Since becoming a stay-at-home mom, one of the hardest things for me is simply keeping my own self healthy. Now, I’m not coming down with colds all of the time or heating the house with my own fever. I’m not getting physically sick. By keeping my own self healthy, I’m referring to my mental health.
Have you heard of the seven kinds of smart? There are several books about it, one of them called, 7 Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Developing Your Multiple Intelligences. Well, I think that I do a pretty good job at excelling in many varying kinds of smart, but one I struggle at is Self Smart. And when you’re a mom, if you can’t take care of yourself, good luck taking care of your offspring.
So here’s how I try to invest in myself and also things that I should try to do.
I know my healthy self medications.
When I need a mental health boost, I know what I SHOULD do to get it. Now, whether I do get off of the couch during nap time and do it is a different story, but some of the things that make me happy include:
- Social interaction (because extrovert)
- Data stuff, like entry or analysis (because nerd)
- Get outside (because sunshine)
- Exercise (because oxygen)
- Eat chocolate (because chocolate)
- Drink water (because headaches)
- Stretch on foam roller (because headaches)
- Meditate (because buddha)
- Read (because English major)
When I’ve pulled myself out of a dreary spot, the easiest thing is to slide back into ennui. I have to remember to keep doing what I’m doing. I made a daily/weekly/monthly kanban board for myself and my family to help me remember these and keep at it. Some weeks I do well, other weeks I pretend the board isn’t there (the bright colors make it hard to ignore, though).
But sometimes, I also need to simply be happy with GOOD ENOUGH. Because I can’t. It’s not possible to do ALL the THINGS.
And that’s cool, yo.
And that’s it. I know what I need to do to stay mentally healthy and I need to keep at it. It’s hard during the winter, though. Really hard. I could use some help with that. How do I stay motivated and Self Smart during the winter? What do you do?