I set a goal at the beginning of this month to blog everyday in the month of September with a focus on my own mental health. I had no idea if anyone would actually read my ramblings, but I wanted to tackle this for my own selfish needs. As long as I can remember, I’ve dealt with anxiety and bouts of depression.
The process of writing every day has helped me unravel some bad habits and triggers for negative spirals, but at the same time it’s showed me my own power in these situations. I know I need a routine, but I also need to find ways to push myself out of my comfort zone.
There are so many things I learned about how to support myself in this process and here’s what worked (and what didn’t):
- Making it positive: I reluctantly leaned into making positive, declarative statements at the beginning of my day. I’m even rolling my eyes while I type this, but I’ve started every day saying (OUT LOUD) “Today is going to be a great day.” Penn could sleep on the set of an action movie so he doesn’t hear my ramblings. I’ll make some specific statements about the day too. “I’m going to have so many creative ideas for the meeting today.” “I’m going to PR this run.” After 30 days of this mental, Jedi mind trick I can tell you. It’s working. Do I always have a great day? No. But focusing on the positive has helped in ways I didn’t expect.
- Ditching two things a day: You can click that link to read about my reasoning for the practice but I’m happy to report I’ve stuck with the practice. Over the month, I’ve donated or tossed enough to feel a lot better in my surroundings. Clearing my physical space helps me keep the space between my ears clear too.
- Ditching the guilt about self-care: I have realized self-care for me isn’t bubble baths or manicures. I no longer feel guilty about what it looks like to take care of myself. For me: Not answering the phone and watching a show I’ve seen 1000 times is thrilling.
- Daily-ish meditation: The days when I can meditate go so much better. Things seem to fall in line more efficiently. I have not been perfect about it every single day, but I have let go of the idea that it needs to be a perfect 10 minutes. So even if it’s two minutes of focus, it’s pretty impactful.
- Getting out of my comfort zone: I am a creature of habit but staying in my same daily routine can keep me stuck. You would be so proud of my introverted-self: I went out last weekend and, wait for it … MADE NEW FRIENDS. I know, I know. I’ve been saying “yes” to more social outings, trying new restaurants, and even basic things like running new trails.
A Work In Progress
There are things I’ve introduced to my routine that have 100% helped when I put them into practice. But with so many new tweaks to my routine, some have been harder to adopt.
- Sticking with a morning routine: As I type this I’m groggy and haven’t felt like my best self. I was up late watching coverage of Hurricane Ian so I didn’t get to bed as early as I like … which means my 5:30 alarm was thrown across the bedroom. I would say, slowly waking up earlier and earlier has helped but I’ll be honest and say I’ve only been able to execute the wakeup, workout, journal, meditate routine about half the days this month. Waking up that early and being productive depends on how the day before unfolds. I’m working on it.
- Navigating time alone: I took a trip you can read about here. As much as I loved making new friends, I love my time alone. I want to learn how to fill my time making decisions for myself.
- Putting down the phone: I have done a better job at ignoring my phone, but I haven’t built the boundaries I need.
I am a walking work in progress. I loved this little self-assigned goal of blogging every day. Thank you for reading my weird little online diary.
Is there something I should tackle for my next blog project?
Mental Health Month Series
If you would like to join my mental health month journey, here is a list of the series:
- Day 1: My Mental Health Focus Month
- Day 2: Stupid Mental Health Walks
- Day 3: Tackling The To Do List
- Day 4: Building A Feel Good Playlist
- Day 5: Ditch Two Things A Day
- Day 6: A Surgery Forced Me To Rest
- Day 7: The Meditation Situation
- Day 8: Am I Addicted To My Phone?
- Day 9: My Go To Comfort Shows
- Day 10: When In Doubt, Remember Who You Are
- Day 11: Dang, This Is Hard
- Day 12: Forcing Myself Outside Of My Comfort Zone
- Day 13: A New Way To Journal
- Day 14: Tips For Channeling Hyperfocus
- Day 15: I’m Hobby Hunting
- Day 16: Building A Toolkit
- Day 17: Do You Need A Mantra?
- Day 18: Making Friends As An Adult
- Day 19: 24 Hours Solo
- Day 20: Tips To Find Your Perfect (Therapist) Match
- Day 21: What Does “Doing The Best I Can Mean?”
- Day 22: Can You Just Decide Your Mood?
- Day 23: Sticking With A Morning Routine
- Day 24: This Is Self-Care
- Day 25: A Year Ago: Restarting The Amazing Race
- Day 26: Bring On The Big Things, Not The Small Things
- Day 27: Partnering This Mess
- Day 28: Reframing Our Parenting
- Day 29: Sitting In The Suck
- Day 30: How This Month Has Changed Me