If you read my last post you will know I moved from a large city to a smaller one and I explained some of the things this move resulted in including sadness, loneliness and a sense of generally feeling a little lost due to a lot more time to think. It has meant I have had to force myself to make some changes to my life, some changes I resisted.
Getting to a stronger mental place and staying happy is so important to me because thats the way I can ensure I stay afloat and that has been the main motivation for these changes. I often work backwards in my thinking. Whats my end goal and how can I get there, this strategy is a great way to ensure you reach your end goals. So the first step to make changes in your life is by asking yourself ‘what makes me happy?’ and then changing things in your life to ensure they satisfy your happiness.
So what things have I implemented in my life to encourage stronger mental health and happiness?
The first change was to seek some help, not just help in the form of therapy but help in the form of books and videos to make me feel more energised, motivated and to ensure I don’t slip into my sadness too much, something I realised used to happen often.
I have also made a big decision to put the 9-5 routine behind me, something I am still working to make happen and something i feel my soul is dying for me to embrace and I need to not only be strong but also be positive and have faith that it will all work out for the best.
I chose to not always be the perfect cook and learn to be more organised, when it is not just yourself that you are thinking of, you need to adapt yourself, so I now (and I still find this hard to say) consider convenience food once a week, so I can have a break from the laborious cooking routine, something i just don’t enjoy.
Dedicated me time. This involves getting in to bed earlier, switching off from technology and also waking up earlier. The morning is the most important part of your day, as is the time before you sleep.
This has involved reading self help and motivational books and watching a lot of motivational speeches, all in an attempt to get me in the right mental place for the things that will follow. Being so emotional about everything really takes its toll and effects you in every way.
Questioning myself & reflection
I have always heard that asking the right questions is so important, asking yourself how you are feeling. why are you feeling this way. what would make you feel better is sooo important for your improvement and something i am still learning to do more of. Taking time to reflect on a regular basis will help you find the answers to these questions.
I made a vow this year that I would do more for others and this involves giving money to charity and just trying to give more to people who I know are not as lucky as I am and there are many in the world.
Being aware that i do not practice gratitude enough made me start the 365 days of happiness challenge. Every day on my Instagram, I share something I am grateful for. (feel free to join me here: https://www.instagram.com/thoughtsfashionlifestyle/) I also share gratitude on a daily basis with a friend, I have made this part of my routine.
Not get overwhelmed by Social Media
Social Media as a platform is great but social media mostly reflects the great, fun moments (I mean how often do we see someone post them at home having a cry). After feeling continuously sad due to spending too much time looking at others ‘fabulous, fun lives’, I made a conscious decision not to spend as much time looking at social media. This felt like the only option for me. The other thing I have done is try to focus on using the channel to share positive things, not just where you go and what you do but also what you feel, trying to motivate others.
I have dabbled with meditation for many years and I was lucky enough to be given access to the Headspace app. Part of my excuse for not meditating was lack of access so now I have no excuse, I can’t honestly say its not easy to calm your mind after so many years of it being so active but at least now I have an accessible resource if I need it.
Walking & Exercise
Finding time to exercise when you have to cook, clean, tidy and work has definitely been one of my biggest challenges, still working on this one, I do force myself to go on as many solo walks as I can, especially as I am not a massive gym goer. Also signing up for classes is a good idea but find something that personifies you, whether it is dance, boxing or a yoga class.
I have had no choice but to communicate better, I always expected people to read my mind and know when I am not ok but thats unfair, I can’t say I have 100% won in this space but I am really trying. The other reason for needing to communicate better is because people are a little further away then they were.
Knowing that there are things scheduled in the diary gives me something to look forward to, in life we all need something to look forward to or we can get engrossed in the mundane routine of life. Although I would love to just take things as they come, I also realise some things involve planning and I have to plan things if I want to make them happen.
This should have actually been at the top of the list. I think being honest with yourself is massively important in trying to figure out what changes need to be made in your life. If you aren’t honest, you won’t even realise that you need to make changes but how long can you lie to yourself for is the question?
Identifying whats important
Looking at whats important in your life will help you to understand what you need to be doing more of. This is once again where reflection comes in.
I guess the final bit of advice I would give is to evaluate your life often, find the time to think about things that need to be changed, things that you could do to improve your life and ultimately your wellbeing. You know what they say, the only thing that is constant, is change!