Ways I’m Focusing On Mental Health in 2018

These days we are hearing a lot about mental health. It is a very important topic that should not be overlooked and is a topic near to my heart. For my 9 to 5 I work with a lot of individuals with needs in the area of mental health. For the purpose of this blog post, when I say mental health, I am not referring to mental illness but rather mental fatigue, stress, and clarity.

Way back in January, I made a commitment to focus on healthy living in 2018. Instead of making a resolution, I decided to pick a theme for the year instead. You can read that post here. Now, here we are in June and I have only gotten to my third topic. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, but that’s ok. I am getting back on track with my blog and starting with an area that I should have focused more on over the last several months.

Last week I posted about life getting insanely crazy in March and my struggle to stay afloat with my blog and boutique (read about this here). I thought discussing mental health may be a good place to start given the circumstances of life for me right now. Recently, I had a challenge presented that made me really evaluate what is important to me in life which in turn made me begin to think about what I need to be doing in order to think clearly about decisions I needed to make. As you will see, for me, mental health and spiritual health go hand in hand; however, I will be focusing a post solely on spiritual health in the future. You will see components of that throughout this post though. So here they are, ways I am focusing on metal health in 2018.

1. Remembering what’s important in my life

For me this is simple, my faith and my family are number one. Period. It is easy to get distracted with schedules and finances, but when it comes right down to it, as long as these 2 things are my focus, everything else falls into place. Things are not always easy, but focusing on the important things make it easier to get through challenges of life. It also brings things into perspective. Maybe I didn’t get to everything on my to do list today, but if I have spent my quiet time with the Lord and have taken care of my family, then I have done everything that is important and I can rest easy in that. There will be time tomorrow to get everything else done.

2. Staying in God’s Word and in Prayer

When I am in God’s Word and in prayer, the trials of this life are much easier to bear. I realize that I am not walking through this life alone and when I act like I am, my mental health suffers. I become overwhelmed and stressed out. When I adjust my focus back to the Lord and give Him my burdens, I am so relieved. This doesn’t mean that everything in life becomes fixed, but it does mean I no longer feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.

3. Knowing when to say no

This is a challenge for me. I like to make people happy and I have a problem saying no when I am asked to take on more responsibility. I have learned the hard way that I can’t do it all. I am learning to go back to number one on my list when asked to do more. If what I am being asked to do will shift my focus from my top priorities or leave no time for them, I really need to consider saying no.

Sometimes this means saying no to things we consider good, like another Bible Study at church or an opportunity to make more money. Although there is nothing wrong with these things and they may even at time be beneficial, there are times when adding one more thing to an already packed schedule or working more hours and taking time away from my family will hinder rather than benefit my family.

4. Drink plenty of water and eat healthy

Boy, this is an area of my life that I have been really trying to work on and I will be discussing this topic more in depth in the future. Drinking water and eating health give my brain what it needs to think more clearly. When I am eating right, I don’t go through that mid afternoon fog and I have more energy to get everything done on my to do list. This in turn reduces my stress level as well, because things do not pile up and become overwhelming.

5. Decluttering my house

Clutter drives me crazy and my house has become way too cluttered over this last year. When I am unorganized I definitely feel more stress. Jerry and I have committed to decluttering and reorganizing this summer. We are also going to have a yard sale, which I agreed to reluctantly a few months ago. I am not a huge fan of the extra work and would rather just give stuff away. However, we are trying to pay off some bills, so Jerry and I agreed to give it a go. Now that we are getting closer, I am actually feeling really motivated and excited about it. The boys are on board too and are looking forward to selling some of their old toys, and being able to put the money they earn towards a new game they want.

6. Finding time to relax and do something I enjoy

This one is hard for me too. I have a really hard time relaxing. I used to think my parents were crazy when they would tell me this very same thing, but now I totally understand. I must have gotten the “gotta keep busy, not time to stop” gene from them. Although this is an incredible blessing most of the time, I need to make myself stop on occasion. Even when watching t.v. or a movie at home, I find myself getting up to do things around the house. We always have so much going on and I feel like I need to be working on something all the time.

I am trying to make more of a conscious effort to do a little something I relaxing each week like going for a walk in the evening, reading a book, or writing. Another thing I started doing once every couple moths is getting a facial. Originally I started getting them because I was having a lot of difficulty with acne, but I really enjoy them and look forward to that hour of doing absolutely nothing. This is good for me because I literally have to slow down for a few moments, there is no laundry to do or dinner to cook while I am getting a facial. So it’s beneficial for multiple reasons.

What are things you do to improve your own mental health?

5 Tips for Clear Skin

5 Tips for Clear Skin

Clear skin!  Two wonderful little words that mean so much when put together!  Two wonderful little words that I have not been able to use to describe myself in a very long time.  As a teenager, I never had a huge problem with acne.  I would have breakouts from time to time, but they were easily managed.  Fast forward 15 years, 3 kids, and lots of stress from adult life later and I really struggling with acne.  With the exception of visiting a dermatologist (something I have tried to avoid), I have tried absolutely everything I could to get my skin to clear up.  I had reached my breaking point and finally decided that it may be time to visit the dermatologist; however, I wanted to try one more thing first.  I booked an appointment to have a facial, which would be the first facial I had ever had in my life!  I know!  Insane right?  It was a fantastic experience and my esthetician was able to give me some awesome tips that I wanted to share with you.  This continues to be a struggle for me, but slowly and surely with the steps below I am beginning to see improvements in my skin.  Please note that these are things that have helped my skin, but they may not work for everyone.

1. Schedule a Facial

This is my top recommendation!  If I would have known how beneficial this was going to be to my skin, I would have scheduled one years ago!  Not only was the experience incredibly relaxing, it was good for my skin!  I recommend booking an appointment with an experienced esthetician at a place you will feel comfortable going.  I booked my appointment at my local Aveda, which is where I go for all of my salon needs.  You can ask about treatments specifically for acne prone skin.  I also recommend to ask what to expect during the facial when you book your appointment if this is the first time you have ever had one.  At the appointment, your esthetician will be able to tailor your facial to your unique skin care needs and make recommendations about what products and routines may be beneficial to you.  I will create a more detailed post about my experience at a later date for those of you who may want more information about what to expect.

2. Drink Water

This one is major and I know how important it is, yet I struggle!  With my job, it can be difficult to remember to drink my water during the day.  Water is important for the health of your skin.  It improves skin elasticity and helps flush toxins from your body.  The first thing my esthetician asked me was, “how much water are you drinking?”

3. Moisturize

Ok, so I’ll admit, I thought that if used unmedicated moisturizer not specific to acne prone skin I would be making my acne problem worse.  WRONG!  The truth was, I was under moisturizing my skin and in turn the lack of moisture was making my acne worse.  Because I was not using a light weight oil free moisturizer, my skin was creating more oil in order to compensate for the lack of moisture.  I’m not afraid of moisturizer anymore, now I embrace it!  This is making my skin very happy!

4. Clean Your Makeup Brushes 

Ugh!  I don’t mind the task of cleaning my makeup brushes, but remembering to clean them is something else completely!  To solve this problem, I have set a reminder on my phone to go off each week on a day that I know is usually a little less busy for me.  My esthetician recommended to clean my brushes twice a week to cut down on the amount of bactaria I spread when using my brushes each day.  Twice a week may be a little over zealous, but I am trying to at least commit to once a week for my concealer brush and my face brush.

5. Keep Your Hands Off Your Face

Just like your brushes, keeping your hands off your face helps prevent the spread of bacteria.  I tend to rest my face on my hands a lot.  By doing this, I am spreading not just the bacteria from my breakouts, but also the bacteria my hands have come in contact with on doorknobs, my keyboard, etc.  Kind of gross when I think about it!  I have been making a conscious effort to remember this one and am finally starting to break free from this habit.

In addition to these things, I have also decreased the amount of sweets I eat and try to limit dessert to once I week (I know some of you are thinking that is way too often, but if you know me and how much I love my ice-cream, then you know this is a major accomplishment!) and cutting down on soda. I hope you found these tips helpful!  Keep a look out for my post about my facial experience in the future!