Hey Y’all. It’s Erin.
Did you know that October 10th was World Mental Health Day?
This year has been a journey for me to explore how to care for my own mental health.
One of the things that I’ve been talking about in my own therapy sessions is the idea that things which make us happy or reduce stress in our lives are so important.
Way more important that we give them credit.
There are many, many strategies for taking care of your mental health.
I’ve even talked before about self care for parents.
This time I’d like to do a fall round up of things that reduce stress and increase happiness for me.
These are things that have been great for me personally, and may also give you a place to start thinking about things that will reduce stress in your life or bring you loads of happiness.
Back Pack Purse
The first item on my round up is a back pack purse.
My daughter is closer to potty training and is at daycare a lot of the day.
I used to carry around a back pack that I used as a diaper bag.
Now, I just don’t have a need for a huge back pack and big purses were always hard for me.
My boyfriend and best friends were always having to put things in their pockets or purses because I didn’t have anywhere to put my keys or wallet.
A friend of mine suggested that I try a backpack purse and it’s been a game changer for me.
Seriously! It’s so simple, comfortable and convenient.
This has totally reduced my stress because it’s even big enough to fit a diaper or two inside with my wallet, keys, etc.
I’ve always felt guilty about spending money on myself, but this has made me really happy and really been helpful in my day to day life.
This may sound like a silly one, but it’s true.
My girls looooooove playdough.
It’s a great activity for them to do as well. It’s sensory based and really works on their fine motor skills.
Just like painting with your kids, playdough is a great way to support development and creativity.
However, it runs all through me when they mix all the colors together, then trying to fit all the mixed together playdough back into container… it’s awful.
The solution for me was to start making our own play dough.
We can choose the color that we want for the season and add a scent to it for an extra sensory boost. For the fall, we might make a pumpkin spice or cinnamon scented batch!
It also doesn’t start to crumble up as fast as regular playdough and it’s easy to store in a ziplock bag.
Here is a recipe for making your own!
You can even make two different batches. One for inside play and one for outdoor play.
No matter how you look at it, it’s a win-win for me and for the girls.
Any of us who like to read are always looking for book recommendations.
“How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish was recommended to me, and I am soooo passing the torch here.
It’s a little bit older so you can find them used or cheap online.
This book is great because it comes with exercises that you can do to practice.
It also lets you see how the way that we talk to our children might feel if someone talked to us that way.
There’s also some cute cartoons that help illustrate what the authors are talking about.
It’s been really helpful for me.
I’ve taken it a chapter at a time to absorb the information and then try to implement it with my own kids.
Lightening my load
This might seem like an obvious one.
However, it’s one that I struggle with time and time again.
I’ll take on too much, thinking that I’m superwoman.
And it always ends up the same way.
I’m exhausted, burnt out, and bitter.
This fall, I’ve really been focusing on what I can handle and letting go of the rest.
Little kids take so much energy.
I’ve put so much energy other places that there’s hardly anything left for them.
It’s been hard learning how to say “no,” or “not right now.”
This journey to take care of my mental health has really taught me how important this lesson is though.