Mental Health and Self Care

I have PTSD. I have anxiety. I have depression. I went to therapy a few years ago for my PTSD and learned a lot about self care, coping techniques and making sure I know my limits.

I know most of what triggers my PTSD and anxiety. Sometimes its as simple as just a sensory overload. There is too much going on around me, and I need to step away for little bit.

Being a stay at home mom of two boys and a puppy, stepping away from the chaos is not always possible. My boys are much too young to understand anything about my mental health. I do tell them that “mumma needs a little bit of quiet time” and they understand that. I do my best to let them have their rambunctious times to get energy out, but also have quiet activities ready for the times I need it.

It is ok to not be ok. I find that I do best when I take a few minutes for me. This means that if I am having a bad day I don’t beat myself up about it. It is ok to have a bad day. It is ok to feel anxiety and depression. Take care of yourself. Take the day to feel your emotions, and rest. I know not everyone can take time from work and family. But you can go easy on yourself. Admit to friends and family that you are having a rough day and might need a little extra help.

I am still working on being more honest about my emotions. I need to be better at communicating my bad days. I recognize what is happening to me, but others around me may not. Sometimes when I don’t communicate, it makes my day harder, as my husband doesn’t understand why I’m cranky or withdrawn. It’s something I am working on. Just saying “hey I’m having a rough mental day, I need…” helps so much! Usually when my husband gets home, I’ll say “Its been a rough day, I really need a few minutes, Im taking a shower.”

It is also ok to get rid of toxic relationships. If there is someone in your life that is not helping you be better, then you don’t need them in your life. Don’t let anyone bring you down. Life is too short to have toxic people around you making you drown. Break free. Swim away! Take the hand of those trying to get you out of the dark waters. Doesn’t matter who the toxic people are – friends, family, co-workers or boss – you are more important! Your mental health must come first! Get away from toxic situations and relationships. There is always a way.

If you can’t recognize what is happening to you mentally, I highly suggest therapy! Learn to listen to your body and emotions. Learn coping skills and how to deal with your emotions. Its so important to recognize when a bad day is coming on. If you wake up, and you’re tired, frustrated, and just don’t feel yourself; pushing yourself to accomplish things that you just can’t do is only going to make yourself feel worse. It may prolong the issue as well. Learn to read your emotions and recognize when you wake up feeling off, that its a rough day. Tell your family you feel off. Talk through what you feel. Doing so may even make you feel a little better.

Journalling may help identify triggers and emotions. Did your boss say something yesterday that just hasn’t left your mind? Did your spouse or family do or say something you took personally (perhaps even a misunderstanding)? Did the kids make a little extra noisy and bouncing off the walls? This one gets me the most often. Even if I am not chasing them around, I feel just mentally drained after a really loud day with my kids. It’s not even the kids acting up, just the noise level, that stresses me out.

Just try to figure out if there is a pattern to your bad days. You can try to adjust your day if you know something is coming up that will cause stress. Have a meeting with the boss that you know isn’t going to go well? Child’s birthday party that you know will be loud and chaotic? Spouse going away for a few days on a work trip? Prepare yourself for any stressful event. Take a calm moment before an event to relax. Before going into the meeting, or birthday party, grab your favorite coffee and snack! Before your spouse leaves for their trip, have a family meal, get your hair done, or get a massage. After the event, find a way to de-stress! Take a bath, get a massage, go to the batting cages or shooting range!

I am not a doctor or therapist, and everyone’s mental health is different. Find what works for you in a healthy manner to take care of you. Communicate! Find a therapist! If you can’t handle what is going on, talk to someone! Sometimes just grabbing coffee with a friend does wonders! Just let others around you know how you feel.

You matter. Take care of you! ❤️

If you find you need immediate help – Please! Call!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Call 1-800-273-8255 Available 24 hours everyday

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