Mental Health Life Hacks

August 28, 2021

Something I get asked often is how I am able to manage my daily tasks with a positive attitude. For those of you who don’t know, on top of mental illness I also suffer from Endometriosis and a mystery joint disorder that is yet to be diagnosed. There are lots of little tips & tricks I have found to trick my brain, and I’d like to share some today. These aren’t your average life hacks!

1. “Ingredients, not recipes” 

A little trick that I am a huge fan of! When you’re feeling down and hungry, but don’t have the energy to have a meal, you simply just eat the ingredients! For instance, say you really want a sandwich, but just can’t bring yourself to make one. You’re allowed to just eat a slice or two of turkey and a slice of cheese if that is what you want to do. A lot of people get caught up on “laziness” but the truth about mental illness is, it’s exhausting. Some days are like fighting an uphill battle, so be sure to feed yourself properly!!

2. Chore Chart (for adults)!

Like feeding yourself, something else that will never end (unfortunately) is cleaning your space/home. This can be especially overwhelming when it has gone for a longer-than-normal amount of time without being kept up with. One thing I’ve found to help me personally stay on track is a chore chart. It doesn’t have to be fancy, unless you want it fancy! The basic idea behind this is doing one small task every day (with a rest day) so that by the weekend (or whatever day you choose) you can have an overall clean and organized house without spending 5 hours in one day doing it. 

An example: Monday – dust 

Tuesday – clean the fridge/pantry 

Wednesday – REST

Thursday – Sweep/mop the floors

Friday – Wash bedsheets 

Saturday – Clean the bathroom

Sunday – Organize

This exact schedule won’t work for everyone, but it has changed my perspective on cleaning my home!

3. Incorporate an evening routine

No matter what your day consists of, you probably get stressed. Whether that be from work, childcare, self care, or all of the above, you will need to learn to unwind. Often, unwinding can be scrolling on your phone as you cook dinner which can lead to social burnout (and burnt food). A better option for this would be doing some light stretches (if you are capable) and turning on some of your favorite music. You don’t have to have a complete, sweat-dripping workout!! Stretching your sore, stressed muscles works just as well and will help your mental state “reset” to say “Okay, I am home now in my safe space. I can relax.” 

Something that a lot of people find difficult to do is not to think about work in the evenings. Here is my mantra: When I am working, I will do the best that I can to solve problems. When I am off, I am off. This is way easier said than done, but it has, without exaggeration, changed my work/home life. I adore my job (Donate to the Westmoreland Food Bank here!!!) But, just like my wonderful coworkers, I am human. Humans need time to unwind and destress. I will get back to problem solving at 8:00! Practice some different evening routines, and when you find one that you like STICK TO IT! 

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