In addition to the different types of therapy we discussed yesterday, there are some at home activities you can do (provided your therapist has approved them) to enrich your professional care and journey toward wellness.
First, start a gratitude journal. But I don’t journal. I hate writing! Don’t worry – this isn’t having to write an entire page every day. It’s a simple two entries a day. In the morning, when you first wake up, grab your pen and journal. Write down three things for which you are grateful, no matter how small that thing may be. As your day progresses, focus on what has made you laugh or smile. Once you have retired to bed each night (even if it’s for two hours), write down at least three things which made you smile or laugh during the day. At the beginning, even just barely cracking a smile counts. This activity is two-fold. First, it forces your brain to refocus on the positive things in your life. Second, it provides physical evidence of the positive influences in your life you can look through on the particularly tough days.
Second, write down all five senses on a sheet of paper. Taste, touch, smell, sounds, and sight. Write down five of your favorite things for each sense. Chocolate, silk, a favorite perfume, a cd or song that makes you smile, favorite color or flower or art. Post the list on the fridge. Treat yourself to at least one thing from EACH SENSE every week. Rotate them out. Putting the list on the fridge helps family members and friends to know what to help keep around the house as well. (Sneaky, I know)
Third, take time for yourself. Schedule it if you have to. One thing I love to do is to dress up my lunch. It’s my quiet time of day and I have been known to make a frozen pizza and a coke look like it belongs on a table prepped by Gordon Ramsey. Lean Cuisine never looked so haute. I’ll also treat myself to the routine of making tea. The key is finding one thing you love and making sure you do it at least once a day. Without interruption.
Some other moms will put positive post-its throughout the house and even in the car to help give them a boost when they need it most.
A successful recovery relies heavily on your active participation. If you’re not participating, you’re not getting better. YOU are the most important quotient in the equation when it comes to journeying toward mental health wellness!
How did you actively participate in your recovery? Have any tips for currently struggling moms? We’d love to hear them!
Be sure to stop back tomorrow for the triumphant return of the Friday Soother, my weekly gift to you!
A few weeks ago, a few of my friends asked me to join them in making and exchanging Gratitude Lists. Every morning we write ten things we are grateful for and send them out to each to each other. Two of us are PPD survivor moms and all three of us are working together to lose weight. Making the list is a great way to put things in perspective and sharing them helps us support one another.
Shower/getting ready time in the morning is my special “take time for myself” part my day.
I think a Gratitude Exchange is an awesome idea! Holds you accountable and definitely helps to support each other!
My special time of day is after the kids are all at school – I get maybe two hours IF I don’t have to run errands. (Today I did so I’m a little grumpy)
Good for you on the gratitude lists AND the time for yourself!
Great ideas! I think I need to try your sensory treat list… what a nice structured way to take steps to pamper yourself.