The Best Things I Ever Did for my Mental Health

Whilst my mental health still isn’t great, after the guest post last week, I thought I’d share some more practical actions I’ve implemented to improve my own mental health since the start of the year. 

As I’ve previously discussed, I have treated it as an illness and sought medical professional help. I started counselling and sertraline in January, which I’ve spoken about in more detail on previous posts. Ultimately, I felt they helped initially and now progress has become more stagnant. However, I know for a fact those first few counselling sessions saved my life and without them, I think I would be gone. I was also taking vitamin supplements, but now the sun is out more, I feel these are less important. Since then, I've also incorporated the app Clementine into my life. I don't use it super regularly, but I do like the gently reminders to be kinder to myself and the encouraging words and exercises. 

This leads on to going for walks. When my cousin doesn’t cancel last minute, it’s been lovely to take the dog and baby for a walk in the sunshine. The weather is getting nicer and nicer and I can’t wait to start being able to have picnics and everything else the sunshine brings. 

In all honesty, hiring cleaners for 2 hours every 3 weeks has been the absolutely best thing I ever did for my mental health. It’s always so refreshing to have a clean and tidy house. I’m quite OCD with my tidying, but I just don’t enjoy cleaning and I’m just exhausted on my days off. I found a lovely small local company who does a basic clean in the kitchen and bathroom, then another room each visit. It’s nice to just know it’s taken off my hands. 

Alongside this, finishing house projects around the house and seeing the end in sight has been really helpful. With all the problems and delays since moving in, I’m so excited for everything to be done. I’m hoping the house inside will be done by the end of the month and then the garden hopefully by the end of July! Organised chaos is still chaos to me and it will be nice to not have a dusty house soon. 

I’ve also made the decision to go part-time at work. Whilst it has slightly affected my pay, overall it’s been only a small difference. I was originally working 37.5 hours a week, but I’ve now dropped this to 29 hours a week. I also work as a part-time student completing my Masters alongside this too, with the expectation to do 6-10 hours of work a week, so realistically I am still working full time overall. I’m also picking up extra shifts once or twice a month for the money. It’s been nice to have the flexibility to do these when suits me, rather than having to plan life around work.

Finally, whilst it’s not super easy for the rest of my family, especially my mother, I have completely cut her husband out of my life. The last conversation I had with him was on Boxing Day last year where he called me lazy, alongside much more hurtful comments. That was the first day I became suicidal and self-harmed. It was also the final straw. I was already in a dark place and it pushed me over the edge. Since removing him from my life, it’s been much easier despite having to organise things at the farm slightly more rigorously.