Love yourself – sleep – repeat

How was your January?

Did you kick the year off in style or have a quiet one?

How are your resolutions/ changes/ goals / new habits going?

Big congratulations if you are smashing it!

If it’s not going to plan, don’t worry, read on – you are NOT alone.

Bounce back – it’s what resilience & recovery are all about

Maybe you tried Dry January? (it was 10 years old this year.)

Maybe you’re trying so hard to improve your sleep routine or quality?

Maybe you really want to stick to that new exercise regime?

If you have given yourself the challenge to make a change in your life this year, and it’s not going so well, then this one’s for you…

Only 9% of people manage to keep their new year’s resolutions!

‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear

Get the habit, get back on the horse

If you haven’t already switched to creating a habit, rather than setting a goal, then I encourage you to give it a try. Falling off the wagon is part of the process, and we can expect it to happen at some stage. This means that it’s not a problem when it does happen. We just need to get back on the horse, (so to speak) and start again.

Our mental health recovery journey is a lot like this too – it’s not a linear process & we will inevitably have ups & downs and twists & turns… so that sometimes it can even feel like two steps forward and one back. The key is to stick with it – to be kind to ourselves, pause & try again. It helps so much when we have someone in our corner to support, encourage us and help us see the big picture. Sometimes it’s even better when it’s someone who is on a similar journey – a bit like a gym buddy, just to motivate you on the day that you really don’t feel like showing up.

Once again, I’ll recommend the book ‘Atomic Habits’ to you. It’s by James Clear & I can’t thank this approach enough for me creating success with a new gym plan since Dec (I never miss a session) and with sleeping better too, by simply following through with the habit of getting up 7 days a week at the same time.

If your new habit has dropped off since Jan 2023 – click this link for more info & tips.

Give yourself some love

Love is an emotion that we can feel in many different contexts – intimate partner relationships, family bonds to friends & pets. During February, we can feel overwhelmed with Valentine’s messages & how commercial it’s become lately, especially if we have any feelings of loneliness.

Love is just one of the 87 emotions which Brené Brown explains in her latest book ‘Atlas of the Heart’. Such an interesting & inspiring, insightful book! She writes ‘Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nuture & grow’…. ‘We can only love others as much as we love ourselves’.

Loving yourself is a great place to start for Valentines. Afterall, you are the one person you will spend your whole life with. This is another level up from my own blog some time ago ‘Be your own best friend’

‘If we love ourselves everything else in our life works’

I love the idea in this quote from Louise Hay. It’s a great starting point for many of us living with a mental health condition as we are often so critical of ourselves, our thoughts and our behaviours. One of the signs that can show up for others that we are experiencing poor mental health is when we tend to doubt ourselves, withdraw or our self-esteem is low.

So, spend some time on yourself this February I say – do what you love and love what you do! Increase your self-care and maybe journal as many good things about yourself as you can think of from whatever time in your life, but especially now. We can change our thought process and improve our lives through mindfulness, training our brains with gratitude (as a total change to the negative thoughts so many of us have). Plus, we are much more attractive and loveable to others when we are our best self, confident and when we value ourselves enough to care for ourselves & speak well of ourselves.

We can only love others as much as we love ourselves

Self-care is loving yourself

Self-care is really emphasised in the new & improved Mental Health First Aid course I’m delivering in 2023. We build our resilience & increase the capacity of our stress container when we look after ourselves and schedule in time to recharge our batteries. This is what self-care is.

What will you get yourself for Valentine’s Day? It doesn’t have to be expensive; it doesn’t have to cost anything at all. Just carve out some time, especially for you and do what you enjoy, whether that’s a country walk with your dog, a long soak in the bath, doing some craft or DIY, listening to music you love or watching your favourite film or boxset. Why not cook your favourite meal too and make a proper night of it!? You do you! This is a great habit to start – don’t limit yourself to February, get some quality ‘me-time’ in every week. 

I’ll be making time for a drive in the Landie with my new 2nd dog to my local river and having a mini adventure with a wild swim.

Improving your Sleep

If there has been one game-changer for me in my recovery, it’s when I’m getting quality sleep on a regular basis. More and more research is showing that if you do one thing to improve your physical and mental health – it should be to improve your sleep. More on this later in the year, but for now, have a look at this blog from Dr Sophie Bostock. I’m sure you’ll find some answers and suggestions to improve your own sleep routine. Night night & sleep tight…

Until next time, go well & stay wonky!