“What helps you stay mentally healthy?”
Personally I have felt since having S, juggling work life with being a parent and everything else that goes on in adult life that I have had to place a bigger focus on looking after my mental health and taking care of myself.
For me the following 5 things help me work on my mental health:
For me the big one is exercise which has become more and more important to me. As I work full time and am the mum of a toddler I don’t get that much free time so I use my lunch breaks during the week to attend the gym and exercise classes. This helps me to clear my mind of everything else and just focus on my workout. Even if I don’t feel like going to the gym, once I’ve been I’m always glad I pushed myself to go – I find it the best ‘pick me up’ and a good way to break up the day.
Taking time to look after myself
For me there is nothing more relaxing than a nice candle lit bubble bath – sometimes with music playing and just closing my eyes or catching up on some TV with my iPad at the side (safely away from the water!). I try to find an evening once a week to have some chilled me time – usually an evening when A is working and S has decided to fall asleep at a decent time.
Social media may sound like an odd one as social media can be seen to work the other way at times, but one thing that has helped me lots since having S is the fab group of October 14 mums I’m a part of on Facebook. We had originally started speaking on an online birth group forum before moving over to create a Facebook Group. This group of mums helped the night feeds and stresses of being a new mum a lot less daunting. Knowing that out of 30 of us there is usually someone else online at the same time, it means there is always someone to speak to.
Getting Out & About
Especially when I was on maternity leave and now at weekends when it’s mainly just S & I, I like to get out and about. When I was on maternity leave I usually made sure we had at least one activity on each day – whether it was a Bookbugs session, local mums group or even just popping into town for a look around the shops. Weekends now are usually filled with meeting friends, days out or trips to the park as for me this makes the weekend more enjoyable.
Upbeat Music Playlist
On my way home from work I usually have on one of my playlists full of upbeat songs that make you want to sing along. I find going for a drive and having a sing along works wonders – the singing is only when I’m on my own in the car or just with S, no one else needs to hear it! Luckily my commute to and from work isn’t too bad so it doesn’t cause any extra stress – but if you’re stuck in traffic why not turn the volume up and have a little sing along!