Three Good Things

Writing down three things that make you happy, that you’ve accomplished, that you’re proud of or just made you smile a little can make a difference on your mental wellbeing. Since mid August, I have been practicing this technique every night. It’s gotten to the point where it feels strange if I don’t do it. I have a dedicated notebook for it and I wanted to share why writing three good things every day is something we should all do.

I intend to carry this on, all year around as I think it will be helpful. However, since the festive period can get very hectic or stressful, I wanted to share this now. The holidays, whilst meant to be full of joy and happiness, can easily become a bit overwhelming. It can become costly, or just busier than usual. So this idea is very simple, minimal cost method of allowing yourself to rest, relax and recuperate. To find the joy in the smallest moments and remember what is important to you or makes you feel good. Because despite how busy life gets, it can also be wonderful.

Blogmas Three Good Things

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The Mental Health Benefits of Doing Art

Mental Health Benefits of Doing Art

I am super excited to share this fantastic guest post with you. Today, we have Kate from All The Trinkets talking about creating and the mental health benefits of doing art. Since it’s also National Craft Month, it only seemed right to talk a little about how being creative can have an amazing impact on your wellness. Who better to do it than this kickass female blogger on International Women’s Day?

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DIY Self-Care Tracker

The past few days have been hard for me.  I woke up yesterday with a reaction on my face.  It was painful and I had no idea how to fix it.  I spent most of the day applying a cold flannel to my face.  As a result, it calmed down a little.  Luckily I had today off work.  My plan was to blog all day.  Yet that obviously didn’t happen.  In fact, I spent most of the day in bed.  With Netflix on.  Being grumpy.  Not only is it causing me pain, it’s really affecting my mental health.  Self-esteem has never been my strong point.  Having burn marks certainly hasn’t helped.  While I could complain about it, this post isn’t about that.  Perhaps if I was a beauty blogger, I’d talk about it.  But I’m definitely not one.

And after spending all day in bed, I decided to get up and do something I could do.  I can’t magically remove burn marks.  They will take their time to heal.  I cannot rush that.  What I can do, however, is play with stationery and practice self-care.  Self-care comes in many forms.  I cannot tell you what it means to you – no one except yourself can.  There’s plenty of non-stationery related ideas, such as having a bath or going for a walk.  I’ve also listed some stationery related ideas in a previous post – my stationery self-care challenge.

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A Year of Notes to Yourself

Today has been a very “mental health” day for me.  This essentially means that I actually took time to think or talk about mental health problems or wellbeing.  It means, I spent a lot of time focusing on my own mental health today.  “Mental Health” days are really important I think.  You don’t have to go out of your way to do something.  It’s more about pausing for a moment and reflecting.  How’s your mental health recently?  Have you been looking after it?  Is there anything you can do to improve it?  Sometimes I think we forget to do this.  Physical health is usually easier to recognise, simply because if you’re in pain then you’ll know.  Although, it’s a bit like checking for any lumps or bumps or going for regular check ups.  I think mental health is something that’s easily neglected.

So today, upon reflection, I’ve decided to try and write some little notes full of love to myself.  I’m hoping to spend the next year filling a jar with things that matter.  Then, at the end of next year, pull them out and read them.  Alternatively, if I go through a rough period or have a low day, grab a few to read.  It will be full of happy memories, good thoughts, gratitude and lots of love.

I really wanted to address this today because I think we often forget about ourselves in the holidays.  Sometimes we get so busy trying to please others, buying them the perfect gifts or worrying about money that we just forget to pause for a moment.  Christmas is one of my favourite holidays but it’s not always easy.  It comes with financial concerns, stress, a mad rush, pressure and sometimes also loneliness.  It’s definitely not easy – especially when everyone around you might seem like they are having a great time.  I don’t have much advice in how to make Christmas better if you experience any of those things.  However, one thing I can always promote is self-care.  This is one way of helping your future days be a bit happier, I think.

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Take a break, cut yourself some slack, take some time out

As a blogger, cutting yourself some slack is actually pretty difficult if you’re anything like me.  It’s hard to just let things go, when you expect better of yourself.  I always want to be productive and be able to say I’ve achieved something useful today.  Not being a full time blogger has it’s own set of advantages or disadvantage.  A con is that you have to make time to blog, outside of all of your other commitments.  You have to work full-time elsewhere or study alongside it, as well as having family responsibilities or social commitments.  This means I set myself regular goals and tasks that I expect I should do within a given time period and not doing them means things build up.   Last week, I had several tasks that I planned to do every evening, after work.  These tasks vary from chores to blogging related activities.

And honestly? I did zero of those things.  Literally none of them.  Nada.  Zilch.  In fact, I didn’t even attempt to do most of them.  I was at work in the day time, which meant I was out of the house on the weekdays.  I would got home, exhausted.  I’d sit around and think about the things I had to do that evening.  Then I realised I was way too tired to function properly and would end up sleeping instead.  They were meant to be short naps but the snooze button became my best friend in the evenings and I kept hitting it until I had to get up – just to have dinner.

And that’s okay…

Normally, I would feel down at this point. I would regret that I wasted so much time and had lots of unproductive evenings.  I would feel guilty, knowing full well that I was behind on the week’s tasks – that I would struggle to meet the goals for this week.  But I didn’t.  When I decided to sleep I made a conscious decision.  I choose to look after my mental and physical health over anything else.  My own well-being was far more important than blogging in those moment.  Don’t get me wrong, I love writing posts for this blog.  But it’s not something I want to become a chore. It’s a fun task, relaxing even and it makes sense to write when I’m actually in the right mindset to be able to write.  Last week, I could barely remember my own name, let alone actually construct sentences.

I’ve been working a lot in the past few weeks, had a lot going on in my personal life and even had a really busy time with my blog.  Even with the blog related things, I haven’t had a chance to share most of it on here yet – don’t worry, it’s coming – but if you’re following me on instagram or twitter then you may have seen some snapshots of what I’ve been getting up to.  I’ve been to two trade shows, a planner convention and a VIP launch event – all simple because I love stationery and blogging.  I also have a pages of blog post ideas – so I don’t think I’ll run short any time soon.  In fact, I should be going to the Cross Sports Book Awards this evening too but sadly will end up missing it to go to the hospital.

That’s been alongside working extra hours to meet some deadlines at work, including the organisation of a launch party and tons of promotional materials that made me want to not look at computers for a while. I love designing and social media but after the weeks I’ve had at work, I kind of needed a bit of a break from it.  So I took those few evenings to sleep, recuperate and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all.

Remember to allow yourself a break

I wanted to share this little story with you as a reminder that it’s okay to have a break.  In fact, you should have one.  It’s good for you.  Taking some time out has helped me to think clearer.  It’s given me some time to stop thinking about today’s to do list but rather to think about the bigger picture.  I’ve come up with even more ideas or goals that I want to achieve by giving myself that space to step back and observe it.

With all of the tragedy in the news these days, it’s perhaps even more important to take some time to look after yourself and your mental well-being.  There’s so much overwhelming sadness in the papers or recent events, it’s heart breaking.  I’ve cried countless times whilst reading the news – especially in .  It’s truly heartbreaking and my thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected by these tragedies.

I’ve spoken about the importance of self-care often but I think it’s something a lot of us neglect.  We forget about doing it.  Often, we’re so busy looking after others that we forget to make time for ourselves.  But honestly, if you’ve decided you’re going to have a nice relaxing bath tomorrow after work, put on some music and drink a glass of wine then do it.  If your friend wants to go to the cinema, don’t reschedule your bath time.  Put it in the diary, treat it like a priority.  Most people don’t cancel on plans they’ve made with friends or colleagues but are happy to cancel on their own plans.  I admit, there are times when you do need to be flexible and alter your plans.  But you do also need to pay attention to how much time you actually spend taking a break.