organizes my thoughts and helps me stay focuses on crossing out things that need to be done. Like a personal mission. It stops me from over thinking and falling into depression. Also on fresh air, I take 30 minutes walks everyday, morning and evening. It Really helps!

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