Like any other journey, I am still on this one. Finding mental space is so hard in a busy world and with our busy family of five. I have done so many things in the past to help me with my mental wellness, but here are the things that have worked the best:
EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE. We all know ya gerl is an exercise fanatic. I love to stay in shape, but mentally, it is a huge outlet for me. It feeds into my natural desire to push myself and see what I am capable of. The mental challenge of physically challenging myself strangely calms me. I need those endorphins like nobody’s business!
MEDITATION. This one came to me after the birth of my second child. I started by doing the Transcendental Meditation course. I found huge success with that in just a few weeks. When I moved to Chicago, I went to Chill Chicago every week and did back to back meditation classes every Sunday morning for a year. Now my meditation has morphed into plain stillness alone with breathing (sometimes with a mantra), and using apps like Headspace (I LOVE a guided meditation). I also will listen to soothing sounds on YouTube from Jason Stephenson. I find that doing yoga before I meditate, even just for 10 or 15 minutes (like yoga was intended for!), really helps me get deeper. I have also done an organized meditation retreat, but frequently take meditative hours or evenings in which (before covid), I would do an evening meditation workshop, followed by a massage or more personal meditation.
SUPPLEMENTS. I truly believe in the wonders of Omega-3 and Vitamin D. I find that it really helps me stay grounded throughout the year, especially in a city where nature and sun is limited. Omega-3 is known to help with depression and overall mental function. Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin and helps with mood regulation. These in combination are my go-to, especially in the winter.
HEALTHY DIET. For me, that means really keeping sweets in check. I have a healthy diet overall- lots of greens, high-quality foods, minimally processed foods- but keeping refined sugar and sweets down to a minimum really helps me stay mentally even throughout the day since my blood sugar stays stable.
DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. When I was younger, I used to sweat every little thing! What I was wearing if I went out, what to pack for a trip, if the kids spilled something on the floor… everything! Now, since I have my arsenal of tools from above, it is mostly just smooth. Don’t get me wrong, shit pisses me off, but I don’t dwell on it. I just let it roll. Life happens and you just have to deal with it as it comes and having a cool head about it just makes you get through it quicker and doesn’t waste time. And ya gerl does NOT like to waste time! Too much to do!
Apps that I love for mental wellness:
Headspace – https://www.headspace.com/
Buddhify – https://buddhify.com/
Relax Melodies – https://www.relaxmelodies.com/