Life is hectic and often things can feel overwhelming. The washing may be piling up, dishes stacked on the side, and the rubbish bin ready to walk itself out of the house.
However, there are ways of alleviating some of the pressure, and here I share my top tips.
1. Write checklists: I am not ashamed to admit that when the black dog rears his ugly head I lose the ability to prepare meals, to clean, to shower, and even to hold a conversation. The last thing I want to do is climb out of the warmth and safety of my bed, but, sadly, things still need to get done. This is where checklists come in.
When I say this I’m not talking about pages and pages, even a list of 5 things will suffice. The main thing here is that, come the end of the day, you can hold your head up high and be proud of your productiveness and all that you have achieved.
2. Set small yet feasible goals: When it comes to living with mental and physical illness it is important to be kind to yourself and to not push yourself too far.
When it comes to exposure for my agoraphobia I will ensure that any goals set push me enough out of my comfort zone but not so much so that it causes a setback. An example of this is going to town for a coffee and then coming back home again for a nap. If it is a very bad day for me then a goal of mine will be to sit out in the garden for 10 minutes, unless it’s raining of course.
3. Treat yourself: Whether this be something small, such as a new nail polish or a bar of chocolate, or something bigger like a spa day. It is important to spoil ourselves every now and then.
4. Devise a good sleep routine: I’ve always been a night owl but I also know how important sleep is. While I will never be the type of person who climbs in to bed before 9pm I do try to be in bed by 12 and then up between 8 and 9am.
5. Take breaks: This can be a break away, a break from social media, or even a break from those surrounding you. We all need to get in to the habit of allowing ourselves time to just be, and to ‘recharge our batteries’.