At the beginning of March, I did a lot of work to start improving myself (and by doing so, improving my mental health). This was inspired by the spring-cleaning that my boyfriend and I did. I found that living in a clean space made me feel more motivated than I had in awhile. So I decided that I should make some self-care goals for the month of the March.
I think that I did a good job working towards most of my goals. I only wish that I had referred to the goals I had written down in my journal. I did most of the things from memory, not really consciously thinking about them. I think that I will make some self-care goals for over the summer and make sure that they’re posted in a place that I’ll look at it regularly.
I may not have done as well as I would have liked but it’s a good step in the right direction. These self-care goals are important to me because the last thing that I want to do is fall back into my old habits of not taking care of myself. Things have been amazing lately. I feel more in control of my mental health, even on my off days. And those days haven’t been as bad as they used to be.
Last month was a good step forward for my mental health. I think I’m going to make self-care goals every season, especially in months where I noticed that I get more depressed. I enjoy making plans that I can reflect on later. I always feel so accomplished, even if I only partly completed my goal.
An organized house = an organized mind
One thing that I’ve always believed is that the state of your living space reflects the state of your mind. When I’m in a good place, cleaning comes to easy to me. It’s natural to want to keep a clean area. But when the depression hits, I lose motivation to do anything that involves getting out of my bed.
Goal 1: Don’t let dirty clothes pile up. Do a load of laundry as soon as the basket is full. Don’t let it accumulate to more than 1 load.
I was mostly successful in making sure that I stayed on top of laundry this month. Last week, I did let it pile up a little bit past a load (while focusing on final projects for school). But, as soon as I was finished my last day of classes, I quickly got caught up on laundry again. I don’t want to let that happen again though because nothing stresses me more than the never-ending day of laundry, especially since I have to walk down four flights of stairs to get to my washer and dryer.
Goal 2: Stay on top of dishes. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by dirty dishes by never skipping a day of dishes.
I wish that we did better job staying on top of dishes because some days we didn’t do dishes. But we never let it get bad enough that it wasn’t easily solvable the next day. Which I consider a success! It was a bit unrealistic of me to say, “Never skip a day of dishes” because I’m human and don’t like doing dishes when I’m sleepy after a long day. But, overall, I think I was successful in not letting dirty dishes overwhelm me and completely take over the kitchen counter for an extended period of time.
Clean exterior = clean interior
There’s nothing more satisfying than the feeling you get after you get out of the shower/bath. But, I’ll admit, that when depression strikes (even when I’m still in high-functioning mode) my motivation for personal hygiene suffers. It takes a lot of energy to get out of bed and my mind always comes up with ways to procrastinate showering, usually leaving it to the last possible minute and going to bed with wet hair.
Goal 3: Shower early in the night or in the morning before you go out. Commit to when you plan to shower and don’t let yourself find ways to talk yourself out of it.
I have been doing a lot better with following through with my plans to showers. I’ve gotten up early in the morning to shower because I promised myself I would, which was my biggest success. I normally shower at night because I enjoy getting as much sleep as humanly possible before having to get up and ready for the day. I’ve been taking much better care of myself lately and it’s definitely helped to improve how I feel on a day-to-day basis.
Working mind = happy mind
Sometimes I’m not able to read as much as I’d like to. I have noticed that the more I read, the better I feel during the week. I normally read on my commute to work. But when I’m at home, I get sucked into a never-ending spiral of binge-watching TV shows on Netflix (especially now that Gossip Girl is back on Canadian Netflix). I need to stop myself from wasting hours of prime reading time by redirecting that time and energy into reading a book.
Goal 4: Read every day. Even if its only a chapter during your commute or on your day off. Try to read at least two chapters if you have the time.
This goal I was completely successful in. I read at least a chapter on my commute and on my days off. But, more than that, I’ve been reading a chapter almost every night before I go to bed. It helps that I’m reading books that I’m really interested in and don’t feel rushed (yet) to finish my yearly reading challenge. I feel good about reading more last month and want to get into a habit of constantly reading.
Goal 5: Read 2 books in March.
Although I didn’t read 2 books cover to cover in March, I did finish 2 books in this month. One of the books I had started in January and was slowly reading until the start of March. The other book that I read was almost a thousand pages, so I’m very proud of myself for being able to finish it in the month (I was starting to lose hope close to the end). But, my constant reading and success of my previous goal definitely helped me complete this goal.
Do you have a mental health plan? What are your current self-care goals?