So, October, Mental Health month.
In recent years we have been pretty lucky that we have seen more information circulating on how best to REALLY support our mental health and we’ve seen that with the increased awareness, we are seeing a huge reduction in the stigma that's involved. Cool hey! It's not just the crazy cat lady down the road who might have gone a little bonkers, you know those people who are so far removed from our day to day, it's literally ANY of us that can at one time in our lives find ourselves struggling with the weight and pressure of our fast paced world.
So in the nature of sharing to help better ourselves and be equipped with the tools to support others, I want to share with you 10 of my non-negotiables for supporting myself to be the best I can be, future proofing my MH for the month ahead!
A consistent routine and rituals
Within reason for the day to day. Lemon water upon rising, meals around the same time, same breaky each day, gym classes, arvo walks, daily meditation, meal prep and grocery days, skincare routine, packing bags & laying clothes out the night before a big day. Helps me feel supported for the day or week ahead, and removes a whole heap of unnecessary *extra* decisions that we don’t need to be doing on the reg.
Nutritious meals and snacks *and drinking 2-3L water a DAY!
We prep 90% of our shopping into meals/snacks for the week, some go in the freezer for times we need to just grab something on the go or if we have prepped in bulk. This helps me and my fam know exactly what quality nutrition we are receiving, we know what's going into each recipe, as well as having all the fruits, veggies, proteins, for the week chopped up ready to go, which reduces prep and cooking times. Esp if you have an impatient 10month old foodie.
Literally to *supplement* my diet and increase uptake of vitamins and minerals, to support a healthy and THRIVING balance of chemicals in my gut and brain. This is the most important. Gotta make sure everything underlying is in balance first and doing what it is supposed to do in your bod. I see a naturopath, and am nutritionally trained, so please don’t diagnose yourself.
Exercise - any movement really
We all know movement is SOOOOO good for the soul. Doesn’t matter what you do, just get out there and do it. Gym, yoga, pilates, dance, running, walking, bike riding, hiking. Do a mix, schedule it daily.
Journalling & meditation
Morning and night for me. Moments of calm. Sets me up for the day and also preps me for sleep. Also reading and internalising affirmations I have visible on my bathroom mirror and bedside table during these times. If you’re new to this, find an app to guide you (balance, headspace) or try one of Deepak Chopra’s 21-day meditation and journaling (he also has an app, Chopra).
10 pages. Every. Damn. Day. Well night, before bed. No it does not count as scrolling/reading posts on the gram. Ditch the screens, go to the library, grab a real life book. There’s a highlight on my gram dedicated to book recs to get you started.
Get out, in nature, barefoot, surround yourself and experience the green, get some fresh air, some vitamin D. The benefits of this can be found in so many studies, like this one here.
Magnesium salt bath
2-3 each week depending on the weekly schedule. Helps my muscles to recover from all the movement and assists me in getting restful sleep.
Screen free days/times
Sundays are family days, for connection and quality time, it is our screen free day! We also have times during the week where we make it a priority to ditch the devices (during the evening routine, dinner time, in the hour before bed etc) and making sure we use blue light glasses too!
Time for you!
Having one thing you’re looking forward to each week. Could be a coffee catch up with a friend who fills your cup, a dance class, painting, sewing, birdwatching, whatever it is - schedule it in, get the kids sorted with someone else and make yourself a priority. (PS: grocery shopping on your own does not count!)
Not an endless list, but some very important things I never knew I needed in my schedule when someone first mentioned *self care* to me after my first babe.
I hope that these tips help to kick start supporting your own and your kiddies mental health for the month ahead.
Big love always.
Rhi and Maiz x