How I stopped being mental as

stopped being mentalThere are times in my life where the thread that holds me together gets a little thin. At times, I feel mental as.

Throw in some stress, a wild pack of hormones, and a dose of sickness in the house and it’s just a matter of time before the geyser of doom blows.

There are only so many times you can lose your shit uncharacteristically at your kids, or cry whilst sorting the washing before you realise things aren’t right. It’s now that you need to make some changes to get your shizzle back into balance and work out to to stop being mental.

A while ago I riddled with anxiety and I was sad a lot, and I started seeing a therapist in order to get the crazies out, but I also ensured I did a few other things that I know help me maintain a healthy balance.

In case your crazies are threatening mutiny, I thought I’d share what helped me to stop being mental.

Exercise

Double edged sword. You feel shit so you don’t want to go, however, the second you finish you feel amazing so you just need to start.

I’d been letting my exercise slip. Too busy, too tired, and too many appointments were fairly high on the excuse rotation and I found I was only exercising about twice a week.

Caning myself physically helps keep my brain in check, but some people respond better to gentle exercise for brain wellbeing. Three to four times a week helps me to sleep better, focus better and feel better.

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Alcohol

My booze consumption was sneaking up. This happened over a few years, and in the end I was drinking every single day. We all know that we should have a few days off a week, but I was disregarding this fact as I was using alcohol as stress-relief to get through the evening kid routine.

Admittedly, stress at witching hour somewhat elevates without Mother’s little helper, but it’s worth it to be in control of the booze consumption. I now aim to only drink 3 days a week. Note I said aim. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. Human.

Therapy

Speaking to a therapist and getting a few tips on how to cope with the stress of very day life has been extremely beneficial. Even just having a safe space that I can go and vent without fear of hurting anyone’s feelings, or cry without fear of anyone think I’m losing my shit.

Life is stressful, and there will always be worries but learning techniques to keep on top of the pile of poo is pretty darned helpful.

Mindful breathing

Everyone kept suggesting that meditate to calm my bat shit crazy mind…I’m a bloody awful meditator. I have nightmares about my stint in Vipassana so meditating is never gonna happen.

Mindful breathing however is totally cheat’s meditation. You don’t even need to sit still to do it. In fact, mindful activity is pretty cool too.

Just 100% focusing on what I’m doing. Feeling the way my muscles contract to move and the way the air hits certain parts of my skin. 100% in the now. 100% not stressing about stupid shit that’s probably not going to happen.

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Asked for & accepted help

People often suggest they look after the kids, or we catch up for coffee, and I don’t take them up on it for one reason or another, but now I am.

People babysat my kids while I got stuff done, went out for a meal or even one day I had a cheeky massage. I have asked people for regular help, weekly help, and have found that they love to be involved in our lives and it’s actually a mutual exchange whereby everyone wins.

Food

I always eat well, but I also got serious about supplements. I’m really into fish oil as I’ve heard it’s not just good for the body but also the mind.

After I got sick I needed to boost my immunity, and I wanted to help get my mind and body back on track. I ate for energy, and I ate food that I knew I would feel good about eating.

And a little ice cream because that’s good for the soul.

So, am I feeling fighting fit and fabulous?

Mostly.

For the moment.

I also know that there will probably be another episode some time where everything gets too much because I am a natural worrier and life can be tricky.

Now I know that I have the strength to say I need help, and the smarts to go and get it, so I can get about getting shit done as soon as I can.

 If you’re not feeling like you’re coping, or you’re a bit mental as, call a friend or Lifeline 13 11 14

Check out the very entertaining Josh Walters talking about his life with mental health issues.