Making time for yourself: Mental Health awareness week
We all lead busy lives, whether you work full time, part time, raise your kids, raising animals, raise your partner (sometimes it feels like that). Look after your friends and family. It is so important to make some time for yourself. This is Mental health awareness week so it’s a good time to focus on ourselves and seeking help when we need it. That doesn’t mean sitting in front of the box and watching your favourite shows although there is nothing wrong with that. With all the hectic things we have going on in our lives, it is so important to allocate time for your self.
Not you and your partner.
Not taking the dog to the park.
Doing what you actually want to do, or start doing.
When was the last time you picked up a book? or did something creative?
Making something for someone is taking time for you is doing something.
It is so important to ask for a break, to say can you walk the dog, take the kids or go get so and so. So you can have a few hours of total peace. Not to clean the house or finish your jobs but to do something therapeutic. I know a lot of us a looking at cleaning as a therapy due to the wonderful world of Mrs Hinch and her army. As much as I love her and I wish my house was as spotless as hers, cleaning doesn’t relax me.
To me it’s a chore.
A chore I don’t want to do ever.
A lot of us are telly addicts or screen addicts, it is the modern world but it isn’t relaxing at all. Watching your favourite show may be something you look forward to but flicking through channels trying to find something to watch is a waste of your time. You are killing time and not in a mindful useful way.
“researchers found the people who reported more feelings of depression and loneliness tended to watch more television. The study also found problems with self-control were associated with excessive television.” CBS News
No, I am not saying you are watching too much telly but I am suggesting that maybe you take a screen time break and do something different and relaxing. We already know about the dangers of social media on our well being. How much pressure and addiction we find from likes, follows and stories that have nothing to do with us. This doesn’t help us.
But we can change all that.
We can take some time for ourselves.
Time for me
Painting and drawing is something I love. I barely pick up my brush once a month. My massive collection of watercolours and inks sit there sadly waiting for me to actually do something but I don’t. Even though I find drawing and illustrating so relaxing I just don’t do it enough. Walking home and walking the dog are so good for my piece of mind. I can go through all the stresses and list in my head, make them, tick them off and add them to my bullet journaling.
Planning I find really soothing. Taking time to plan my week or go through a list of jobs. I have my wedding (gosh I haven’t mentioned that before, ha ha) and planning that isn’t without its silly stresses. I take the time to write think things out and when I don’t write things down I have a more chaotic week.
But what works for me may not work for you.
Taking time for you
Take a deep breath and start thinking about you.
What do you want to do?
Is it a goal or just something you want to explore?
You may not be into bullet journaling or painting but there may be another hobby you like to do in your spare time. Knitting and crochet are one of the most relaxing hobbies that people love. It can be social, ie. going to a knit and natter group or just doing it at home.Choosing your yarn and patterns is part of the planning process and yes this is something that you can do in front of the telly but is that really relaxing. Could you do it with the radio or playlist? Audio books have become really popular along with podcasts. You are not focusing with your eyes so much as your hands.
Paint by numbers/ colouring and sequin art
I can’t tell you how popular paint by numbers are. Our customers love showing us pictures of the completed works and asking about the next ones they hope to buy. I think the beauty of them is that you get to completely zone out. you get to focus on what you are doing but you have enough guidance that it’s just you.
You and the paintbrush.
And you create a masterpiece, that you can frame and keep forever!
The pictures themselves can transport you away to another place or time. You can create something nostalgic or something pretty just for you.
If you prefer something sparkly to paints and less messy then we have a lot of people who use Sequin Art as therapy. It is the same incentive except instead of putting the paint to the numbers you get to match the sequins to the picture. Its all about focusing on something to make something that brings you joy and cheers you up. A lot of these hobbies are addictive and that is because of the way they make you feel.
Colouring continues to be therapy for lots of people. pencils and books can be picked up everywhere. Some hand-drawn books like Johanna Basford are pure works of art. Colouring isn’t for me, I find it stressful.
It really is about finding what makes you happy.
Oh, I love my little garden, again I don’t make enough time for it. I recently planted my Dahlias which I hope will bloom just in time for my wedding fingers crossed. But I love spending time in my garden. Pruning that rose bush down (it has a mind of its own and would cover the whole of Romford if I let it) Pruning, planting and adding compost to clean up my beds. It fills me up with such joy. My garden is a bit of a tip at the moment because we have a few projects on the go but I do find it therapeutic.
My next door neighbours garden is beyond beautiful with Japanese maples, Coy pond and Japanese statues. It really is a thing of beauty and her pride and joy she loves spending time on it. For her it is relaxation, meditation and time for herself.
It doesn’t matter if all you have is a balcony, pot plants, your indoor houseplants or working in your garden big and small. Gardening can be the ultimate therapy. Fresh air, exercise and watching what you can create with your own two hands, and a little help from mother nature. This is making me want to go home and tend to the garden.
So take some time for you
So that it from us
We hope you take some time for yourself. The biggest thing about mental health is that everyone has issues at some stage or another. You don’t have to have something big and traumatic to not feel good about yourself. To not want to get out of bed. Talking about it helps. Self-awareness helps more. Get help if you need it, ask a friend if you need to. Know that there are services out there but prevention is also great.
So fill your life with things you love.
Take time for yourself and don’t feel guilty about it.