In a world where constant hustling is praised, it sometimes feels impossible to stop and take a break.
Attempting to get a law degree, run a blog and grow my social media whilst also looking after myself (and a cat) can feel impossible some days. I recently spoke about my anxiety and depression, and they definitely play a huge part in the daily struggle. As much as I wish they would, my mental health issues aren’t going to disappear when I’ve got a big to do list.
After a very hectic couple of weeks (or months or years – who really knows), I finally hit a breaking point. Maybe we’ll be positive and call it a turning point? I shut my laptop and decided to prioritise my mental health for once. I turned off my phone, started a new book and got a good night’s sleep. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? As simple as it may seem, I rarely switch off like that. I’m always trying to squeeze more in to the day, and it never feels like I’m doing enough.
Prioritising my mental health is one of my 2019 goals, and I’m trying to put that into practice.
I have created a little list of things I’m doing to switch off and prioritise my mental health. Let’s hope I can make them all habits rather than something I only do once in a blue moon!
STOP PRESSURING MYSELF
I don’t like it, but I feel a lot of pressure to be present on social media. I panic if I’ve not posted on Instagram in a few days or if I don’t have my next blog post planned. But you know what? The world isn’t going to end if you don’t tell Instagram how many coffees you’ve had that day.
This is a short and sweet one. The number one thing I can do for my mental health is take my medication. I’m going to make sure it’s the first thing I do in the morning, so I don’t forget!
USE SCREEN TIME
Apple’s nifty new Screen Time feature has made me realise how much time I actually spend on my phone. To be fair, a lot of that time is because I’m promoting blog posts or keeping my social media accounts updated. However, I know that a lot of time is also spent mindlessly scrolling and I want to cut down on that.
MAKE TIME FOR TEA
There’s always time for a cup of tea, and I need to remember that. A wee peppermint tea always calms me down, so I’m going to make a conscious effort to stop and take a break when I’m feeling stressed. I would also like to make time for more baths, but tea is definitely the priority here…
I’ve got a confession… I spent over a year of my life blogging and didn’t use any sort of scheduling app. Not sure why I did that to myself, but it was torture. I definitely made my life harder than it had to be. Typing out tweets and Facebook posts takes a lot more time than you might expect. However, things have changed! I’ve now found a scheduling app that I like and I’ve started setting time aside each week to schedule some tweets.
GIVE MYSELF A BREAK
I’d say I’m a pretty nice person, but I’m definitely not nice to myself. I want to make a conscious effort to be a bit kinder to myself. Instead of focusing on what I haven’t managed to get done, I’m going to start acknowledging what I have done. Might go wild and even attempt to pat myself on the back once in a while!
STOP SCROLLING, START READING
I fell out of the habit of reading recently because uni work took over. However, if I have time to scroll through my phone at night then I’ve definitely got time to read more. I’m going to swap out mindlessly scrolling Instagram for reading a good book or two.
GET MY THOUGHTS ON PAPER
Writing blog posts is really therapeutic for me, but nothing beats good old pen and paper. I treated myself to a new planner and a few new notebooks last week. They’re honestly helping me so much already! Last year, I mainly relied on my phone for making lists and adding dates to the calendar, and I don’t think it helped my stress levels. Making lists really helps my anxious brain, so I’m going to utilise my planner and notebooks as much as physically possible!
What do you do to switch off and prioritise your mental health? I’d love to know! Maybe you’ll give me a few more ideas of things to incorporate into my life.
Are you all caught up? Check out my last post!
Want to see more of me? I’m over on Instagram all the time.