15 Things I Did To Improve My Mental Health

Last year, there were 15 things I did to improve my mental health, that you can do too! Some of these were easy to do, others it took time, but I made it happen and I have benefited ever since.

While there are many ways your family and friends can support you in improving your mental health, you should be self sustainable as well. Implement use of some of the things I did and you will notice a decrease in anxiety, decrease in depressive symptoms and an improvement in mindfulness. 

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15 things I did to improve my mental health


Started journaling

I was gifted a creativity journal (you can find one here) and I have adored it since I have gotten it. This journal helped improve my mindfulness and I was able to tap into my creative side!

Yoga

Three times a week I awake earlier than my normal time to do 20-30 minutes of yoga. (I use this video!) It has allowed me to start my day refreshed, clear and open to all positive things. It is a nice bonus that it has helped sculpt my body and increase the strength in my core.

Set Boundaries

Learning to say “no” was one of the hardest things I had to do. It was absolutely necessary to learn to set healthy boundaries for my mental health. I would over exert myself and do work that was not mine. I would allow individuals to take what should have been a strength and turn it into a weakness. If you need help doing so, read my latest!

Take A Mental Health Day

Last year,  I made sure to take a day here and there to myself for myself. I did not explain anything to anyone at my job (why did I need to?!) I took a PTO or sick day and took care of myself.

It was the greatest thing I could do was take time for my mind to repair and breath. It took a few times before I finally got the hang of taking a day off without guilt. However, I now look forward to sleeping in, going to therapy and meditating. 

Detoxed my social media

A little different than taking time away from social media, I went through my personal social media accounts daily and purged it. If I saw someone posting negativity or things that did not align with my vision, they were deleted and occasionally blocked. To this day, I still do this (I have way too many friends) and I love seeing it less and less. 

Allowed people to cut me off and vice versa

I would try so hard to keep people in my life that were not meant to be in it. It took them doing me so wrong or cutting me off. I became open to being the villain in someone’s story and accepting what I could have done differently in relationships/friendships.

Started therapy

THE greatest thing I could do to improve myself is acknowledge my need to grow and develop further. There were things from my past that I needed to process and I needed to be held accountable for my inconsistent and unhealthy boundaries with others.

I needed to learn things that would align me better within my career and allow me to function higher within society. Read my latest on myths about therapy and how to find a good therapist. 

Started Blogging

Beginning Just Call Me Jess (JCMJ) allowed me to learn more about the mental health field, hone in on mood disorders and find ways to reduce stigma on a larger scale.

Beginning this blog allowed for me to make connections with others who strive to advocate for mental wellness as well. If you are interested in beginning a mental health blog, get your copy of the guide here!

Set Goals

Similar to setting goals for my professional life I began setting goals for my mental health. Just as I would set my sights on receiving more certifications, I would also set a goal to meditate or journal more. From month to month, I would begin to implement good habits to overcome the bad ones and improve my mental health. 

Accept My imperfections

One of the things I’ve done to improve my mental health is to accept myself “flaws and all”. Where I once saw blemishes in appearance, inadequacies in performance, I now see that I am where I need to be at this point in my life. While there is always room to grow, I am sure to reward myself for how far I have come. I am sure to acknowledge the beauty inside and out, that others see so easily. 

Changed My Eating Habits

I switched to a pescatarian lifestyle (seafood) and noticed a huge difference. Physically, my bloating decreased, my face cleared and I reduce the amount of carbs I would intake. Mentally, I was not as sluggish, I had healthy energy and have improvements in mood!

Exercised More

Where I once worked out once… a month, I now work out 2-3 times a week. I signed up for a membership at my local gym last summer and have been consistent ever since. I noticed an increase in energy, improvement in mood, and honestly I was happier. It allowed me a moment to think clearly or not think at all! Learn more about how exercise could help with your mental health.

Focused On Where I am

I get so worked up into where I want to be that I – at times- forget about where I am. I love having goals and achieving them, I mean who doesn’t. I just needed to really focus on where I am to not only accomplish a goal but to soak in all I could so that I could avoid mistakes, educate others and realize if I liked doing what I wanted or not. 

Read More Books

I read so many books when I was younger and needed to get back in tune with it. Not just to be mindful but to escape and go into a world that I imagined myself. Lately, I have incorporated self help, personal development, mental health and autobiographies into my reading list. Right now I am reading Eat To Live,  Rich Dad Poor Dad and next is You’re a BadA**: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. Read along with me all of them are under $10! 

I hope you can implement at least one of the 15 things I’ve done to improve my mental health and improve yours. Above anything find what works for you! This may consist of trying multiple things that do not work but that is okay. Now you know what does not support your mental health! Never give up, never give in! 

What are some of the things you have noticed so far that have helped to improve your mental health? Someone else could use the insight!

As always I’m here to help. Reach out!


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Why You Should Journal To Lower Your Anxiety

Simply searching for why you should journal to lower your anxiety, sets you up for success. I know it seems like such a cliche at this point but the benefits of journaling to your mental health is outstanding. 

By now, many of you may know that journaling helps to reduce stress, improve mood and increase positivity.  It also helps by improving your IQ, sleep hygiene and self confidence.

However, do you know why? Do you find that when you try journaling you have nothing to say? This is not rare.

Plenty of individuals struggle with journaling and, as an unfortunate result, are not able to benefit from the activity. Let’s start from the beginning shall we!?

Why You Should Be Journaling 

It helps to decrease stress and negative moods by allowing you to be mindful. If you’ve read my previous post you have a good understanding of mindfulness. 

A summary for those of you who haven’t (go read it!). Mindfulness is simply being aware of your needs, acknowledging your thoughts and feelings without a right/wrong judgement. 

With the new wave of self care popularity, journaling piggybacked on it and made an easy comeback. While most of us remember having a journal when we were younger somewhere along the way you stopped. 

Life became too busy, too stressed, and you were too tired to worry with journaling. It is interesting that no one notices how large of an impact this activity had on their mental health when in their younger years. We just have good memories and chuck it up to the fact that we weren’t paying bills at that time. 

This mindfulness activity allows you to label your emotions and relate them to behaviors you notice within yourself. Journaling something positive you noticed about yourself or morning experiences, improves your mood when continuing throughout your day. 

Though you need not journal each day, it is recommended you do so for 15 minutes 1-3 times a week (depending on your life experiences). Write about anything! What may be bothering you or what ever seems to be stressing you out. You could also check out the prompts I have laid out to get you started. 

Why you should journal to lower your anxiety text and girl writing in a note book

What Happens When You Don’t Journal

If you do not journal-or participate in any other mindfulness activity- your symptoms will continue to persist. Journaling helps you “work through anxious feelings” by identifying triggers to the symptoms, plan ways to combat or avoid triggers and implement.

Avoiding to resolve your anxiety can result in stress, continued rumination and-at times- depression. Read here for tips to get stuff done when depressed. Research has shown that individuals who implement use of expression, reported lower levels of anxiety than their counterparts who did not implement use. 

How To Make Journaling A Habit

Now, that you know a few reasons why it is important to journal to reduce anxiety symptoms, it is important to begin forming a mindful habit. It takes 21 days to form a habit and even longer if you do not acknowledge its importance. 

Step One: Get A Journal 

To be successful in creating this habit you must begin by purchasing a journal that fits your needs. There are many different types of journals such as bullet, goal oriented and even prompts with blank sheets for journals. Choose the one that satisfies!

I recommend the Journaling For Anxiety that will help you “have a deeper understanding of yourself, your journey, and who you are at the foundation of your being.” By purchasing you are demonstrating your commitment to clarity and peace within. 

Step Two: Pick A Place, Time And Set Boundaries

Now that you have made your commitment it is important to pick a quiet, calming place for your activity. Choose a space where your creativity can flow and your mind can be clear. 

Set a time during the day where you are limited in distractions and are able to complete your entry. Personally, I choose the very beginning of the day when I know I am in for a stressful moment. However, most times I chose close to the end of my day to ensure I fully reflect on my entire day. 

So you pick a place and time but someone comes barging in with needs or wants! How do you respond? I suggest notifying individuals from the moment you will begin to journal that you need x amount of time. 

In the beginning it may be difficult to set this boundary however you must be consistent. Setting clear boundaries when practicing mindfulness will allow you to identify other areas you may need to set  them for your mental health. Learn what can happen when you don’t set healthy boundaries. 

Step Three: Write, Read, Reflect

Write out your thoughts, emotions and behaviors you have noticed throughout the day. Follow the prompts laid out unto you. What comes next is important!

Read what you wrote. 

After reading what you wrote down, reflect on your words. If it helps, read your entry as though someone else wrote them. What does it seem like the needs are? What is being overlooked that is causing such intense anxiety? 

Step Four: Act

When we know better, we do better. Acknowledging your needs and doing nothing about it, will not wield you any changes. You will continue to stress, have excessive worry, have fatigue, depressive symptoms and…well… the list goes on. 

Do not feel pressured to change EVERYTHING overnight however acknowledge that some things will need to be changed quickly. If you identify there is an individual that triggers negative emotions within you, you must begin to set boundaries with this person. If you identify a lack of sleep for your anxious moods, you must set a proper sleep hygiene to begin to reduce your symptoms. 

Step Five: Affirm

Occasionally, throughout your journaling journey, read back from the beginning. Read your words and be impressed by what you have accomplished. Affirmations are sure to increase the likelihood of you continuing this mindfulness practice and continuing this positive habit. 

Not only will noticing the change within yourself encourage further journaling it will also encourage continued changes. I began by setting boundaries with people to completely avoiding individuals because of the way I felt when I left their presence. I stopped accepting less from myself and began to acknowledge that I could do better so I did!

Now you know why it is important to journal, how to reduce anxiety by journaling, and how to make journaling a habit. Now…time to execute!

4 Tips For Taking C.A.R.E. of Yourself: Improve Your Mental Health When You Have A Chronic Condition

 I hope these 4 tips for taking C.A.R.E. of yourself will help you improve your mental health when you have a chronic condition.

When I was first diagnosed with my chronic illness I remember feeling an incredible sense of relief. 

I wasn’t crazy! It wasn’t all in my head!

I finally had a diagnosis. I had an answer for all the weird symptoms I had been experiencing. But after that moment of relief, came a new and rather unnerving revelation. 

From that day on my life was going to look very different. 

The doctor helped me with ideas on how to manage the symptoms but there was no cure. There was no going back. My life would never be normal again.

And the toll of that on my mental health was staggering for quite some time. But after 7 plus years of living with a chronic illness, I have finally found some ways to thrive mentally. You can live a full life even with a chronic condition!

Let’s learn to C.A.R.E. for ourselves by shifting the way we think!

Taking C.A.R.E. of Yourself: How to improve your mental health when you have a chronic condition

Concede that you will grieve sometimes and that is okay! 

Anyone who has lost someone will tell you that while things get better with time, you will always miss the one you lost. In the same way you are always going to miss the life you once had.

Even after many years of dealing with a chronic condition, there is still a sense of loss sometimes. There are going to be reminders of what you can’t do, and it is going to hurt.

Don’t rush through those sad moments. Recognize that there is a loss to be grieved. And that is okay. Go ahead and grieve the loss, but then . . . 

Acknowledge what you CAN do rather than focusing on what you can’t.

It can be easy to get caught up in all that we can’t do but dwelling on that isn’t good for our mental health. Instead, we need to focus on all that we CAN do. 

Learn how affirmations can improve your mental health!

I may not be able to go for a walk to the park with my kids, but I CAN snuggle with them on the couch and listen to them talk about their day!

See the difference? So, celebrate the little things that you CAN do! 

And perhaps brainstorm ways to make things easier for you. Ask your physician for the handicap parking placard. Buy the wheelchair, the cane, or anything else that will help you do more of what you love. But keep in mind that you may need to . . . 

Learn how to set achievable goals for yourself even with a chronic condition!

Release your expectations of what your day should look like. 

For many years with my chronic illness I continued to operate like a healthy person. I decided to work from home to make it easier, but I still worked full time, managed the home, took care of the kids, etc.

And then I wondered why I felt sick all the time! I was caught in the mindset that I was a “normal stay at home mom” and pressuring myself to keep up with it all. But I wasn’t. I was a “work at home mom with a chronic illness”. I had to change my mindset so that I could start placing reasonable expectations on myself. 

Maybe that is what you need to do as well. Say “I have a chronic illness,” and then release your expectations of what you think you should be able to do. But remember to . . . 

Embrace the reality that you are enough!

This is one I really struggle with. I tend to tie my identity to how much I have accomplished. When I have a bad day and don’t get much done, then I tend to beat myself up about it, which is not healthy. 

Think about this. Is a life only valued by the amount of money we make? Or the daily tasks we checked off our to-do list? 

Or is a life valued by the amount of memories we make? 

The number of smiles we gave? 

The amount of encouraging words we spoke? 

Or the amount of people we inspired? 

When you feel like you are less than because you cannot do what a normal person does, remind yourself that you can still make a difference. You are enough as you are! Your life matters!

Living with a chronic illness can be tough, but I hope that these tips will help you to shift your thinking and make the most of your life even if it is not “normal”.

Taking C.A.R.E. of Yourself: How to improve your mental health when you have a chronic condition text with girl wearing sweater

 Taking C.A.R.E. of Yourself: How to improve your mental health when you have a chronic condition

Concede that you will grieve sometimes and that is okay!


A
cknowledge what you CAN do rather than focusing on what you can’t.


R
elease your expectations of what your day should look like.


E
mbrace the reality that you are enough!

About The Author

Hey everyone! My name is Collene. My husband and I have been married for 14 years and we have three kids. Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness and realized I would never be able to work full time again. I have worked many part-time jobs since but my main passion in life is to write and encourage others. I love to share my struggles, failures, and all that I am learning through my blog restandchaos.com. It is my hope that by being real about my life, I will be able to encourage and inspire others to live their best lives.

5 Ways To Fall In Love With You This Valentines Day


Valentines day has made its way back again, to remind us all about the love we should have for others and how we should show it. 

This Valentine’s Day is going to be different!  Why? Simple, this year you will fall in love with you and these 5 tips will help you do it. 

The last few months have been all about others and their happiness. Everyone has purchased gifts for the holidays and brought in the New Year with their loved ones. It’s time now to focus on you and give yourself the love you so easily give others. 

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase I receive a portion of the earnings however you will not pay more!

5 ways to fall in love with you this Valentine’s Day

Tip 1 To Love You This Valentine’s Day:
Write a letter to yourself forgiving yourself of all of your mistakes

How many times have you kicked yourself while you were down? I know I have, it was almost second nature.

If I said something stupid to someone earlier in the day, I would think of it all day long. I would constantly reminding myself of the mistake instead of apologizing, forgiving myself and moving on. 

By carrying around that negative thoughts about myself all day the negativity would pour into other tasks throughout the day. I could drop my pencil and think “ugh I can’t even hold a pen”. Thinking back on it now it is ridiculous to think that I would become upset about dropping a pen.

However, what was really happening was that I was anxious and excessive worrying about things I was not in control of instead of controlling what I could.

After forgiving myself for each mistake I have made (that I could remember) I felt lighter! I felt like I could believe those affirmations I had begun stating to myself each day. You worthy of good things, of love, despite your mistakes. 

Tip 2 To Love You This Valentine’s Day:
Give yourself genuine compliments and affirm self loving phrases

Regardless of being in a relationship or being single, Valentines Day tends to find a way to remind us of what we do not have or needs that are not being met intimately. We must first provide those needs ourselves emotionally. 

Take time to remind yourself of all of those positive qualities about yourself. There is only one rule: no “buts” “if only” “can be”,only mention what you are. Nowadays we do not do a good job of telling ourselves that we are amazing, though we should!

If you need help with affirmations to start, use these!

Fortunately, you can change this! One of the easiest ways to be genuine with yourself and speak positivity over yourself is to do, just do it. Make a habit of telling yourself each day that you are wonderful, because you are. 

Tip 3 To Love You This Valentine’s Day:
Take Care Of Your Self

Use Valentines Day as an excuse to plan a day filled with self care activities to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply being aware of your needs, acknowledging your thoughts and feelings without a right/wrong judgement. Read my latest post about mindfulness. 

Plan to take a cozy bath with wine and soothing music or take yourself to the movies and out to dinner. Whatever it is that you need in the moment, respond to it. If you need rest and relaxation plan for a massage or a day in. If you need to speak with someone, plan your day with a friend! 

There are also many activities you can do at home for little to no cost. Journaling, yoga, exercising and/or reading are all awesome ways you could care for yourself and fall in love with who you truly are.

Tip 4 To Love You This Valentine’s Day:
Date yourself

Take yourself on your ideal date and genuinely enjoy the time to yourself to set your own standard. If anything Valentines Day is the best time to do this as they have many specials for that weekend. You can leave when you would like,  see a movie you want to see without outside opinions or eat what you want without regard for what someone else wants.

 It is all about you!

While it may seem weird at first to do things for yourself by yourself, be reminded of all of the good that came out of it. Did you have a drama free, stress free, low key time? If so, it was what you needed! 

It is important to remember that it may feel weird to do such kind things to or for yourself because you are not familiar with doing so. If nothing else, keep in mind that you should be your priority. Your happiness, your mental health, physical health and livelihood is your priority.

Tip 5 To Love You This Valentine’s Day:
Accept Yourself, Flaws And All

 Understand that no one is perfect but that doesn’t mean you aren’t worth it. It is our imperfections that make us unique and valuable. No one holds the exact traits, skills or attributes that you do and that makes you irreplaceable!

When beginning to accept yourself, think of the “but’s” that you mention so often when you receive compliments from others. Begin to question why you have the need to mention something negative about yourself. 

Are you afraid of what others will think of you if you acknowledge your positive traits? Do you feel unworthy of the compliment of your abilities because of a perception of imperfection in your appearance? 

As I have mentioned before when you know better, you do better. When you know why it is so difficult to accept yourself, you will be able to resolve the problem and fall in love with yourself in a new way. 

I hope this Valentine’s Day, you are able to take these tips and set the stage for the rest of the year as to how you will treat yourself. I’m sure it will help you love things about yourself that you had been looking so fiercely in others. 

As always if you need help, I’m here!


As you continue to improve the love you have for yourself check out this Self Love workbook. Over at Blessing Manifesting, Dominee describes as ” The Self-Love Workbook began when I started my self-love journey. I wanted to focus on loving myself but I wasn’t finding the right tools.

I’m a writer so writing my thoughts down has always been my go-to. Seven years ago when I created the first workbook, tools for self-development were hard to find so I created what I needed for myself. I hope to help other people learn what self-love is and how to practice it in their daily lives. ”

Don’t miss out!

4 Self Care Tips For Moms: How To Find Time For Yourself

It can be hard to know how to find time for yourself when you’re a parent! Parenthood brings a lot of changes in your life. Well, actually, that’s the understatement of the year.

Parenthood turns your life upside down and shakes it a little bit so nothing sticks to its place anymore. Such extreme changes usually take us by surprise – we knew it was going to happen, but none of us expected it will wreak so much havoc to our lives and daily routines.

None of us expected it would be so time-consuming and energy-draining. It is an extreme “out-of-your-comfort-zone” experience you cannot escape.

However, it’s good to remember that what’s good about stepping out of your comfort zone is that it always makes you develop.

Tired mom = angry mom

How often has it happened to you that you snapped or yelled at your child and then felt sorry, but it was too late? It is very common, simply because being a parent needs great loads of energy. So great, people don’t even realize.

You do household tasks while watching your child. This kind of multi-tasking sometimes is a must, but in the long run, it makes us more tired.

Your basic needs are not met. You cannot sleep enough, eat a proper meal, pee in privacy without a toddler crying for attention. You are on watch all the time and don’t even have the ability to relax anymore.

This is because our brain is hardwired to be alert when we hear our baby cry. It is vital to re-learn how to relax and understand why a tired parent cannot take good care of anyone, children or other family members.

You are not a “bad” parent. You are just a tired one and you need to learn how to find time for yourself!

If we only give out our energy and don’t fill it back up, we become angry and irritable, we feel tired, overwhelmed or even guilty for being a bad parent. We need to accept the fact that our body needs to regenerate, too.

How to make time for yourself as a parent

Be good to yourself just as you’re trying to be good to everyone else. Even more: be better to yourself than to others.

Have you noticed how easily one angry person can change the mood of the entire room? Or an elated person can bring joy to everyone around?

The same way you can help others feel better just by making yourself feel better. In order to do that, you have to take care of your needs first.

Ask others for help. You don’t have to do everything on your own. If both parents share the daily chores, that’s just perfect. If not, why not try to talk to your partner about it?

You can also ask around the family or even neighbors. You may be surprised to find out that some people around you will be happy to help, just to stick around your kids (see: grannies and aunties!).

I just discovered that my neighbor is glad to have my son (2.5yo) at her place as then her own boy doesn’t get bored and she doesn’t have to come up with new activities for him.

How to make time for yourself when the baby arrives…

When I first became a mother, many people tried to help me and took my baby away so I could rest. (They also adored him since he was the first grandchild for both grannies).

However, he cried most of the away time. When I heard him, I couldn’t relax a bit. But I quickly learned some tricks which allowed me to rest while he was close to me.

You can use these techniques as well to learn how to find time for yourself when your baby arrives.

First of all, I discovered that it was much easier for both of us to have a nap during breastfeeding. There is a saying that a mother should sleep while the baby is asleep.

Some people add that she should cook while the baby cooks, but this leads nowhere. You can ask the dad or the granny to cook instead of holding the crying baby or just order delivery.

Another thing was babywearing. You can use woven wraps or specially designed carriers. With a baby on your chest or back, you can do most of your chores while keeping the little one asleep or entertained.

Plus, it helps create a deeper bond between you and the child. Just make sure to contact a certified babywearing instructor if you want to wrap a newborn so that you won’t harm his fragile spine.

how to find time for yourself text with woman and dog sitting on grass

How to find time for yourself while looking after a toddler…

As your child grows, his daily rhythm becomes more consistent. This allows you to make some predictions and prepare ahead of time. You can use these techniques as well to learn how to find time for yourself when your child becomes a toddler.

I decided to try to wake up earlier. I consider myself an owl so it was really hard for me to get used to being woken up early in the morning.

My husband usually took “the night watch” as he comes home from work around 10 pm and likes to stay up late, so I took the mornings.

The fact that the baby destroyed my morning routine made the start of my day even worse. However, it changed when I decided to wake up ahead of time. It doesn’t make me any less sleepy, but at least I can have the morning pee without spectators, wash my face and teeth, have breakfast and a coffee.

The way you start the day often has a decisive influence on how you feel until your bedtime.

How to find time for yourself with older children

When the child goes to school or kindergarten, we usually sign them up for various extra classes, be that sports, music, arts, languages or whatever you deem necessary for their development.

This is fine if not exaggerated since one of the parents often ends up a part-time chauffeur.

If you struggle to keep up with driving your kids to all of their activities, you may want to follow these steps, so that you can know how to find time for yourself in between:

  1. Look at their schedules and decide which classes are really, REALLY necessary. If you have 3 kids or more, you may have them decide on just one kind of class each.
  2. Try to find out what fun things you can do with them. It might be e.g. going to a swimming pool, having a football practice together, joining a choir, etc. It would be best if all of your children enjoyed that activity so you could make it a family event. Put that in the schedule and never skip it. It will allow you to not only save time but more importantly, to create a bond with your kids and also to enjoy yourself. Enjoying yourself always brings your energy levels up.
  3. Set your me-time in your schedule and don’t skip it. This is vital as everyone needs some time alone. You can do whatever you feel like during that time, e.g. soak in a bath, read books, go for a walk or for a run. Since you take care of everyone else’s special activities, make sure you don’t leave yourself out.

I hope these tips help you in all stages of parenting to so that you can know how to find time for yourself! It is incredibly important for your mental health and well being. Be sure to be mindful in all you do!

About the author

Hi! I’m Natalia Wiatr. I’m a Polish state school teacher and a parenting blogger. As a mother and blogger, I realized that the most common issue underlying behavioral problems in families is not understanding and not accepting emotions. The problem concerns parents as well as children. I want to show others how noticing, analyzing, and accepting your own emotions can help you improve your relations and general well-being. I myself use mindfulness, anger management strategies, and relaxation techniques. On my blog, I try to teach others how to do that. My mission is to help parents manage their emotions so that they can build an atmosphere of love and acceptance for their children to thrive.

I am currently working on a free ebook in which I’m going to elaborate on how to find the time for yourself as a busy parent. You can read more about it here.

Also, please check out my blog website www.nataliawiatr.com.

5 Valentines Day Gifts That Support Her Mental Health

Affiliate Disclaimer: This site contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you purchase through any of the links (at no additional cost to you).  

Valentine’s Day is upon us again and it can be quite stressful if you do not know how to tell your loved one that you love them. This is why I wanted to help you out and tell you 5 Valentine’s Day gifts that support her mental health.

Each day you see her pushing herself for greatness and want to let her know that you understand the stress that is upon her. While most people go with the traditional flowers, chocolate and dinner why not do the unusual for your special lady!

This year treat her to things that will support her mental health and allow her to continue on her path to success. Choose items that she needs rather than what is routine!

photo with words "5 Valentine’s Day gifts that support her mental health" and "justcallmejess.org" at bottom all in pink

5 Valentines Day Gifts That Support Her Mental Health

Valentines Day Gift 1: A Self Care Kit

Often we are so busy caring for others we forget ourselves in the process. I hear often “you cannot pour from an empty cup” and while this is true, I do wonder.

What if you cup is not empty, rather field with fatigue, depression, anxiety, irritability, etc. and that is being poured in your family or those you work with. Is that not just as bad?

This self care kit will make it convenient for your loved one to care for themselves for a day and ensure they are spreading positivity.

Valentines Day Gift 2: Leisure Reading and Writing

I won’t overbear you with why it is important to journal, instead you can check out my post dedicated to it. Just know that reading and writing increases mindfulness within your spouse.

The more mindful she is increases the likelihood she will have improved mood and decreased irritability.

Valentines Day Gift 3: Massage

Go to your local massage parlor and make an appointment for her! I found that when I was given a gift card I may not use it. I may regift it or completely forget about it.

However, when an appointment was made I was likely to go because I knew my husband would be charged! I dare not miss it then haha!

Going in for the massage would force me to lie down and have someone else care for me for 30min-60 min. After, a few minutes I began to clear my mind and focus on how my body felt in the moment.

Valentines Day Gift 4: Weighted Blanket

A weighted blanket does wonders for anxiety symptoms. When I purchased mine, I began to use it all of the time (seriously even in the summer!).

At first I didn’t notice but the more I made the blanket my go to after work or after an event that caused much anxiety I felt a sense of relief. It felt like I was being held in a safe place and could determine when I wanted to be let go.

Valentines Day Gift 5: Time

If nothing else be sure to take the time to appreciate her by dedicating the day to her. I know it may seem cliche but a nice night in, dinner made by you and a movie with popcorn can seal the deal.

Dedicate this time to learning about her, her needs and wants so that you can stay attuned to her needs going forward. You may be surprised to learn that she would like to know you are there when she needs to talk when she is feeling low.

Of course ask her if you get stuck! While some women like surprises not all do. I like telling my husband what to get for my birthday or Christmas and let him do his own thing for Valentines Day (I am happy with anything, its the thought that counts).

As always I am here to help!

5 Things I Quit For My Mental Health In 2019

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There are many reasons, that there were 5 things I quit for my mental health in 2019. This year, 2019, has been worst and best year for my mental health and I will tell you in detail ‘ why so’. There were many occasions, incidents where I totally neglected my mental health and just focused on appraisal or pleasing others. I pushed myself so hard to get the things done even at the cost of my own well being.

 Hustling is indeed essential and sometimes we aren’t left with any other option because we are driven by the fire of our passion. However, we often forget to reflect back and see how our actions affect our mental state.

I was in a job which was physically as well as mentally draining and not a single thing about that place is worth cherishing. Being at that place indeed worsened my mental health but it also made me realize to prioritize it.

I needed to put it foremost and the best thing I did for my mental health was leaving that job. It wasn’t easy. I was filled with the feelings of insecurity and uncertainty but it was time and I needed to devote that time of my life in self-recovery.

It has been three months since I started being mindful and practicing different tactics of helping my well being.

However, this radical change would never have been possible without giving up these 5 things. I am so proud that I gave up these things and still practice to not inculcate them in my life for my mental health.

5 things I quit for my mental health in 2019

5 Things I Quit For My Mental Health In 2019:

Comparing your journey

We are often so intimidated by the others’ success or their stories of reaching milestone in just numbered days that we start blaming ourselves for not being enough.

It is never so. No one ever conquered anything great in a day or some mere numbered months. You need to put trust in yourself and your journey. Know that each individual is unique and it is all okay to take your own time to reach at some point you always wanted.

Comparing yourself with others is only going to make you miserable and in this you will also dishonor your journey that universe has designed for you.

Trust that you are at the right place and are doing best of your capabilities. Do not ever compare your start with someone’s middle.

Allowing toxicity 

I had this tendency and habit of giving myself completely to others even when they don’t. I never realize this as an act of self-harm until the day I started writing about all the weeds that such life out of my garden.

I had to realize that it was high time that I need to stop watering all those weeds. Knowingly or unknowingly I allowed them to spread toxicity in my life and in no time I was surrounded by all of them.

My first step was to know such weeds and then cut them off from my garden.

My darlings, learn to value yourself enough to stop letting others harm your vibe. Learn to tell NO when you don’t want to indulge in the activities they are up to. Stop showing up each time for someone who was never there for you. Stop harming yourself because of their behavior and actions.

You are more, more than everyone who thinks you less. Leave and cherish your well being for YOU MATTER.

Negative self-talk

I am the firm believer of words, words create miracle but could also turn the tables upside down. It is scientifically proven that the words we speak to ourselves have so much impact in our life, they radiate thoughts which sparks into action.

We are sometimes so hard on ourselves that we start playing the blame game and all the blame is thrown upon ourselves.

We start telling ourselves that we aren’t enough, we need to stop trying this, we lack this skill, we are not made for this and what not.

We fail to realize the power of words and its ability to change the reality.

I have been practicing morning affirmations and have been writing morning pages which has helped me so much in putting aside my inner demon and yell in its face that yes I AM ENOUGH.

Unhealthy eating

I must admit that this is something I am practicing hard and trying to implement in my routine. Due to our hustling life, we don’t really pour efforts in healthy eating and rush to grab convenience food which disturbs our mental state.

It is scientifically proven that the food we consume has great impact on our inner self. It actually can boost our mood. There is strong link between inflammation and depression. 

Remember, eating well is really important if you want your mental well being.

Overthinking

I can tell you, without a doubt that this is the main reason for all the problems I have faced in my life. I tend to overthink/ feel things and it was until lately that I realized its major drawbacks on my mental health.

Every time I am caught in the maze of thoughts, I remind myself that it is all inside my head. The brain of mine is just an expert in enlarging the tiny things which otherwise would have never affected me so deeply.

I used to over analyze things and scenario and make some weird stories all in my mind which lead to anxiety and all I was left with were my thoughts and I used to find ways to escape from that terrible place which actually was my own mind.

I tried to put a big STOP sign there but nothing helped until I started morning pages and meditation.

I poured all my anxious thoughts on the paper and let it absorb my anxiety. Writing has really helped me a lot in curing anxiety, I am not saying that I got rid of it but it is reduced to a greater extent now.

I even used journaling as the medium of my self-recovery where I gave myself few prompts and wrote about it

Build a creative outlet for your thoughts and see them vanish in the air.

There indeed are many other things that you definitely should get rid of for your mental health. These five things are so essential to be knocked out if you really want to live a better life.
Above all, know that your mental health is solely your responsibility to take care of. You cannot expect someone to be accountable for it. Take in-charge and set on the journey of self-recovery. For the world seems better only when the world inside is better.

About The Author

Woman with glassess under a tree

I am Sonia Motwani from India, an author, mental health blogger and a firm believer in the power of self-love. I published an E book named, ‘Silent Defiance’ that aims at an open refusal to everything that harms the soul. In my journey of writing of over three years, I have learnt that there is no alternative of being empowered and live life to the fullest than loving oneself. There should at least be one person who should be there with you always and I strongly emphasize on being that person. I write poems on my Instagram account and mental health blogs.

My Journey to Being Forever Strong

    2016 was one of the best years and one of the worst years of my life. It was one of the best because I graduated from College. It was one of the worst because two months after I graduated, I was in a bad car accident where I suffered from a mild traumatic brain injury, which caused me to have Central Pain Syndrome.

CPS is a neurological disorder due to damage to the brain, brain stem and spine. My brain never healed properly. My brain does not know what pain is anymore.

Simple things like touch, and showers were no longer as enjoyable as they once were. Instead they are some of the worst feelings I have ever experienced. As of now it will probably always be like this.

    I was just visiting family in Las Vegas and one night on our way home from dinner a lady was distracted and ran a red light going 60 miles an hour.

She t-boned us on my door where my head hit the window a couple of times and went the other way. Everyone thankfully walked away that night and after being checked out by the EMS we ended up going home and not to the hospital. 

    Over the next several days, my head was hurting worse, especially where I was hit, I was dizzy and nauseous constantly. We finally went a few days later to see a doctor, who told me it was a sinus infection.

I didn’t understand how that was possible, but he said that I might have been getting sick already and it made it come out.

I had a few tests done, which all came back clear. A few days later I went home and saw my doctors.

    I was told that I was depressed, and I was sent to see a chiropractor for my neck pain. After a month of being home I ended getting a part time job in my dream career.

I was an event assistant to a local planner. I had wanted to be a planner since I was in high school. I was so excited and wanted to finally put this whole ordeal behind me. 

    Too bad it was only the beginning.

    A few months into working I was still in a lot of pain. I went back to the doctor and was sent to a neurologist who told me in a few minutes time that I had a concussion. I went for physical therapy, more tests as well as tried different medications. Most of the medications made me worse than better so I got off them.

The tests again showed nothing. I started to realize something wasn’t right when I couldn’t complete simple tasks at work without having to ask for a help a couple of times. I was taken off work and sent for more tests, new doctors and more therapy. 

This is the time that I started having more issues with my mental health. I was grieving my old self and where I “should” have been at that time. I stayed home often not wanting to go anywhere. Most days I was barely able to move from the pain.

I got into a deeper hole and life felt like a standstill. I had the most amazing support in my family, boyfriend and friends.

Anything I needed they were there for me. 

It didn’t help when I had a doctor tell me it was in my head and that I was basically making it up. I just continued to feel like maybe it was in my head and that I was burden to my friends and family.

 Finally, a year to the day of the accident I was with a new doctor who diagnosed me with Central Pain Syndrome.

Even though it felt good to know I wasn’t crazy it was still an uphill battle of more medicine and therapies.

As of today, which is three years later, I am not on any medication for this disorder. Unfortunately, it is not because I am better, but because nothing has helped and at this point I am so used to it that I just deal with it.

After a point, I decided to be a voice for those who might need it or for those who need the support. My phrase “Be Forever Strong” came to be as well as my blog and podcast called With Love, Alexa.

I decided it was time that invisible illnesses needed to be destigmatized. So many of us suffer and many just don’t feel ready to talk about because of fear of judgement. 

I am creating a lifestyle brand for invisible illness warriors, and caregivers. I will have blog categories on travel, fashion, relationships, self-care tips and daily hacks for all kind of invisible illnesses.

We are all strong individuals and we need to keep pushing, spreading the word on invisible illnesses and continuing to be forever strong.

About The Author

photo of woman with brunette hair

My name is Alexa Randolph. I am a blogger and host for With Love Alexa, which is a blog and podcast.  I started both the blog and podcast to help bring awareness to invisible illnesses  and to help destigmatize the situation. I am also the author of the With Love, Series (With Love, Ella and Daniel, Ever After) which can be found on Amazon.

  • Follow me on social media at:
  • Instagram: @withlovealexa1
  • Facebook: @withlovealexa1
  • Pinterest: @withlovealexa1
  • Podcast: can be found pretty much wherever you listen to podcasts
  • You can reach me at here

How To Make A Vision Board To Achieve Your 2020 Goals

Affiliate Disclaimer: This site contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you purchase through any of the links (at no additional cost to you).

I’m so glad you decided to learn how to make a vision board to achieve your 2020 goals! But first…

Happy New Year! Not only is it a new year, it’s a new decade and time for some goal setting. I’m all for speaking things into existence, so I made a vision board for my 2020 goals.

 A vision board is a visual representation of the things you want to have in your life and how you plan to get there. I am a big fan of doing this yearly as it is a good indicator as to where you are now and what you are able to achieve within a year.

I highly suggest you do the same! I know vision boards are the latest “fad” however there is much validity to creating them and placing them in a space that constantly reminds you of where you are and where you want to be. 


Why Vision Boards Work

They are the standard you set for yourself

It is one thing to have someone tell you what to do and an entirely different thing to tell yourself you are going to do something. When you agree to do something you are more likely to set your mind to it and achieve it because you do not want to let yourself down. 

This is also important because you will find that you may or may not be living at your own standard. This activity will allow your mind to visualize yourself in the best place, and layout a list of steps- a map if you will- through photo to get you there. 

What you focus on expands

If you choose to focus on your mental health, your blog, health and wellness or financial stability you will begin to see it each day. A clear example of this is when a woman thinks she is or actually is pregnant and begins to see babies often within her community. Though they were always there your mind had not paid attention because it did not directly impact you. 


It reminds you to be positive

I often have looked at my vision boards and thought “I’m almost there” or “ I have completed another goal and its on XXX month”. It excites me to see myself marking things off, continuing my consistency in achieving that goal and going harder to achieve another one. 

When I achieve something I feel accomplished and naturally begin to wash myself with affirmations such as “I am so amazing” “I am determined” or “I will achieve it all”. It increases and improves my mood throughout the day and is encouraging to others.

Be mindful when making a vision board that you are setting achievable and realistic goals. Read my post on how to set SMART goals. 

If you glue a photo of a million dollars be sure to also include how you plan to get there. If I posted a bundle of money on my board that was meant to visualize financial stability. I would also post savings apps, investments I plan to make and things I needed to cut out to ensure it would happen (like excessively eating take out). 

While we are putting into the Universe what we would like to see happen, we have to remember it takes work to achieve these goals. The Universe will not give you anything you have to work for it! 

How to make a vision board


Before

I like to identify different areas of my life where I would like to grow and develop by using a goal setting sheet. I like to use this one as it lays out my goal, steps I need to take to get there and what it will look like when I achieve my goals. 

What many may call the “cheap option” I call “making a board”. I go to dollar tree and get a board of any size or type, glue, scissors, tape, glitter, ribbon and any other decor I want. (I like colors and I am likely to pay attention that way!)

You could also purchase a kit here for convenience

I pick up any pieces of art, magazines, books, posters etc. from multiple stores that have what I want or may need for my board. I then come home and get to work. 

During

Small tri fold board with  "2020 Goals" on top and "Jessica" on bottom
Tri-fold board with multiple photos and words to demonstrate the bloggers goals for 2020

Get creative! Be sure that your board makes sense to you. You should be able to look at it later and be reminded that you are working towards your degree by studying each night. It needs to speak to YOU!


After

Hang, set or place you board in a place that is visible EVERYDAY! This is most important when completing as you want to ensure you are constantly reminded of you WHY. 

There will be times when you may feel down or need a motivational push to keep going to achieve your goals. That is where your vision board comes into fruition.

I like to keep mine in my office to the right of my desk as I often work there. See photo below. I also have it placed in a corner underneath my monthly goals and my clock. Oh how ironic!

Photo of board on wall with clock and dry erase board.


I hope this gives you some insight to making a vision board for your 2020 goals. I would like to see some of your vision boards for 2020 and post them on my social media! Let’s achieve these goals together.

As always I’m here to help!

How To Find A Good Therapist

You have struggled to manage your moods and your mind has continued to be your biggest enemy throughout the day. You have googled tips to manage stress or anxiety or depression and have tried them all to no avail.

Speaking to friends or family about how you are feeling has not seemed to help. They either tell you to “grow up”, “just stop being sad”, or that your problems are no worse than theirs.  This is why it is beneficial to find a good therapist! 

Affiliate Disclaimer: This site contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you purchase through any of the links (at no additional cost to you).

A therapist should your confidant and guide to a better you. You should be able to develop a treatment plan that focuses on where you would like to be in life and what you would like to see happen in the near future. If you think a therapist is what you need to be successful, check out these tips that will educate you on how to find a good therapist.  

How To Find A Good Therapist Tip 1

Know What You Are Looking For!

Everyone has different taste in food, clothing, music and people! There is a reason that you attract individuals that you have considered your friends. You can use your friends and the individuals you normally identify as supportive as a road map for the qualities you may like in a therapist. Are you interested in a laid back style or someone who is strict within the hour of the session? Would you rather a female or male therapist to be able to comfortably discuss your concerns?

Some other things to note are the therapist qualifications such as licensed therapist, certification in trauma or families, and their specialties. For example, a therapist may specialize in women and do not work often with families and that may be important to know if you are a mom with trouble with your children.

How To Find A Good Therapist Tip 2

Use The Information Provided

There are many sites you can use to find a therapist and you could also use social media. I highly recommend Psychology Today for your search. On the site you are able to specify your needs and only see the individuals who fit! This site should save you time. 

I also recommend looking at the back of your insurance card and either calling the number or going to the site. By doing so you will be able to know for certain that these individuals take your insurance which could save you money! At times your insurance company will let you know who has the lowest co pay!

How To Find A Good Therapist Tip 3

Ask For Recommendations

If you know someone such as a friend or family member in therapy you could ask for their recommendations on a therapist. Most therapists know of others that are accepting new clients and they could refer you to someone. You could also ask your primary care physician for a referral as therapist often network with them. Be wary of some recommendations individuals give at times as it may not be based on your specific needs. 

How To Find A Good Therapist Tip 4

Use Your Employee Assistance Program

As a full time worker (and occasionally part time) your employer may have an EAP. The EAP has therapist that are paneled to work with their specific employees and the employer covers the cost.

The positive to an EAP therapist is that they are likely to have insight about your job and any negativity surrounding it. By knowing this information they are likely to be prepared for the stress or other emotions you are enduring from your work life.

The negative is that an EAP is short lived (8-12 weeks) and sometimes clients cannot afford the therapist without an EAP benefits. 

How To Find A Good Therapist Tip 5

Be Open Minded

Teetering the line of “should I go to therapy” and “but nothing is wrong with me” can cause you to have difficulty finding a therapist. As the saying goes “you can lead a horse to water” but we cannot make you attend therapy and gain insight from it.

 As you search for a therapist remember why you needed one to begin with.Allow this thought to motivate you through your journey of finding a therapist and  accomplishing your goals within therapy. 

I hope these tips help you know how to find a good therapist so that you can process any issues and improve your mental health. If you are looking for similar services, reach out, as I provide life coaching and career coaching to improve your mood and life instability.

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