Tomorrow sees the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and this year the theme is Stress: Are we coping? I think a fair few of us would struggle to admit that, actually, we’re not coping all that well.
Two thirds of us experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes and stress is a key factor in this. Since recovering myself, I have become more aware of my triggers and of what I can handle. I still have moments of high-stress but I learn to scale back in other areas. I’m the master of the early night as I believe there are few things a good night’s sleep can’t fix. But when my ultimate act of self-care is simply to sleep, where does that leave actual time to do what I want for myself?
I started a weekly self-care series to encourage making time for myself and blogging about it, showing how simple it can be. It speaks volumes that I haven’t posted on this topic in just over a month. But I’m going to work hard to change this. And, don’t worry, the irony of having to ‘work’ at this isn’t lost on me!
Currently, my main priorities in life are: Jenson, work, blogging, me – in that order. Jenson always comes first, no matter what. Then I have my day job. We’re in the middle of a particularly busy period and I’ve been working a bit extra to stay on top of things. This means that, once Jenson is in bed, my priority is to catch up on work before scheduling some blog posts and staying on top of my blog admin. Then, if I’m on top of things (not of late), I head to bed for an episode or two of Grey’s. Mentioning that I’ve not seen a single episode in over a fortnight will give you a good idea of how busy/exhausted I am at the moment, choosing to either work late or crash at 8.30pm. And this needs to change – soon.
I’m a big believer of self-care and regularly putting yourself first, especially for busy working mums who put themselves last all too often. I’m making a promise to myself over the next week to do the following and see what a difference it makes (I’ll report back, promise):
1. Not blog every day. I only have one deadline a week at the moment and there’s no reason to force myself to blog daily. I promise to have at least two nights off.
2. Ask for help/delegate. I will not take on more than I can handle and keep growing my to-do list.
3. I will not take my work with home with me and I will not stay late more than once that week.
4. I will have a film night with Luke.
5. I will have a lie-in/slow morning.
Hopefully all of this will make me more relaxed, less short-tempered with Jenson, a more present parent and generally a more pleasant person to be around.
While I have your attention and we’re chatting mental health, stress and self-care, I want to mention a couple of awesome resources which have really helped me.
Blurt is a fantastic charity working to increase awareness and understanding of depression. They have a wonderful subscription box which you can buy as a one-off, gift or subscribe long-term. Their founder has also written a fab book on self-care, which I highly recommend.
I’m also a big fan of the SherbertBox stationery subscription and this month’s theme is all about self-care. I’m so excited to see a subscription box feature two of my favourite things. And what perfect timing!
This week, whether you’re holding a fundraiser, checking out resources, seeking help or offering a shoulder to a friend, I hope you spend it safe and well.
From the Mental Health Foundation website:
Do you need urgent help?
If your mental or emotional state quickly gets worse, or you’re worried about someone you know – help is available.
You’re not alone; talk to someone you trust. Sharing a problem is often the first step to recovery.
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