I recently read a blog post called 3 simple but effective tips to make your day as a SAHM run smoothly every time by Jules from Pondering Parenthood. It is a brilliant post. But it also inspired me. Because I know that there are 7 things that I need to carry out to ensure that I have a good mental health day (life permitting).
7 Simple But Effective Ways To Ensure A Good Mental Health Day
1. A Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is so important. And I always feel so much better when I have had a good night’s sleep. This really affects how I feel the next day. So I aim to go to bed by 22:30 every night. If I’m being really good, then I will get into bed 30 minutes early and read until I turn the lights out.
I once read an interview with Lady gaga where she mentioned that she couldn’t manage without her daily workout. I thought this was very bizarre and couldn’t understand why anyone would want to exercise daily. But now I do. As I have to exercise at the beginning of every day otherwise it sets my day off badly.
I recently realised that I have two points of the day when I’m particularly vulnerable to depressive episodes. The first is when I get up in the morning. I find it hard to get up early (our kids wake up at 06:00) and I just want to go back to bed.
But I’ve combatted this through exercise. I actually go to sleep in my workout gear. So that as soon as I get up and I have given the kids their breakfast I can do some exercise. I like to do a Youtube kettlebell workout by Bodyfit by Amy.
I try to drink as much water as possible each day. I find that drinking water makes me feel more focused and gives me better concentration levels. And it helps me to not feel as low. It is also just better for me to drink lots of water and I feel healthier for it.
The other time of the day when I’m prone to my mental health taking a hit is directly after lunch. It’s at this time of day that I need to do something active and productive. So straight after lunch is when I now clean my house. It’s a great activity to do to prevent this mental health slump. It gets me active, it gives me a sense of achievement (I love seeing the house looking clean and tidy) and there is an element of mindfulness to cleaning. I tend to put on my favourite music and lose myself in the chore I’m doing.
5. Get Out And About
I know that it is not always possible to go out every day but as much as possible I do try to get out and about. Luckily, I don’t drive, so I have to walk everywhere, which means plenty of exercise and fresh air. But there is nothing I love more than sticking Little Mister H in the buggy and heading out of the door for a few hours. Even if it is just going to Costa for a coffee or popping into the shops. The act of getting out of the house is good for my mental health. And it is even better if I get to see friends and actually have an adult conversation!
6. Eat Well
I notice that my mood is much better on the days when I eat well. On the days when I consume lots of sugar and fat my mood is lower and my energy levels dip. The problem is that when I feel this way I often crave the foods that I know are bad for me. But they only give me a temporary sense of happiness and then I tend to have a crashing low. However, if I eat well and have a diet that is full of fruit and vegetables but low in sugar and fat then I not only feel physically healthier but I feel mentally healthier too.
7. Take Time for Me
I try to make sure that I spend at least 30 minutes every day taking some time just for me. Whether it’s reading a book, writing in my bullet journal or taking a long, hot bath, it’s important that I spend some quality time on my own doing something that I love. This is often the hardest of all the tips to follow but it’s so important. And it often has the biggest effect on my mental health.
So there you have it, my top 7 tips for ensuring that this stay-at-home mum has more good mental health days than bad. Of course, I can’t stop something from happening that will knock me off balance. But at least I know that if I’ve had a good night’s sleep, exercised, eaten well, drunk water, cleaned, got out of the house and taken time for me then I have done all the right things to help me to have a good mental health day.
What do you do to help ensure that you have a good mental health day?