By now I hope everyone who’s going through this challenge with me, has set their intentions for the month.To be honest, I kind of had a challenge with setting mine. I’ve been pretty happy and content of late. I kept wondering what I needed to work on so as to improve on my mental health. I needed to make sure that my recent state of euphoria wasn’t a hindrance at achieving my ultimate goal; eliminating negative and unproductive clutter and eventually,achieve inner peace.

I decided to turn my attention to my weaknesses. The things I didn’t like about myself, things I wished I could change but never did much about them. Pretty much some habits that I had grown to be comfortable with,yet had to go!

This weekend,as I chowed down more than 200 grammes of chocolate, ate a whole lot of fries and threw back several glasses of wine, I realized what I needed. I needed discipline.

I have always thought of lack of discipline in a more external context. Like being naughty and going to work late or breaking the rules. I’d like to start thinking of it as a lifestyle,a way of living. The kind of discipline I want? Well,first of all, the kind that prevents me from eating a whole chocolate factory (if it was possible I’d probably do it lol) and maybe learn to eat a bar of chocolate. One that can prevent me from downing a cask of wine and maybe adjusting to an occasional glass. One that will help me cut down on fried chicken, fried foods and that whole lot of junk I love. Food makes me happy! Well so does wine…but it’s more of a temporary happiness. One that would probably lead to getting high and making bad decisions, such as texting/calling that forbidden person or stuffing my face with all kinds of greasy treats and getting fat! What would that lead to? More mental clutter! Something that I want to get rid of this month.

Furthermore, I require a discipline that motivates me to stay committed, consistent and eventually help me be more organized and develop better,more healthier, relationships with those around me. To enable me to walk away from people or things that nolonger serve me and to achieve my goals. That was my intention for the month.

Here are some of the things we could also get rid of and work on to improve our mental health this month:

1. Learn to manage stress
How? Of course that’s the most significant question when it comes to stress management.  I plan to dedicate a whole blog post to stress management in my next post. Keep posted…and yes, that is an attempt to keep you in suspense so you can keep reading my blog. Guilty as charged.

2. Healthy diet.
I have a massive problem with diets! I’m sure ye food lovers can relate to this. We would all love to eat anything and not get fat! But that’s not really the case here. Our objective is to improve mental wellness. Did you know that food plays a significant role in the development, management and prevention of specific mental problems? Some of them being depression, Alzheimer’s disease, bipolar, ADHD, just to name a few. Another topic I would like to expound on later. Also! Avoid excessive caffeine, especially after 6pm, to prevent anxiety.

3.Talk therapy
To all those gangster wanabee people out there, it’s okay to talk to people about problems! In fact it’s important to do so. We probably think its better to die with our problems than let people know that we’re suffering or hurt. Well, from now on allow yourself to hurt. It’s not about what other people think. It’s about what you need for yourself to heal and improve your health. It’s okay to not be okay! I’m not saying you pour out your issues on social media,please don’t get me wrong!  Find a confidant who you can vent to once in a while. It’s good for the soul. A problem half stated,is a problem half solved.

4.Avoid alcohol,cigarettes&other drugs.
I know I’ll probably lose friends or most of you will unfollow me, merely because of stating that point! But the sad truth, to y’all wine and whisky lovers like me is that these substances and drugs only affect our mental well-being negatively. All the wrong decisions you made and “blamed it on the alcohol” can be prevented by avoiding or realistically reducing, the amount of poison you consume (If I may refer to it as that) Either way, you need to have a sober mind for your cleanse to work out! So it sucks I know! But nothing good comes easy,right?

5. Get enough sleep.
Ever notice how grumpy and groggy you get when you get like two hours of sleep? Your day pretty much becomes longer than you would wish it to be and you become more prone to stress. So getting the much needed sleep is important for our mental well-being. Again,dont get me wrong! I didn’t say you sleep for 10 hours or the whole day! Just enough to keep you functioning with no stress at all.

6.Get a hobby/learn a skill.
An idle mind is the devil’s workshop! When you’re idle, that’s when you remember that lie your boyfriend told you on 3rd July 2014(or whatever) at exactly 7pm. My point? It leads to unnecessary over thinking that leads to stress and anxiety! So get a hobby or learn a new skill,do puzzles (puzzles are known to prevent dementia) and jog your brain to keep it healthy and active.

7.Exercise and meditate.
Put aside at least 30 minutes everyday to exercise or meditate. It clears your mind and helps you get clarity for certain challenges in your life. These practices keep you grounded and help you to center yourself. Most importantly, you shed off those extra kilos you gained when you ate that large pizza by yourself smh.

8.Assess the mess.
What relationships in your life are detrimental to your well-being? What preoccupies your mind most of the time? What distracts you from being spiritually or emotionally fulfilled?
Do some introspection and make healthy life choices by shedding off some negativity in your life! Assess the damage, then set out sort it out.

9.Note your triggers.
After the assessment, you may tend to find that some of our actions lead to certain reactions. So it’s always good to know what sets off our bad habits and keep them at bay.

10. Do something for others.
This is one of my personal favourites. Being there for other people serves as therapeutic. It reminds you that there is more beyond you. That your problems aren’t the end of you and that someone out there needs you just as much as you need someone. It improves moods and definitely,mental well-being. So visit a children’s home or an old people’s home. Donate to a charity. Play with your niece or take out your mum for lunch. Put a smile on someone’s face.

All the best!

Love and light😘😘😘

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