I’ve recently talked about how my mental health has been really bad. At the end of last year, I was lonely and sad all the time. So I started working on things to do to make me live a happier life.
Since then, I’ve found more things that really help keep me in a positive mindset, so I wanted to come back with another post. This time it’s not focused on things you can do to just be happier at the moment but to promote a continued positive outlook.
There are only two things on this list that maybe not everyone will be able to do: going to therapy and getting an animal. But I thought I would include them just in case someone is looking to include those in their life. Especially since I feel like the idea of therapy is not really talked about enough.
So let’s get to the list of items I’m doing to improve my mental health.
Tracking Daily Gratitude
I used to keep a daily gratitude journal a couple of years ago. It was actually my new year’s resolution in 2016 and I kept it up for about two years and then I willingly quit. I decided I had learned that every day had its positives and I no longer needed to document them to see that.
Now I know I was wrong.
I’ve started keeping track of daily gratitude again, but only one thing a day in my planner. Every night before I go to sleep I write down one thing I was grateful for that day. Even if I think of more, I will only ever write one. Because it only takes one good thing to improve your mood.
Keeping a Happiness Scale
Along with my daily gratitude, I also keep a daily happiness scale in my planner. This doesn’t really affect my mood nor is it to help on a day-to-day basis. It’s more of a bullet journal tracker item. I’m doing it to maybe catch a pattern. And to prove that I’m not always sad like my anxiety tells me.
It’s easy to believe I’m always sad and I’m hoping this is a way to prove to myself that this isn’t true.
Journal More Often
I have been making an effort to do this for months now but, of course, will be continuing it into 2020. Journaling is something I’ve talked about many times on here so if you want to read more about why I’m so keen on it, check out my post on Why Everyone Should Journal.
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know I started going to therapy recently. I began sessions during the first week of January and have already seen the positive effects on my mental health. I’m thinking about writing more about therapy after I’m well settled into it and feel more accustomed to the process.
Overall, it’s just so refreshing to have someone unrelated to all my troubles listen to what I have to say and help me work through my problems. I was nervous about the first session, but after that, I grew excited to go even started keeping notes on my phone about things to bring up in the next session.
I’m notorious for unloading all my heavy thoughts on to friends so now instead of sending off those text messages, I log them into my notes to unpack at my next therapy session.
Joining Facebook Groups
Making friends in real life is very hard for me. Hence one of the reasons I blog and have made so many friends on the internet (shoutout Abigail, Kat, Lauren, Kayla, Gabby, Charlotte, Victoria, Noël and more!!)
One reason I struggle to make friends is that I feel like I don’t belong (gotta love social anxiety), so to continue this trend of making internet friends I’ve recently gotten really into Facebook groups. Specifically, ones where I know I have common interests, that way there’s no way I feel like I don’t belong.
Some groups I really enjoy accompany two of my favorite podcasts: Two Girls One Ghost and Don’t Blame Me. Heck, I’m even in a group all about menstrual cups. If there’s a Facebook group about periods I’m sure there has to be a group for something you’re interested in where you can feel a sense of community!
Emotional Support Cat
I’ve finally gotten a cat! Well, hopefully permanently gotten a cat.
My roommate’s mother adopted a stray cat a few months ago, but sadly she was not getting along with her other animals. Thus, she asked us to take her. The only issue is my roommate is allergic to cats. So we’re keeping Sabrina (the new kitty’s name) forever, or until Kylie decides she’s too allergic and we have to give her away.
We’ve had her for about a two and a half weeks and I feel like my whole world has changed. I’m now excited to come home after work and don’t feel nearly as lonely as I did before. I often fall asleep or wake up with her nestled in between my legs and purring.
She’s such a cuddly little attention whore and I live for it. As a Leo, I always want attention and affection. Now she gives me that. I’ve found myself a less needy friend and girlfriend since having her in the apartment.
Do What I Love More Often
When I get in a bad mental state, I never feel well enough to want to do anything I love. Even if I know it will make me feel better, the effort it takes to start one of those activities takes too much out of me. I mentioned this a bit in my post about how to be happy again a couple of months back. And I found another tip on this matter.
Once you feel happy one day, don’t stop doing the things you love. Get in the habit of doing the things you love while you are in a good mental state so that even when you are feeling down you’ll still be in the habit of doing them.
For me, that’s reading, writing blogs, writing poetry, editing photos, running, and baking. Since I’ve been in a great mood the past few weeks I’ve gotten in the habit of doing at least one of these things each day, so when I’m having a bad mental health day, I still do one of the activities and don’t spiral into a deep sadness.
Improving your mental health is probably one of the hardest tasks to commit to. Anything with mental health is hard because it’s not a linear journey. Some days are good, some days are bad, and it’s all up to you to determine how each day is going to go.
But the good news is, there are so many ways to improve upon yourself so those bad days happen less often.
Writing this post was super cathartic to me. (Just reinforcing that journaling point though wow). I hope it was super beneficial for you as well! And if you’re going through a rough patch in life, just remember tomorrow is always another day.
What are you doing to improve your mental health?