During September on Channel Mum it’s Mental Health Month. Channel Mum for those of you who may not know is an online community for parents to share experiences and help each other. When I saw vloggers discussing this topic on Channel Mum’s YouTube channel, it made me think about my own mental health and the ways I help myself when life feels like it’s getting out of control.
Yes, my friends, as my yoga teacher Jessica would say, ‘you are a perfectly imperfect human being’. To me this means all of us have crosses to bare in this life and it’s OK to have problems. We live in a crazy world in which we are constantly surrounded by images and words telling us we need to be perfect when we are far from it. Then we wonder why so many suffer with mental health issues. Hmmm!
For the past eighteen months I have been writing for this blog and in the past year I have been making videos for my YouTube Channel. I have to admit it hasn’t been an easy road and it has challenged my mental health occasionally. My poor husband is normally the one to get the full show of how I’m feeling when I feel like no one is reading or watching. Bless him, he is so patient and he will probably ask politely for a shoulder rub for all his troubles now.
When my husband is not here I have a few things that I like to do when my mind starts racing. Firstly I start by putting my feet firmly on the floor. Sometimes I like to pretend they have roots growing from the bottom which are grounding me to the earth. Then I close my eyes and begin to take a few long slow deep breaths. Deep breathing has been proven time and time again to reduce stress levels and this really works for me.
There are times in my life when I can’t put my feet firmly on the floor. For example, when I’m driving and these are the times I remember my mantras. So most mornings for the past three years I like to get up earlier than the rest of my family to practise meditation. Recently, I have found a series of meditations on YouTube by a channel called Boho Beautiful.
Boho Beautiful have a truly amazing meditation series and in the recordings they have mantras for you to repeat while you sit quietly. To help me remember them I put the expressions on my Facebook page as a status update. When a friend likes the status it helps me to remember the mantra. I like to repeat these in my mind during the day or while I’m driving. These all help me to stay calm and focused on what I’m doing. (Bet you are glad to hear I’m staying focused while driving a car!)
Finally when all else fails I always remember the good stuff I have in my life. So I think about the roof over my head, the clothes on my back, the food we have on our table and my family, especially my son. It took a long time for us to get pregnant but I’m so grateful that we kept trying and we finally fell pregnant. So I always say thank you to myself as well. It makes me smile inside when I remember to say thank you for my life and the blessings in it.
Nowadays when I look back on my life I realise that the struggles I have had to face have served a purpose. Plus the battles I have to come will also serve a purpose. When I feel like no one is reading my blog or watching my videos I now try to remember there may be a reason for it. I may not know what that reason is for a long time but there will be an answer in the future. As long as I’m enjoying it and trying my best then that to me is all that matters. One day I will know why I had to face these fights but for now my life is exactly where it needs to be. I am exactly where I need to be.
(Disclaimer; – Channel Mum have not asked me to write this article because I have exactly 89 subscribers on my channel and 34 followers on my blog. As with everything in this capitalist society it’s the more popular buttons in the box that get picked. However, I just wanted to share my experiences of my mental health because of the Channel Mum’s Mental Health Month. I wanted to be honest about how I came to think of this topic.)