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Mama Mental Health Maintenance

Where to begin this one?

Guys. I've been on the struggle bus lately. It seems that I might need to talk to my doctor about increasing my dosage of Zoloft (THANK YOU, GOD, FOR ZOLOFT!). Lately, I've noticed that I seem more easily overwhelmed. When my kids act out, I have less patience with them. My house gets messy, I have less energy to do anything. One day last week, I looked at my to-do list and literally crumpled it up and walked away. I knew that nothing on that list was going to happen.

And you know what? It's going to be okay. Because I've been very intentional and purposeful on this journey with my own mental health, I'm keeping an eye on these symptoms and tracking them. The goal is to stop a problem of getting into a pit before I even get that low. So, yes. Last week was a struggle bus. But! The week before? I was killing the game in a way I haven't since before I had kids. So I know there's hope! And I know I'm on the right path.

Work It Out

One of the things that I think helps my mood significantly is exercise. Even just a 20-minute walk with the kids can lift my mood. It can be so hard to motivate myself to get up off my butt and move! But truly, I've never regretted a time that I've gone through with it. It's always helped keep me on-balance for the following 24 hours, and it usually gives me some time away from the kids. That mental break is priceless and so necessary to allow me let go of the worries of the day.

Talk It Out

I've also looked up several mental health resources so that I can talk through things with a helpful ear. Even when I get a few moments to myself to unwind, I can't be purely objective about my own thought process or behavior. So it's crucial to have a sounding board that can help me sort through things. A great counselor can anchor you back to earth and give you tools to help you cope. Years later, I'm still using some of the techniques a previous counselor taught me. One that's been deeply helpful is choosing ONE task to complete that day. If that ONE task gets done, the day is a success. On those can't-get-off-the-couch days, this one is a lifesaver.

Nom It Out

I don't want to overstate this, because I don't think that this is the end-all be-all for my own mental health. I also recognize that nutrition is a deeply privileged topic - so I don't want to go around bandying about "just eat organic!" as if everyone can afford to do so. I certainly can't afford to feed my entire family organic everything either. But trying to make better choices about my food has made a big difference in how I feel in my body. And while eating healthy fuel is great, there is a time and a place for indulging yourself. When I triumph over my own anxiety, I reward myself with a delicious home-baked treat. Heck, just making the darn thing means I deserve the reward!

Could you keep me accountable, mamas? I want to share this with you not just so you know you're not alone, but as a reminder that I'm not alone in this struggle either. Mamas unite! We won't let our mental health get us down!

 

Check in with me on Twitter and ask me if I've taken a walk today. Please! @pi3sugarpi3

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