A UK BASED FAMILY & LIFESTYLE BLOG

Search

5 Rules I Live By To Help Me To Keep A Positive Mindset

Self-care isn't just a trendy word that is floating about at the moment, it's a real thing that we all need to be making time for daily. 

Being aware of and looking after my mental wellbeing is something I've spent the last few years doing a lot of and one thing I've come to realise about self-care is that it isn't just about making time for spa days or sitting around reading books, it's fundamentally about keeping a healthy mindset and knowing the things that we can each day with little to no time to suit our often fast-paced, fully packed lives, especially as parents!

Here are five vital rules I live by to help me to try and keep positive mental wellbeing, I hope they will also be helpful to you!


1. Challenge negative thoughts

It doesn't matter how positive we are or how much we might be living our best lives, negative thoughts happen to everyone. We might think something bad about ourselves, we might think that somebody thinks badly of us, we might judge someone else or worry about something that we hadn't before. Negative thoughts come in all shapes and sizes. 

I used to be the sort of person that too easily ran away with these thoughts, believing that if I was thinking them then they were probably true. But then I realised that my thoughts weren't always a true reflection of things. In fact, as a sufferer of anxiety, often they were very far from the actual truth. I realised that whilst I couldn't always stop the negative thoughts from entering my head, I had the power to challenge them and to stop them in their tracks. By doing this, I've trained my mind to realise that sometimes things may seem a certain way, but that often I need to take a huge step back and look at things practically before running away with loud negatives. 

2. Channel gratitude 

This one is not just about writing gratitude lists, it's about being able to challenge gratitude, happiness and positivity when you are in the thick of life and when you need it the most. 

You know those moments when you look around you and feel intense happiness, pride and or gratitude. The moments when you feel really happy in your own skin. The moments when you look at your family and think about how lucky you are. And even the moments where you think how lucky you are to have a good job, to have a house and roof over your head, food in the fridge, an education, a car, etc. The moments when you've stopped and really counted your blessings. 

It's about channelling that. Closing your eyes for just a few seconds and thinking about how good you felt. 

You might be feeling frustrated because the kids have been hard all morning, but you're reminded of a moment of when they were playing together nicely or being really sweet or making you proud. You might be comparing your house to someone else's bigger more expensive house, but by channelling your gratitude you're reminded how lucky you are to have what you have. You might be annoyed at someone for something, but by channelling your gratitude you can stop yourself by remembering the amazing moments you've had with that person before. 

3. 'Crack on with it'

I'm the sort of person who has (usually a mental) list of things I need to do which I'll work my way through, but I'm also the sort of person who avoids and put things off that I might be unsure of or that I think might be a little overwhelming. 

I tell myself that I'll do it later on or tomorrow or next week. And then it just hangs over me, feeling heavy. I'll have a niggle in my head until I decide to be brave and tackle whatever it is that needs doing and then once I do it all of a sudden a weight lifts off of my shoulders and I wonder why I didn't do it sooner? 

This rule is about stopping that. It's about just cracking on with things and stopping the unhelpful habit of overthinking, which often provides no benefit whatsoever. 

4. Less guilt 

I genuinely don't know if it's just me, but I really struggle with feelings of guilt, especially ever since becoming a parent and working for myself. I always feel like I *should* be doing something and I find it so hard to fully relax and switch off. 

And it's taken years but I'm finally realising the importance of letting go off guilt and embracing switch-off time. Not only is allowing myself to switch off completely important to my own well being but it's important for all of the other aspects to my life too, such as my children and my work. If I don't take the time to recharge from time to time I become a drained empty battery and then I'm no good to anyone or anything. Much like our phones, to be able to work properly, give energy and achieve results I need to have been able to have some time to recharge. We don't run on empty. 

5. Don't fall into the trap of letting one bad moment/day/week represent the overall

When you're in the thick of any moment it can be really hard to pull yourself out, take a few step backs and remember that this too shall pass. It's incredibly easy to let our emotions rule us and let our thoughts become us. 

I hate the mornings that I rush the kids out of the door for school or when I might become snappy or not patient enough because they've not listened to me about putting shoes on. Or when I've been tired and not wanted to play. Or when I've just been a bit of a shouty Mum that day. There have been many mornings when my children have left for school or evenings when they've gone to bed and the calm has been restored in the house and the frustration has passed where I'll sit and feel like I got it wrong, that I wasn't patient enough, or that I shouldn't have shouted and in that moment I'll beat myself up, I'll feel like a bad Mum, so far from the Mum I wanted to be. And in that moment, I am falling into the trap of letting one bad moment/day/week represent the overall. 

Because by calling myself 'a bad Mum', what I'm really doing is letting one bad morning represent six and a half years of motherhood. And when I look at it like that and take a few steps back to evaluate the actual situation and the overall picture, I can see that what I'm telling myself isn't at all fair. 

I am a good Mum, a great Mum in fact. I am overall patient. I am overall not grumpy or shouty. I'm simply human, and the fact that I care so much to reflect on how things could be better shows how much of a good Mum I really am. But it is so easy to get lost in that moment and to let my emotions overcome me and blind me from the overall fair and honest truth. 

And now I always aim to remind myself before I fall into the trap of letting one bad moment, day or week determine something for its entirety, to take a massive step backwards and re-evaluate the overall picture. 

I hope this post has been helpful. Please do leave a comment down below and let me know what helps you to keep a positive mindset. 
Thank you for reading. 
  Alex xo

1 comment

  1. I loved reading this Alex — I feel just the same. I think it's easy to let negative thoughts rule at this time of year (I really struggle with the dark, short days). Number 5 on your list is such a good mantra!! I've been trying to keep out the negative thoughts at bay, being thankful for small things... but DEFINITELY have my eye on the spring when I know things will start to feel easier and happier!! X

    ReplyDelete