Three things life has taught me about taking care of myself

I have always been a ‘happy go lucky’ person throughout my life until I had my daughter 11 years ago and unfortunately suffered with post natal depression which led onto longer term depression.

I was in a very bad way for many years and ended up on anti depressants and was addicted to sleeping tablets. My weight ballooned and I was very unhappy.

Fast forward to now and luckily things are very different for me!

It has taken a lot of hard work but I am off all medication and lead a very happy and content life.

There were three main things that helped me change my life and take care of myself:

  1. Diet and exercise
  2. Reading/listening/writing (self help)
  3. Self care

At first I just started walking. This had a huge impact on my mental health. Getting outside in daylight, moving my body whilst listening to music felt amazing! I soon started couch to 5k and my love of running began. I totally got the “runners high” and got a little bit addicted to that feeling after a run ! I then joined a local gym and started weight training for the first time. The running and weight training transformed my body and I am happier with my physique these days.

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on

I also changed my diet (I lost 3 stone). I cut out a lot of processed food and began calorie counting. This also had a huge impact on my mental health – I now realise if you eat rubbish – you feel rubbish!

  1. Reading/listening/writing

Every evening I would read some kind of self help book and start to write down all my feelings. Getting them out of my head and onto paper really helped. I also started to write daily gratitude lists and this really makes you appreciate even the smallest things in life. I also listened to lots of podcasts on positivity and self care etc.

  1. Self care

Although I see the 2 items above as ‘self care’ I also did the following:

  • Removed myself from stressful/negative situations
  • as an introvert I allowed myself plenty of alone time to re-charge
  • Occasionally treated myself to beauty treatments at a salon
  • Spend quality time with family

I now understand that happiness comes from within and no one is responsible for your happiness but you.

I now have the ‘tools’ I need to keep myself on track and know what I need to do to get myself back to my ‘happy place’.

Now I am in that happier place I want to share my story and help others. I have recently set up a private Facebook Positivity group (called LOA/Positivity Community) for like minded positive, happy people!

As they say… “take one step at a time”.

Good luck with your 3 steps!

Andrea is a mum from Walderslade who loves running, finding new self care ideas and helping others keep positive.