Mental health Mondays: Build your self esteem

A lot of us struggle with low self esteem. Fortunately, there are changes we can make to improve our feelings about ourselves.

1. Identify your triggers

Think about the situations and conditions that impact your self esteem in a negative way. It could be stressful situations at work, a challenge with a spouse or changes in circumstances (such as moving to a new place or changes within a relationship).

2. Boost self-awareness

Once you identify your triggers, think about how you feel about them. Think about your thoughts toward those triggering situations, even if they’re negative. Then, ask yourself: are these thoughts really realistic? Would I say these things to a friend? And if the answer is no, then don’t say them to yourself.

Another helpful idea may be to spend some time journaling how you feel about the trigger. Sometimes getting our thoughts on paper helps us to better confront them.

Finally, remember your thoughts and feelings are valid. You aren’t wrong for thinking them.

3. Try to focus on the positives in the situation

I am really bad about measuring my self worth by how much I complete. For example, “I got everything done except for the ironing, so I have failed.” I’m also really bad about seeing only the negatives in a situation and forgetting to focus on the positives.

Another bad habit of mine is mistaking feelings for facts. For example, “I feel that I failed at this, so I must be a failure.” My solution here again is to journal what I’m thinking or feeling and then challenge myself to find the positives. I didn’t get everything done, but look at how much I did accomplish. Or, “maybe I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped, but I did better than before.”

4. Consider the outcomes

If something didn’t go as well as you’d planned, what would you do differently in the future? If something didn’t quite work out the way you’d hoped, what about it did go well?

There are also small things you can do to boost your self esteem. Some of my favorite things include the following:

5. Put together a favorite outfit

Put together an outfit that makes you feel beautiful and wear it often. You don’t even need a special occasion to wear it. Just put it on for instant confidence.

6. Focus on your talents

Make a list of all that is good about you. What do you do well? What are your talents? Everyone has an area where they shine- what is yours?

7. Surround yourself with the right people

People who really care about you want to see you successful and happy. If someone constantly puts you down and is always negative, you can choose to limit your time around them.

What are your favorite tips for increasing your self esteem?

Mental Health Monday: Small opportunities for self-care

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Each Monday in May, I am going to share something mental health related.

Most people would agree that a little self-care is good for our mental health…but self-care means different things for different people. Some people aren’t really sure what self-care even means. Today, I’d like to share a few ideas as to how you can practice self-care effectively and easily.

1. Exercise

You don’t have to spend a lot of time exercising or do strenuous exercise. It’s amazing just how much a 20 minute walk outside can do for your mind. When my children and I were on virtual school (I was teaching virtually and they were learning virtually), we would make it a point to walk for thirty minutes during our break each day. It helped us to recharge, refocus and not feel so mentally exhausted.

2. Get enough rest

I type this with transparency- no one in my house gets an adequate amount of rest. We are definitely trying to improve in how much sleep we get. So far, I notice lots of positive changes.

3. Pamper yourself

Everyone needs hobbies. Do something every day that makes you happy. Get a pedicure. Try a new lotion or hair product. Buy something small that you love just because you can. Every Sunday night, I take a bath with an exfoliator and a face mask. It makes me feel relaxed and ready to take on the week.

4. Disconnect from the internet

OK, this one is hard. Sometimes I just need to put down the phone and take a break from it. Turn off your social media notifications for an hour each week. It’s not a big deal and you’ll be glad you did it.

5. Eat a serving of vegetables each day.

This one isn’t so much for your mental health as it is for your physical health. Studies have shown increasing your greens leads to lower weight, healthier colons and better blood sugars. Ideally, you should eat a serving with each meal, but even eating one a day yields a lot of positive changes.

6. Delight in the simple things

I tend to find that the things that bring me the most joy are the things that don’t cost a dime. Conversations with good friends, spending time with my family, and working in my garden are some of my favorite things to do. My greenhouse is sometimes an escape from everything that stresses me out.

Have a wonderful week. Don’t forget to practice self-care.

Take Care of You Tuesday: Mental Health Awareness Month

Did you know May is Mental Health Awareness Month?

Like many other Americans, I struggle with my mental health. I have dealt with anxiety most of my life and at times, depression. I have tried SSRIs at times, but they have a lot of side effects that aren’t good for me.

If medications work for you, please use them. I’m not here to condemn medication at all. If I could, I’d take something. Instead, I’ve had to learn to manage my anxiety in different ways, like therapy, journaling, and exercise. You just need to find something you enjoy that works for you.

Source: Swope Health

Do something everyday that brings you joy. It can be a conversation with a friend, going for a walk, dancing to your favorite song, or gardening. There are a lot of ways to practice self care.

You’re so busy taking care of everyone else- don’t forget to take care of yourself.

What’s your vision?

Have you ever created a vision board?

If you’re unsure what a vision board is, it’s just a visual format of your goals for the year. Make a board with pictures related to what you want to accomplish and put it someplace where you will see it daily. Studies have shown that this is more likely to make you accomplish your goals.

But, what does a vision board look like? And how do you make one?

This is the vision board I started last week. I’ve since added a lot more to it. My goals for this year are to travel (depending on COVID), lose the rest of my weight, focus more on blessings instead of stressors, eat at home more and incorporate more self care.

If this vision board doesn’t float your boat, there are other options.

I found this one on Pinterest. I can’t find the original post but I love the use of words.
Source

I love this one. It is simple but board is also very neat looking.

Maybe creating a collage isn’t your thing and you want to do a graphic organizer instead. Check this one out: it says 2014 but you get the idea.

Pinterest

There are also a number of free vision board printable you can find just by doing a Google search. You can also use planner stickers if you like. The possibilities are endless.

Here’s to kicking off 2022…and hoping it will be much better than 2020 and 2021.

Clean routines and parenting: keeping a weekly cleaning schedule

Trying to keep a tidy house is hard when you have small children. It’s even harder when you’re at home all the time with those small children, due to the coronavirus pandemic. We have always had a weekly cleaning schedule that worked pretty well for us, but now I’m making it a point to incorporate a little extra deep cleaning, in honor of the current pandemic.

Our weekly cleaning schedule is laminated, framed, and hanging in our laundry room.

This definitely doesn’t mean that we are perfect. Not even close. Even though this schedule is hanging on our wall in a frame, there are days when our stuff doesn’t get done and when we let messes linger for too long. And while the Friday chores are typically deep cleaning tasks, I’d gotten a little creative in how we deep clean these days.

Typically we spend two weekends a month deep cleaning. While we are at home self quarantining, we are choosing to vigilantly follow a deep cleaning schedule. We are following our daily task schedule, but we are mopping and cleaning bathrooms twice a week. We are also making it a point to remove shoes at the door and do a deep cleaning task every weekend instead of every other weekend. The kids and I are trying to work together to make the chore of the day happen.

We are also currently homeschooling and I’m teaching from home too. We are struggling to find the balance but we are OK. We are getting there and we are making it work.

And while we are on the subject of house cleaning to combat the germs, have you considered incorporating a little self care into your day? Staying home is not easy for some of us, and as a result, your mental state can suffer. Remember to do something that lifts you up each day- it could be something as simple as taking a walk or Facetime calling people you miss, to gardening, to reading a book, or taking a hot bath. Either way- don’t neglect YOU!

We will see you soon with our spring home tour! Until then, stay safe and stay healthy. Thanks for reading!