I’ve been thinking a lot about my own mental health, how things have been lately and especially during the past 15 months since having my 2nd child Ellie. I thought I’d share with you the Top 10 things I’ve done in the past 15 months to improve my mental health and the Top 5 I really need to be doing.
10 Things I do/did for my mental health (in no particular order):
1. Adopted our dog Rocky to another owner. This was a tough one because Rocky was my little 10 lb fur baby before I had human babies. But in addition to not getting the love and attention Rocky deserved, he also got harassed by my darling boy child. Rocky’s in a much better home now, and the stress of barking dog/crazy harassing child has been removed. Win. Win. (Although I do miss him sometimes.)
2. Making my mama necklaces. Man, did I need a creative outlet! At first I tried making felt headbands, clothing appliqués, and other fabric projects, but I don’t even own a seeing machine. My history of making jewelry, plus my background in marketing made my business the perfect fit to entertain my mind.
3. Starting a regular schedule of classes for the kids. I rarely got out of the house after Ellie’s birth and Ronin was driving me crazy with his jealousy. So I booked Ronin a class at The Little Gym & a one day a week enrichment class at The Nest. Ellie got Kindermusick. And I was forced to leave the house at least 3 days a week. Nice.
4. Grocery delivery service. We use Amazon Fresh, but have also used Safeway. I’m sure you have options in your area. Grocery shopping with 2 little ones in tow is not my idea of fun. We all LOVE grocery delivery days.
5. Co-sleeping and nursing Ellie. Yes, this is a big one for many reasons. I get more sleep. Nursing and sleeping at the same time people! And I know its so good for her and our bonding. When I’m nursing her to sleep I get to relax, enjoy the rush of “the love hormone” oxytocin, and get time to write, Facebook, tweet, read news and email on my iPhone. Love.
6. Med management and change. When I realized my medications were not working, it was nice to have a good psychiatrist willing to work with me to make changes and find a better balance. So helpful!
7. My Blog. Its more than just an outlet for my own emotions and writing. Its also a way for me to help others, which makes me very very happy.
8. Connecting with other moms online and in person. Support support support. It takes a village for sure. And having other moms to commiserate with, have fun with and bond with has been incredibly special to me and my mental health.
9. Lean on my husband. This one isn’t always a favorite. I do feel guilty that he works a full-time job and I’m a stay at home mom needing more help. BUT, I know he’s there for me when I really need him and he takes the responsibility of the kids seriously. And I love him for that and so much more.
10. Snuggle time. I LOVE a good snuggle and so do my wonderful attached kids and husband. There’s nothing better for the mood than cuddling on the couch, the floor or the bed with my two adorable kiddos (and John on “no work days!”) hugging, kissing and relaxing. Whether reading a book, tickling, singing, playing a game or watching a good movie, it brings me so much JOY!
5 Things I really need to be doing for my mental health:
1. Exercise. Ugh.
2. Keep the house and car uncluttered. Ugh.
3. Did I mention SLEEP!?!
4. Stop eating out so much and healthier eating in general. In fact, visit the naturopath and find out what I should be eating for my own optimum mental and physical health.
5. Spend more alone time with John. Yay! Now where’s that babysitter? Oh yeah, That’s really number 5. Get going on finding a good babysitter. Ugh.
But hey, the challenging things in life bring the greatest rewards. I better get on those last five soon and I’ll really have a boost to my mental health.
I’d love to hear what you’ve been doing to help your mood. Do you think you need to do more?