Ok, guys. Here we go with part II of my “twelve tips for mental wellness” post. If you haven’t read part I yet, check it out here. All caught up? Good.
As you know, this “part II” post goes over #7 through #12 of my twelve tips, but I also want to use this post to introduce my “year of genuine mental wellness” campaign. Let me explain. So when I realized my fave tips totaled twelve, I started thinking about focusing on each tip for a month (12 months in a year!). I only scratch the surface with each point here, so why not delve more deeply into each one over the course of the year. Sounds fun, right?? Please reach out to me if you relate particularly to one (or more) of the twelve, I’d love to do collabs during the campaign in order to get & give some different points of view. You can also DM me on Insta about it (@radiatefoodvibes). And with that, I present to you my final six of twelve tips for genuine mental wellness.
7. Make mantras
Creating mantras is my favorite way to make progress on a particular struggle point. I’ll spend hours, even days, playing around with mantras until I get it right. From morning mantras that allow me to feel balanced & centered, to anti-comparison mantras that counteract the pitfalls of social media, mantras are an amazing tool. They are a way to organize inner thoughts & hopes for yourself in a clear & concise way. I say the same mantra while meditating every morning, and I love starting my day with a personal, positive & meaningful message to myself.
8. Lower expectations
Setting high expectations for something, whether consciously or unconsciously, is only setting yourself up to be let down because when does anything ever go as planned? It’s like when they say, “hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” This honestly couldn’t be more true! When I’m going into a situation or experience, I am super mindful of my natural expectations. And if the expectations seem even slightly difficult or unlikely to meet, I lower them. This is particularly important for bigger life events (weddings, new jobs, vacations, first dates, etc). Lowered expectations generally go one of two ways – either the moment goes as expected or the moment exceeds your expectations. Isn’t that so much better than either the moment going as expected or going worse than expected? I think so.
9. Live in the present
I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about the future. Whether worrying about finances, where we’ll eventually settle down or career success, I previously spent more time focusing on the future when I should’ve been enjoying the present. The truth is, tomorrow isn’t promised, and I’ve spent a lot of time wishing I was where I am right now, so why not enjoy it. This realization has freed my mind significantly. Matt & I have seriously reduced the amount of time we spend talking about the future, because while it’s essential to plan ahead, it’s also essential to love your life in this very moment, and there needs to be a conscious effort to do both.
10. Take the pressure off
I’ve been known to put a lot of pressure on myself. I put pressure on myself to keep my home spotless, to be successful in my career, to look good, to have a big social media following, to build the perfect family, to basically “have it all.” Yikes. When I put it like that, I’m like “Why are you doing this to yourself?? You’re the only one who cares about your clean apartment & the number of followers on your instagram.” I love that I’m driven, and I love that I want to achieve success in more ways than one, but feeling pressure to achieve ridiculous expectations (see #8) and feeling so much pressure to create a perfect future that I can’t just enjoy the present (see #9) doesn’t allow me to just be…EVER. Instead, I focus on trusting myself. I trust that my sharp mind will keep me focused on my goals, even if I need to take a few steps back for a bit. I trust that I am a tidy, organized person, even if I have a messy apartment for a week. I trust that I am a genuine, smart & unique individual, even if my Instagram following goes down.
11. The best things take time
I’ve given up on instant gratification. Expecting any results without persistence and a bit of time is foolish. This point actually became clear to me several years ago when I wanted to be genuinely healthier so I switched to a real food, plant-forward diet. I didn’t see a tangible result for almost a year before realizing my weight was down, my skin was clear & I was feeling consistently strong. I wanted to get in better physical shape so I committed to pilates classes without expecting results. After a couple months of consistency, I noticed my body transforming. Another example, I felt I needed a consistent, nourishing & productive morning routine, and this routine is still falling into place as I realize what works for me and what doesn’t. My point is, anything worth anything takes time, so take the pressure off to achieve immediate success (see #10) and give it freakin’ minute.
12. Wake up early
I’m not a natural morning person. I love being in bed, especially in the morning, but getting up early and having some extra time to myself before jumping into my day is invaluable. It gives me a chance to tidy up, enjoy my coffee, eat breakfast, meditate, send clear-headed emails, listen to the news and chill. Whatever it is that I need to do on a given day becomes a lot less stressful and more manageable when I’m not mindlessly rushing through the morning. Repeat after me, “better morning, better day.”