Updated: Sep 21
Notes on Setting Goals for Your Mental health
By guest writer, Liz Baker, the Real Talk Redhead
The day I was furloughed from my job due to COVID-19, I was thrown for a loop. Seeing the news and the numbers, realizing that the entire planet was being shut down... I think we were all thrown for the biggest loop of our lives. I spent the next several months navigating through a life I wasn't prepared to be given. There were struggles, moments of clarity, peace, and fear. I'll tell you one thing's for sure, I don't think I could have survived it without setting clear and intentional goals for my own self-care.
Self-care and being mindful of your own mental health is transcending; it should be a daily priority for all of us, same as eating balanced meals and staying hydrated. While self-care looks different to everybody, I think I've discovered a few common goals we can all easily achieve.
1) Listen to your body, mind, and soul.
This probably doesn't sound very easy, but you'd be surprised. How many times have we done something we really didn't want to do but felt obligated? Spent time with a friend that we just didn't have the energy for... cooked dinner when you really just wanted to order out... Sure, being an adult, there are responsibilities we just can't ignore, but what if we took an extra second to listen to what we really need? I challenge you to take steps towards removing things that don't serve you. Even if it's just one small step a day, like unfollowing toxic pages on your social media, your soul will thank you.
2) Schedule time to practice self-care on purpose.
Self-care on purpose is the act of practicing self-care (things that bring you joy and fill your soul with light) with intention. We can all take a bubble bath or throw on a facemask (two things that are my jam), but are we going through the motions, or are we making it about us? Even if it's just 10 minutes a day, start making time for you. You know what brings you joy. Is it pampering yourself? Maybe going for a walk at your favorite nature park. Or perhaps video games! Whatever helps you to smile, even internally, or at least bring you a sense of peacefulness, take the steps to make that part of your everyday routine.
We don't need to go into 2020 with a bunch of unnecessary 'stuff'. To me, stuff just makes you feel weighed down. It's always looming, making you feel guilty if you don't pay it attention, and yet you really, truly, deep down don't want anything to do with it anyway. So let's do some purging! You don't have to wait for spring to do some spring cleaning. Now, I know if you're anything like me, decluttering sounds way more overwhelming than you care to admit. That's why we're gonna start small. For instance, is your car's glove box overflowing? Start there! Just clean out the glove box, throw away old insurance cards from 2008 (yes, that's me, the insurance card hoarder), and hang up a nice smelling air-freshener. One task, one day, 10 minutes of your time. Then give yourself a break! Tomorrow, you can find another small task to do. Before you know it, the number on your mental health scale will be a whole lot lower, and you'll feel a whole lot lighter.
2020 has been hard to say the absolute least. Be kind to yourself. There's still time for you to take back your mental health. You deserve it.
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