With Covid-19 different stressors have occurred in the past year, with that being said I’ve been making my mental health a priority. I’ve gone through a lot this past year and I really wanted to put my mental health first and really work on giving myself time to feel all of my emotions and breathe when I need to take a break. Life can get exhausting and I plan to slow down to enjoy the life I currently have.
I made a huge decision in starting therapy and I’ve been in therapy for the past three months. With therapy I’ve learned many coping techniques for my daily struggles. Therapy has been difficult, starting with the first session I almost decided to cancel and reschedule, but after each session I’m grateful that I attended and continued. With the recommendation of my therapist I started keeping a gratitude journal where I try to write three things I’m grateful for each day. Some weeks are better than others, but I have been pretty consistent with that since starting therapy.
With the daily gratitude I (try to) write each day, I also have dedicated that journal to being my therapy journal. I use it document the advice and coping techniques my therapist recommends for me. That way I can go back and reflect on it when I have a similar problem, and so I don’t forget what I learn from each session. I like to make notes of the issues of I’m struggling with so I can ask my therapist when it comes time for my next session. I also use my therapy journal to journal when I’m going through a rough time so I can release all of the emotions that are bottling up inside of me.
While keeping up with therapy, and my therapy journal I also rediscovered a mood journal app. So the app is Daylio it allows you record your daily mood. Back when I was in a tough situation I was using this app to determine how many bad mood days I was having in a week. Well, now I use the app differently I use it to track my daily mood and I’ve learned it actually makes me more grateful for the little things I forget to enjoy each day.
For instance, if I feel like it’s going to be a bad day because I experienced a bad morning, I will record a bad morning, but by the end of the day I change it to good or “rad” because the day has turned around. I count the little things like being alive, making it to work safely, and working towards a new goal as a good day. I’m in the process of rewiring my brain to be thankful for each new experience I have each day.
I’ve found that establishing routines has helped decrease the amount of stress I experience in my life. I have a dedicated skin care routine and hair care routine. I also plan my outfits for work the day before and I’m trying to plan them a week in advance so it saves me time in the mornings when getting ready.
I’m trying to read more and finish twelve books by the end of the year, one book for each month. I’ve read about three so far and am in the middle of reading two books. If I get to ten I’ll be happy. This has been a struggle because it’s been hard for me to dedicate time to focus and read like I used to back when I discovered my love for reading in high school. I’m working really hard to try and accomplish this goal by the end of the year.
I’ve been pretty busy lately that I haven’t had time to binge tv like I used to, so now I have to make time for it and really allow myself to wind down and enjoy what I’m watching so I can relax. Allowing myself to have a break and not be on my phone has been a challenge, but I’m slowly overcoming it.
These are the ways I manage my mental health and how I’m continuing to allow myself to feel all of my emotions and relax when needed. I hope this helped.
How do you wind down and manage your mental health?