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:
- Diet and exercise
- Reading/listening/writing (self help)
- 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.
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!
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.
- 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.