I have been meaning to write a new post for a while now, but as with many things that have been on my to-do list this has been overshadowed by an overwhelming apathetic attitude that has been plaguing me for the last couple of weeks.
Finding myself in a state of complete apathy is not something new for me. As I’m sure many others do, particularly as the weather gets colder and the nights darker, I occasionally find myself having these periods of greyness. Trying to describe it to the very loving boyfriend the other day, I told him that “It’s not that I don’t want to do anything, it’s that I don’t care whether I’m doing something or not”. It’s an inability to make decisions, to motivate myself to do the things that I know I normally enjoy and then, ultimately when I make myself do said thing, it’s not getting the normal enjoyment from doing that activity that I normally find I get.
Now I’m not writing this post to throw myself a pity party. Life is full of ups and downs, its part of what makes the ups so good is having the strength to deal with the downs.
So instead of the sewing post that I had been planning to write
today for the last week I thought I’d give my self a little TLC and consider the things that I do to bring a bit of colour back into my life.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away…”
Everyone has there own little remedies for making sure our bodies are, physically, in good health. Eat more fruit and veg, go to the gym, take vitamin supplements. But do we spend as much time ensuring our mental health is in as good check? With mental health issues affecting 1in 4 people in the UK, it’s easy for life to get on top of us and for us to neglect our own positive mental health. But there are some fantastic people and charities out there supporting the need to focus not only on mental health problems but also on promoting positive mental health. Mindapples who with a slogan “Love your mind” are a fantastic example of this, and as part of their campaign use a ‘5-a-day for your mind‘ approach, where they encourage others to get to know themselves and list 5 things that help maintain a healthy mind and happy life.
Now I love a good list, and given my current state of mood, spending a little bit of my busy day coming up with my own little mental health remedy seemed like a fab idea. And I’ve got to say, allowing myself the time to sit and really think about the things that make me happy has already got me feeling pretty damn great! And taking the time to write it down, making it tangible, seemed like a fantastic idea. So here goes, my own 5-a-day for my mind:
1) Have a cuppa
I’m British, tea is important to me! But I often find that in my day, if I make 5 cups of tea, that I will only have drunk 1. So taking the time to sit down with a hot mug of tea and drink it is somewhat of a luxury. Heck, somedays I may even take the time to make myself a whole pot!
2) Reply to a friend
Whatsapp, snapchat, text messaging, skype, facebook. With so many ways of communcating nowadays I often find that I’m forgetting to reply to friends and loosing the opportunities to actually have a good catch up, missing out on a joke or planning a catch-up. The easy answer to this… reply to the messages! It reduces my guilt of being a failing friend and I enjoy feeling connected and hearing about the lifes of others.
3) Spend time outdoors
Before I could drive, walking was an essential part of my day and I enjoy the time spent outdoors. It gave me time both to think things through and also to live in the moment, noticing the things all around you. Since passing my test I found that I was missing out not only on walking but also on spending time outdoors. I live in beautiful countryside (the park in the picture is less than 5 minutes away) so taking the time to go out with the dog walking is important to me.
4) Tidy house, tidy mind
I’m not a naturally tidy person. I once got asked by a police officer if my room had been vandalised during a break in (it hadn’t) but I do find that spending the time to tidy up, put away things after using them and wiping down sides as a positive effect on my mood. If only I still got a gold star for finishing my chores!
5) Switch off
I don’t live near to some of my favourite people in my life so keeping in contact is important to me and an essential part of my day. That being said, at times having a phone so smart means that far too much time is spent staring at a screen, eating into time that could be spent doing other things or savouring the moment. So sometimes, I like to turn off my phone and enjoy life as it’s actually happening rather than refreshing for updates on that must have Ebay purchase.