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Small tweaks to happiness....

(50 Posts)
sharond101 Sun 20-Oct-19 10:42:12

Looking for suggestions on small steps to bring happiness and enjoyment into my life. I have mental health issues which complicate things but small steps, no matter how simple, might make a difference and I am so open to trying anything. I feel like I am trapped in my head alot, weighing up decisions and talking myself down from anxiety. I am obsessed with cleaning and spend most of my free time doing this. I have 2 children aged 7 and 4. The 4 year old attends nursery so I have a little free time on the days I don't work. I have no idea what I enjoy or what to do with myself other than clean or exercise. I'd like some suggestions on how to have more fun, introduce more happiness or relaxation into my and my families lives as just now I feel trapped in a state of misery. I have issues around spending money (connected to a low self esteem making me feel I shouldn't be spending money on myself) so low cost is beneficial too.

BillHadersNewWife Sun 20-Oct-19 13:46:35

My husband got some chickens recently and they've improved his mh no end. I know that's not for everyone but the change is remarkable.

Other effective tweaks include making sure you get out among trees in the fresh air daily. It's proven to uplift and can really stop anxiety in its tracks.

Blueshadow Sun 20-Oct-19 13:55:29

Try doing a small baking project - I am working my way through a muffin baking book at the moment- it’s fun and low cost - and my family get to eat the results!

ToLiveInPeace Sun 20-Oct-19 13:56:08

On a similar note - gardening. At this time of year, you can plant spring bulbs, which might motivate you in spring to plant more things. I also have a lot of houseplants as I enjoy nurturing them year round.

Chottie Sun 20-Oct-19 13:57:21

Visit your local library and take some time out to sit down, browse the books, find one you would like to read and borrow it....

NewElthamMum13 Sun 20-Oct-19 14:05:33

Try to get out in nature every day, as others have said. Perhaps you could take a bag and do some litter picking along the way - I find this satisfying as I feel like I'm doing something useful. Search online for your area + walks to find recommendations for nice routes. Be mindful as you go - stop every now and then to focus on what you can smell, hear and feel. I like to find some dry leaves in the woods and lie down and just look up at the trees and the clouds moving above them - it may look a little odd but it feels very relaxing!

I expect you know all about keeping a gratitude diary - but just in case, try to make a note of 3 things you are grateful for each day.

Good luck.

TSSDNCOP Sun 20-Oct-19 14:08:14

Do you have any WI or similar groups that do flower arranging classes near you? It’s surprisingly therapeutic.

A friend has also recently joined a group at the church that do bell ringing.

TSSDNCOP Sun 20-Oct-19 14:09:51

Oh! And another friend joined this thing where you borrow a dog and take it for walks, which gets you out and gives you a bit of company too.

WagathaChristie Sun 20-Oct-19 14:14:27

Audible has made a real difference to MH. I have a tendency to overthink and now I stick my earphones in and listen to audible while I'm walking and doing mundane stuff like housework, there is something very soothing about it.

BelindasGleeTeam Sun 20-Oct-19 14:15:58

Gardening is good for the soul. Especially nof you can garden with headphones and nice music or a podcast.

ILiveInSalemsLot Sun 20-Oct-19 14:20:18

Get outdoors every day. Take the kids. Go for walks or play in the park. Play with a ball, frisbee or fly a kite if it’s breezy.

Get things out of your head and onto paper.

Try mindfulness techniques where you become aware of being in the moment. Use your senses to look, hear, smell and feel where you are and what you’re doing.

Listen to the radio if you like music or podcasts to learn or be entertained.

Take your dcs out to interesting places. Google free things to do with kids in your area.

Spied Sun 20-Oct-19 14:27:01

I second going to the library and choosing a really good book to read.
I love going to bed and reading with a horlicks. I also put lavender oil on my bedding.
I love Calm app and five mins a day can make a big difference.
Both have helped me through awful anxiety and PTSD.

EssentialHummus Sun 20-Oct-19 14:36:22

YY to gardening with headphones in. Some libraries do a free eBook / audiobook thing - worth exploring? And when I was on mat leave I borrowed a neighbour's dog once a week which did wonders.

ildaogden Sun 20-Oct-19 14:55:15

Hi
With regards to the cleaning, have a look at the organised mum method on instagram, Gemma used to use cleaning as a way of finding control when she had mental health issues. Her method means you can learn to live with a less than perfect house and spend reasonable amounts of time cleaning.
Small steps I've taken, a hot shower every day, taking extra time to do my hair, trying different styles. Also I've been making an effort to put makeup on, I catch glimpse of museum a mirror through the day and think how much better I look. Appreciate that's personal though.
Pinterest is full of inspirational memes, i saw one the other day that was just about making an extra special breakfast for yourself.
Hope you find something to help you.

ildaogden Sun 20-Oct-19 14:56:38

Hi
With regards to the cleaning, have a look at the organised mum method on instagram, Gemma used to use cleaning as a way of finding control when she had mental health issues. Her method means you can learn to live with a less than perfect house and spend reasonable amounts of time cleaning.
Small steps I've taken, a hot shower every day, taking extra time to do my hair, trying different styles. Also I've been making an effort to put makeup on, I catch glimpse of myself in a mirror through the day and think how much better I look. Appreciate that's personal though.
Pinterest is full of inspirational memes, i saw one the other day that was just about making an extra special breakfast for yourself.
Hope you find something to help you.

Weedinosaurus Sun 20-Oct-19 14:59:02

Reading, playing music, getting outside, my dog and learning to say no without feeling guilty have improved my level of happiness no end 😊

sharond101 Mon 21-Oct-19 19:47:22

Thank you to all of you for responding. I love being outdoors but not the cold weather. I planted some Spring bulbs a week or so ago with my Daughter and it was indeed therapeutic. I need to slow down and have done so a little more today. I did some crafting and spent time on my make up, thanks for the inspiration @ildaogden. This is a long road for me and I am going to start a gratitude diary tonight @NewElthamMum13.

Rocaille Tue 22-Oct-19 06:28:05

I get a lot of comfort from having flowers (nothing fancy, just supermarket ones) in the house - just looking at them cheers me up and shows me that I can have nice things.

Also candles: turning the lights down and lighting my candles is a lovely part of the day.

Rocaille Tue 22-Oct-19 06:31:01

Ps. Regarding low cost... I've found alstromereia to be the most cost effective flower. You can get them for a couple of pounds in the supermarket and, if you keep changing the water, they last weeks!

Bobthefisherghoulswife Tue 22-Oct-19 06:42:20

My mental health isn't brilliant, I tend to retreat into my head, so when I need to get out of my head I:

During the day
Take the dog for a long walk (usually end up carrying and cuddling him because he's small and old,
Bake, usually cookies or cupcakes

If it's the middle of the night (most frequent)
Write lists of what's on my mind and then mind map solutions/root causes etc,

Or if I have the house to myself
Light a scented candle,
Make a huge mug of tea,
Pick a book (usually a chic lit easy read that I can immerse myself in)
And curl up on the sofa (or a hot bath) with the tea, some cookies and the book cuddling my dog.

I hope you're feeling better soon

blackcat86 Tue 22-Oct-19 06:43:42

I like yoga videos to follow on YouTube. I also used a free guided meditation app and bought an acupressure mat on Ebay for about £15. Its really good and a nice time to slow down. When I was feeling really run down (but before I had a baby and had more personal time) I would do yoga, meditation and then go for a walk. It only took an hour or so but really helped.

sharond101 Tue 22-Oct-19 19:14:35

@blackcat86 any recommendations on yoga on youtube?

blackcat86 Tue 22-Oct-19 19:26:46

I like yoga with kassandra. Theres an 18ish min beginners yoga video that I tend to do a lot. If you search her on YouTube you'll find her channel

sharond101 Tue 22-Oct-19 19:42:54

Thank you @blackcat86

elephantoverthehill Tue 22-Oct-19 19:55:40

I've got an allotment. It keeps me busy, I love bringing home the veg, fruit and flowers and I meet some interesting people. Only £30 a year.

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