Three steps to a healthier mind; looking after your mental health

Mental Health – those two words can stir up quite a mix of emotion for some people. Some find it awkward, some find it easy to talk about and some find it so personal, it needn’t be discussed.

Isn’t that the the biggest problem?

Your mental health refers to your personal well being; how you look after your mind and body, how you see and treat yourself, and how you let those feelings and values dictate your everyday being.

There are so many avenues to explore with this subject, but I am going to try to keep it short and on topic – My top three tips on keeping your mind on top form.

It’s fair to say that if you’re probably reading this blog for one of three reasons;

  1. You like what I have to say, my words may have helped you at one point or another and you may actually find me kinda funny and insightful
  2. You’re lacking in self confidence or have lost your way a little and you’re looking to seek comfort in one of my posts
  3. You’re a friend of mine who has a quick skim through, hoping to see a mention of yourself 😉

Joking aside, all three of these are good with me! If I can provide you with a little entertainment, then one of my daily goals is complete – to make one person smile.

With this in mind, and my innate need to help people, here are my top tips for keeping your mental health, healthy.

Keep a Grateful Log or a One Line a Day journal.

In essence, each day you jot something down that made you feel good about you, your life, your loved ones, your job, your view from the window, anything. Get yourself a nice notebook and pen (old school!) and physically write it down. Over the first few weeks, you may find this tough, but it’s totally worth it.

I was given one of these One Line a Day journals on my birthday last year and I am proud to say, I have written a daily memory in it everyday since March 25th, 2016. I had a look through it when I decided on this post, and even the smallest thing, like Jonah telling me he loved me, or James and I spending a rare afternoon together walking round a golf course, instantly brought a smile to my face, reminding me that it’s the little things that matter. Being able to squat without pain was a good one to read!!

Journals

“What did I Learn today and what did I Teach someone?”

This one is especially good if you feel you’re lacking a bit of direction, be it in your training, relationships or work. Take some time to really think about these questions and how this added value contributes towards your sense of wellbeing. Those feelings of unworthiness, self doubt and destruction can melt away pretty quickly when you realise the impact you could actually be having on others.

Make time for you

I fear you’ve heard this one a lot. I have too. And I’m guilty of saying it to others, all too often.

So many people find this one difficult to put into practice. “I don’t have the time”, “I feel bad for my partner / kids”, “I can’t afford to.”

I don’t mean go shopping, to the spa or off on a solo weekend away. Just setting aside a few hours a week to do something you truly enjoy is all that’s needed. For me, settling down with a good book, writing a kickass blog, catching up on Netflix (at the moment I am completely addicted to Dexter), training or going for a nice walk do it for me. I have no deadlines, I don’t really have to think and I can recharge my batteries. I recently bought myself a new desk (as every writer should have their own, right!?) in a bid to encourage me to blog more – and it’s working! I have something for myself, to do something I enjoy doing. All I need are my fairy lights and a chilled out piano playlist and off I go!

My Desk
My Sanctuary

It’s ok to not be ok

So, why this subject today? Because I myself have been suffering with my own negative mind and I needed to put a stop to it! I have been working on the three simple steps above since the new year to bring me to a better place, and it’s working!

I may have told a few of you, but competing in a semi-physique competition in 2015 really did mess me up. I fell out of love with myself. I stopped caring, stopped eating properly once it was all over and then punished myself for letting my eating and lack of training get out of hand. Last year, I’d look in the mirror and see Fat Franki again, which is CRAZY I KNOW. Once you have been competition / stage lean and then see yourself back to ‘normal’, your brain plays that cruel trick on you…and I know I am not the only one whose brain has done the same.

So I set myself a few goals – like being a certain bodyfat by my birthday (tomorrow!) and I’m not quite there…but who cares? As the wonderful Ed Sheeran sings,

“Just re-remember life is more than fitting in your jeans…It’s love and understanding positivity”.

I go on holiday in May and all I want to worry about is whether or not I have taken enough pairs of shoes this time, not that my stomach may be visible over the top of my shorts or heaven forbid, my thighs touch… 🙄

So if you’re feeling a little bogged down by it all, not seeing the changes you want in your body as quickly as you’d like, or fed up of these ideas of perfection that society seem to think we all strive for, don’t worry. There are plenty of men and women in the same boat!

Give my three tips a try and let me know how you get on xx

Happy girls

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