10593119_10152718161539248_6108013694263729061_nNational Mindfulness week…

The average person smiles for just 6 minutes a day in their life-time… Firstly, I read the figures thinking “no way, that can’t be true.” But after the week back at work I’m not too sure. There are so many people on a downer at the moment. Not particularly in work but just people in general. There is no doubt that we do all indeed have a bad day. But when does a bad day become more than just a bad day? It becomes more than a bad day when those bad days continue day after day. When the first bad day starts or even before one begins it’s time to look at ways in which you can keep your mental health in check.

  1. Look at the positives in your life. I bet if you sat and thought about it you would have more to be grateful for than you realise. For instance: friendships, family, children, pride in your children, nice home, car, a good job that pays well, a good job that doesn’t pay well but gives you flexibility – perhaps you are fortunate to have both.
  2. Be kind to yourself.  Most people like to have a nice appearance but don’t obsess.  Everybody has something about them.  Whether it’s physical or mental.  Off the other side nobody is perfect but you can still either try to improve or simply concentrate on what you do have and play to those strengths.
  3. Alongside being kind to yourself, make sure those around you are kind to you too, this is especially difficult in negative environments when you feel as though you are pleasing nobody.  Remember, you have a choice. Stand up for yourself.  It’s not about being sensitive it’s about having your voice recognised.  You are free to tell a person that while you value their opinion that you do indeed have your own and disagree. Remember negative people are being negative for a reason. It is their issue and not yours. In life we do not have to get along with everybody.
  4. Look at the little things around you. Take pleasure in those little things.  Whether it’s a yummy meal, a film, a book, window shopping, a bunch of flowers in the living room, a bar of chocolate, a walk in the park.  Life is full of little things and sometimes in chasing the big things we forget what makes us happy and that is indeed the little things.
  5. Quit being a martyr – I could write a blog on this subject!  Far too many times people are living lives that they are told they must live. If somebody else has suffered then we too must indeed suffer. No. Stop that today.  This is your life.  Do not live it somebody else’s way and then follow by rubbing you being a martyr onto somebody else.  It’s good to have morals and values but it’s good to enjoy living life too.  Quit the martyr – the only person suffering is yourself.
  6. How to quit being a martyr. Ladies we are guilty of it because we are guilty of putting everybody else first and we’re guilty of not recognising our own worth until we reach a breaking point.  Nip it in the bud.  Set time for yourself each and every day. Even if it’s just half an hour.  I spoke to a lady once who raised a large family.  She said that every day she would say: “This half an hour is mine!”  She would sit and read magazines or something that would please herself. She took back some of her life.  This is a difficult balance for families with so many demands.  As a single mother it’s something I’m guilty of but I recognise it and I treasure my time. It’s vital to rest.
  7. Give yourself pocket-money. I can hear you shriek: “Money! Money for myself!” The same lady who told me about her half hour a day ritual said: “This half hour is mine, this £5 is mine.” By doing that, she was not being selfish, she was simply recognising her needs, feeling more fulfilled, less of a martyr and more content with life.
  8. Always remember to stand your ground and stick to your beliefs.  Over time you will get used to this one but it really is your life and nobody has a right to tell you how to live it differently.  People need support and if not…
  9. Find friends in similar situations.  While you can still keep your friends whom you do have in your life.  Life moves forward and friends may not change with you and nor should you expect them to change.  Allow yourself to move forward and grow while making friendships who you can connect with.  It’s often difficult for people to understand what you are going through if they have not been through it themselves and this can often lead to loneliness and isolation. Do not be afraid to make new friends.
  10. Remember socializing is fun.  We spend so much time in front of our computers, ipads, laptops or even on our phones immersed in online interaction.  I am very guilty of this hence why I’ve taken up blogging. But remember there is a real world outside of the four walls.  People, groups, support groups, gym memberships, golf etc… are good for our well-being.