I’ve recently talked about how my mental health has been really bad. At the end of last year, I was lonely and sad all the time. So I started working on things to do to make me live a happier life.
Since then, I’ve found more things that really help keep me in a positive mindset, so I wanted to come back with another post. This time it’s not focused on things you can do to just be happier at the moment but to promote a continued positive outlook.
There are only two things on this list that maybe not everyone will be able to do: going to therapy and getting an animal. But I thought I would include them just in case someone is looking to include those in their life. Especially since I feel like the idea of therapy is not really talked about enough.
So let’s get to the list of items I’m doing to improve my mental health.
Tracking Daily Gratitude
I used to keep a daily gratitude journal a couple of years ago. It was actually my new year’s resolution in 2016 and I kept it up for about two years and then I willingly quit. I decided I had learned that every day had its positives and I no longer needed to document them to see that.
Now I know I was wrong.
I’ve started keeping track of daily gratitude again, but only one thing a day in my planner. Every night before I go to sleep I write down one thing I was grateful for that day. Even if I think of more, I will only ever write one. Because it only takes one good thing to improve your mood.
Keeping a Happiness Scale
Along with my daily gratitude, I also keep a daily happiness scale in my planner. This doesn’t really affect my mood nor is it to help on a day-to-day basis. It’s more of a bullet journal tracker item. I’m doing it to maybe catch a pattern. And to prove that I’m not always sad like my anxiety tells me.
I am a very positive person. I smile easily and always try to find the good in a situation. But the past few months I have been extremely unhappy, lonely, and just sad. Spending time alone was no longer fun and I just wanted attention all the time. I started to become clingy to my significant other and cried all the time. Basically, I became a different person and for the past three or four months I didn’t self identify as the positive happy person, I self-identified as the lonely depressed girl.
Even thinking about it now I have no idea what caused this shift. But I don’t think that’s too important right now. What’s important is finding ways to get back to being happy again. And these past weeks I’ve found how to be happy again, and how to love being alone with myself again.
All the photos in this post are ones I took by myself! I thought it was super fitting since it was time I spent alone to take them and photography is one thing I always really enjoy.
My biggest tip is to take the time to enjoy your mornings. I had gotten into the habit of staying in bed until the very last minute and then throwing on clothes and going to work still feeling tired and crappy.
Now, I set my alarm for ten minutes earlier to give myself more time alone in the mornings. I use those ten minutes to read the news, something I’ve always wanted to stay on top of. And then I get out of bed and make breakfast and do my makeup while watching YouTube videos.
It’s so easy to get addicted to caffeine. I should know because I’ve become addicted multiple times over just the past three years. So last summer I made the conscious decision to drink decaf.
Telling people I drink decaf usually gets me the same reactions I get as when I tell people I’m a math major. Picture people with their jaw dropped, eyes bugging out and whining, “Really? Ew how!?” To which I always say, “It’s actually not that bad.”
I actually did a small experiment two years ago where I went three weeks without coffee. If I could go almost a month without any coffee, then I was pretty sure I could go forever with almost exclusively drinking decaf. I say almost because sometimes I do forget to ask for decaf, or I get regular caffeinated coffee if I’m really struggling that day. But I only keep decaf coffee in my apartment, which means I can drink and make coffee whenever I want without losing any sleep.
Before I give away the whole post in the first 200 words, let actually get to the the big reasons why I made the switch.
As I mentioned recently, lately I’ve have been having bad body image days more often than usual. I’ve been meaning to write this post for quite some time because it’s something I’ve struggled with the past nine or ten years of my life. I even have a post from last October sitting in my drafts talking about how my struggles with body image at the time.
I’ve mentioned my past with disordered eating and body dysmorphia before. I even shared a few tips about coming to terms with your own body in that last post, but I never really talked about what to do on a day to day basis.
So that’s what we’re doing today.
These are things you can do when you want to avoid every mirror and camera. On days where you can’t stop thinking about how much better someone looks compared to you. When all you can think about is how much your skirt is squeezing your waist or when all your clothes swallow you whole. This is what you do:
Tell yourself you’re pretty
First things first, you gotta start making a habit out of complimenting yourself.
Whether that be always saying, “I’m beautiful” when you look in a mirror or setting random reminders to go off on your phone with compliments, you gotta find a way to make kindness towards yourself more prominent in your life. Read more…
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