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Essential Mental Health Upgrades: Non-Negotiables for a Better Life

It feels as if the Universe is telling me that I need to dig deeper. That I need to take more steps to heal on a deeper level. 

There seems to be a nudge from all over that I just can’t keep moving forward the way that I currently am and the way that I have always known. And so I am learning to listen. 

Listen to what my body is telling me.

Listen to the whispers of guidance I am hearing. 

Listen to that little voice inside that is getting louder and louder. 

THE JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND STEPS BEGINS WITH ONE

In 2014, I took the first steps on my mental health journey. I started blogging in October of that year and my life changed. I was given a voice and a platform that I had built to share my story. 

It was powerful.

It was the beginning of a journey that would lead me to where I am now. 

Mental health wasn’t a topic that I really talked about or even had an inkling to learn more about. 

I just wanted to get out of my head. 

I just wanted to be able to look at myself in the mirror and not think awful things about who I was.

I just wanted to know who I was.

I just wanted to feel whole again.

I can now look at myself in the mirror and know that this woman staring back at me in more powerful than ever. It took years to get to this point. Days upon days of doing the inner work that I needed to do to be able to embrace the Samantha of now. 

Healing doesn’t end. There is no destination that I am aiming for but I do know that my body is begging me to once again, take the journey inward so that I can become aware of where I need to heal even more.

These past few weeks, I have not been the positive and happy woman that I usually am. I am feeling dark and depressed. This isn’t new and these feelings come and go. It is part of the process that I am working through. 

Sharing my goals and my list of 101 things that I want to achieve in the next 1001 days, I believe, has led me to make this list of things that I need to add to my life. These are going to help me to focus on pieces of myself that need work as well as give me some freedom. 

Freedom to take a break when I want to.

Freedom to say no when I just don’t have the energy.

Freedom to be even more myself.

Freedom to show my children that you can create the life you want and continually improve who you are. 

There is beauty in the ugly and in the struggle. This is where the magic happens and I am so ready to become magical!!

Mental Health Upgrades

MENTAL HEALTH UPGRADES THAT I AM ADDING TO MY LIFE

Since August 1, my husband and I have been doing a wellness challenge. It ends on September 15 and there are so many things that I have learned about myself through this challenge. 

I HATE hardcore workouts. It doesn’t bring me joy so I have been completely avoiding doing my workouts for this entire challenge. I want to find a more gentle approach to working out my body. I have added simple things to my daily activities like walking with the dog and kneeling squats but I do know that I need to take it up a notch. 

I WON’T do it if you make me feel like I have no choice. I don’t consider myself a stubborn person however, I don’t want to be made to feel like I am pushed into a decision. I want to do something because I want to do it NOT because someone else is telling me that I need to do it. 

I NEED to feel like I am making a difference. Whether I am making a difference in my own life or in the lives of others, I need to feel like what I am doing matters. Maybe it is because I am an emotional human. I just know that when things feel off and not in alignment, I can’t do them.

I AVOID doing things that I love because I don’t want to inconvenience others around me. Oh yes! I said it. I am not really a people pleaser but there are times that I avoid things because someone else is asking me to do something or I don’t want to ruffle feathers. 

Now are you ready to hear what I am going to be adding to my life moving forward? Let’s dive in!

1] Fridays the kids make dinner. 

Not only are they going to make dinner but they need to make the grocery list and stick to a budget. They choose the meal that they will make and all three of them will work together to make it for us as a family. 

I am super excited for this to start on Friday, September 15. They already chose what they are making and the groceries have been purchased. 

2] Husband making dinner on Saturdays and Sundays

Meal planning, prepping, and cooking take up so much of my time. It is something that I LOVE to do but when it is ONLY me that is doing it, it can get frustrating. It takes the fun out of something that I love. 

My solution is to split up the tasks. With the kids doing dinner on Fridays and my husband doing them on the weekends, it only gives me four days a week when I have to create the meals. I am hoping that this is going to give me a bit more time to do some other things and also teach my other family members how much work it is to do it.

3] Family breakfasts on Sundays

This is something that we used to do all the time and when I started working at my previous job, we stopped. I found myself working tons of weekends and I just didn’t make it a priority. I LOVE making a big family breakfast so this is coming back. It is going to give us an extra meal during the week to eat together as a family as well as try new recipes. 

4] Weekly cleaning night as a family

It feels like cleaning takes up the majority of my time spent at home. Just like cooking, it feels like it never ends. I got this idea from one of the technicians at work. He and his wife recently got married and when we were out as a company for dinner, he said that they take one night per week to clean the house so they don’t have to do it on the weekend. They can enjoy the time they have together on the weekends. 

I absolutely love this idea and I am going to try and incorporate it into our house. Now with three kids, it may not work out quite the same but we are going to give it a go and see what happens.

5] Prep more snack foods for the week

At my most recent grocery shop, I purchased the Made Good bars as they were on sale. I reminded my children that these bars were for lunches. Somehow they are almost gone. As I was scrolling through Pinterest, granola balls came across my feed. 

I love being in the kitchen and I want to bring my kids back in with me and teach them how to create some magic and fall in love with cooking and baking. I will say though, I wish that the weekend had three days instead of two. HAHAHAHA

6] Create a morning routine

I had a morning routine that I loved but lately, my husband and I have been carpooling to work. We work about five minutes from each other so it makes sense BUT this means that my morning routine no longer exists. 

I HATE early mornings. Just the other day as I was walking Nova around the block, one of my neighbours was outside getting in his car. It was still dark out as it was 6 a.m. He said good morning to me and then he said, “I want to know why we are awake this early in the morning. Why is anyone awake this early?” 

I laughed and I agreed with him because I am not a morning person so being fully functional at 6 am just brings me no joy!

I need to find a morning routine that I can easily incorporate into my 5 a.m. wake-up call that isn’t going to make me miserable for the remainder of the day. If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them!

7] Ground daily

Winter is coming fast for Alberta so I am not quite sure how I am going to do this through the winter but for now, while the weather is beautiful, I am going to go out in my backyard and ground. There are days when Iliza and I will go for a walk and we will stop at the top of the hill, take off our shoes, and stand there and ground with our eyes closed. She loved doing that with me. 

8] Write a daily Things To Release list

I hold onto things. I torture myself by replaying things that were said to me over and over again until the anger is unbearable and I have to complain to someone. Typically my friend Jody is the one that hears these complaints through our daily messaging. 

I am going to create a place in my notebook where I can create this list. I already have a gratitude list that I write but now I want to remind myself what I need to release. I think this is going to help me get out of my head and live more in the moment.

9] Make my bed every morning

The days that I make my bed, I love coming home and seeing how organized and put together my bedroom looks. It is something that takes me about two minutes to do but I often find an excuse not to do it. 

I want my bedroom to be my oasis and taking a few minutes to make my bed, it is a great way to get in that mindset. 

As I navigate going deeper into my healing process, I am trying things that I think will work. I may find that these aren’t what I am needing right now but it is a process of trial and error. If you are looking for a coach who can help you with your mental health, reach out to Shelly with Mistic Freed Coaching.

Are there non-negotiables that you have in your life that improve your mental health? I would love to hear them!

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Christine
2 months ago

I love these ideas! A things to release list is such a good idea and I love the grounding practice as well! My partner makes dinner 3 days a week and I agree splitting up the cooking duties is so helpful as well.

Maya Richard
2 months ago

A nonnegotiable I have is my affirmation playlist. It’s literally how I was able to shift my mindset into an empowered one and shift my tendency to easily identify the negatives into easily identifying the beauty in life.

I have never related to someone more than when you said cooking so much has kind of stolen the joy of cooking from you. That’s exactly where I’m at. Lol!

Anyways, thank you for writing this post!! 🫶🏽😊

Sheenia Denae | Lifestyle Blogger

Thanks for sharing your journey and such inspiring insights, great read!

Giada
2 months ago

I feel you: it’s not hard to hate those early mornings – especially if you live in Alberta, where I bet it’s freezing already! I’d say that a good rule of thumb to start enjoying more your mornings would be to follow the rule I mentioned in this article https://purposefuldreamers.com/tips-to-waking-up-early/ and just “add one thing at a time”. On the first day, have only a 5-minute ritual (like sipping your coffee in peace), the next day wake up 10 minutes earlier (drink coffee + read). Take the proper time to adjust, then keep adding things up as it feels good for you 🙂

Tracy McHugh
Tracy McHugh
2 months ago

Great post! Thanks for sharing your story. Love even the little tasks like making the bed each morning

Melanie
2 months ago

I love how you have found what works and what doesn’t work for you. If you love doing something then you’re more likely to stick to it. I love getting out into nature. That’s grounding to me.

Brandi Sunrises2Sunsets

ooooooh, I love these ideas. Implementing some of them in my home starting today!

Jennifer
2 months ago

I know how you feel…I’m still there. I’ve just started my healing journey. I love your list of things mental health upgrades! Such a good idea!

Richard Lowe
2 months ago

These are wonderful ideas because they engage everyone in the family routine. this will build a stronger family unit.

Karen
Karen
2 months ago

I love it!!! Baby steps, I’ve always said that. Baby steps are a lot better than no action at all. A lot can be achieved with small steps.

Catherine
Catherine
2 months ago

I think these are some great ideas moving forward to help with your mental health!

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