How do you look after yourself?(15 Posts)
I'm under a lot of stress and need to take care of my mental health but I'm not fully sure what that actually means. How do you look after yourself and make sure it doesn't get too much?
I plan and pace myself. For example I had a v busy weekend collecting dd from uni so yesterday I finished work at 6.45 (early for me) spent the evening with her and was in bed at 9.30. Been in London for meetings all day but on train home now. Gping to library to catch up on emails and home by 7.30pm so the family don't grab a bit as I get home. Then I wpuld panic because work wouldn't be done. Always give myself 4/5 hours on saturdays to just relax: bubble bath, shopping etc.
For me it’s a balance between trying to be kind to myself in terms of not expecting too much and giving myself rest/time for myself when I can and being firm with myself and making sure I get enough of the basics done so that things don’t slip too much and make me feel even worse.
I am sahm at the moment, with a DP who works away and no family nearby so arranging to see people, or have proper chat over phone is really important to keep me sane.
Getting outside for some part of every day massively helpful - even just to walk for 5mins or sit out in garden with a cup of tea.
Most of all I think it’s about listening to yourself, acknowledging/allowing feelings and trying to work out what you really need whether that be sleep, a night out, ticking some items off the to-do list, hiding under the covers for an hour, a nice hot bath and a trashy magazine
There may be some ideas for you on this thread
... accidentally pressed post before I finished writing, but not sure what I was going to finish with there anyway!
Thank you both so much.
I'm temporarily a SAHM too atm and my mental health has never been so rough!
You don't mention the nature of your mental health issues op so this might might not be very helpful to you! I have had some pretty severe anxiety (and much more minor depression) in the past and I do several things to main tain my well being. Apart from a couple of 'wobbles' I have been ok for many years now.
I look after my environment. I like an organised, clean and tidy home and spend quite a bit of time and effort on this. I can't be clear headed in a messy house, I just can't. There are loads of tips on the housekeeping section on here.
I try to look after my physical well being. I lost over 3 stone a couple of years ago and I try to maintain my weight now, try to eat nice , homemade food that I enjoy and so on. I also keep on top of cervical tests, eye tests etc. It gives me one less thing to worry about.
I deal with things as they happen if I can, so if a bill or something needs dealing with it I sort it ASAP.
I go out. At least once a week I go out with friends or my family, I might go to the pub for the quiz or to the cinema, out for a cheap tea or something. I also have people over to our house for food/drinks etc. I like hosting and seeing friends but this was something I just did not do for a long time when my anxiety was bad.
I try to walk as much as I can. I don't drive so I have no choice sometimes but it does help!
I'm a SAHM too and I love it, which obviously helps a lot.
Doing a huge declutter has been very helpful for me, and have a routine for housework so it doesn't get out of control.
Also getting more sleep. Sometimes I go to bed as soon as the dc are asleep.
And trying not to overcommit my time at weekends.
I have to manage my stress levels so try to keep house and garden clean and tidy. Regularly get rid of items I no longer use/like and also keep on top of post and bills and laundry etc. I do at least 1/2 hour cleaning/housework first thing every day to keep on top of things and it means I feel I've achieved something and can go on and enjoy the day.
I eat good food, go to bed at regular times, go for a long walk or go out every day. I try and catch up with a friend, go to a group, or see family once a week. And treat myself each week by eating out/trip to cinema/day out etc.
I read to relax, watch decent TV and potter in the garden. I no longer bother with people who make me feel anxious. I no longer make any apologies for who I am, my lifestyle and what I like to do...and what I do not want to do.
I no longer bother with people who make me feel anxious. I no longer make any apologies for who I am, my lifestyle and what I like to do...and what I do not want to do
I make lists for everything. That way nothing gets forgotton about.
Taking care of yourself to me means:
- learning to say no and mean it. Making sure my diary is not overwhelmed
- Making time to eat well
- Making time to exercise
- Early nights
- Not using alcohol as a crutch when I am worried/stressed
- pacing myself socially
- I see friends that make me feel happy and relaxed
- I take time off when I need it
- I try to minimise how much I take on at busy times
- Plan and prepare, I also make lists
- Have a clean and clutter free home
- Walk and hike alot outside
If you do even half of these things you will avoid burn out
I recently went through a very stressful time with a bereavement. It triggered my anxiety. I'm now recovering and I think a big part of it was just accepting that I was ill and making no apologies for the fact that I had to take measures to recover. I'm a SAHM so it was things like
- making time for friends and my marriage
- clearing the diary so I could rest and catch up on sleep while the kids were at school and nursery
- keeping up fresh air and exercise
- a reasonably organised home
- focusing on the kids well being so I could rest easy that they were okay
- not putting pressure on myself to achieve anything new or too much
I'm feeling much better now
SAHM here too and my mental list so far is :
1- meet a positive friend at least once a week
2- find ways to develop myself
3- sleep well!
4- don’t push myself too hard
5- eat well
6- have one hour of alone time per day
Still working it out
the key things I try to make time for are:
cuddles/fun with family
chats with friends/family (most are not nearby)
doing something I enjoy a few times a week (reading a book, playing an instrument, pootling about at home)
Things that help me:
keeping fairly on top of housework/clutter but not fretting about it too much
meal planning / a stock of easy meals for family (slow cooker, baked potatoes, pasta, etc)
letting others to do some stuff instead of just me
even if they are doing it all wrong
resisting the need to be 'doing' all the time
trying to keep some perspective on things
keeping a sense of humour and finding something to laugh about every now and then
It is, of course, always a work in progress - but even acknowledging that helps!
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