I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve had quite a few challenges when it comes to managing my mental health. Truthfully speaking, after the last two and a half years we’ve had, I am not alone. None of us are immune to experiencing burnout, depression, anxiety attacks, or full-on psychotic breaks. I believe that now more than ever it’s important to prioritize your mental health and well-being. Want to know the trick? You have to learn how to master your mind. In order to do that, you have to do the work to change your mindset. Keep reading to learn about 5 mindset shifts that I made to improve my mental health.
The Power of Shifting Your Mindset
Your mind can be your own worst enemy, I know that it was mine. It can influence your energy, motivation, mood, decisions, habits, relationships – pretty much your entire existence. Your limiting beliefs can and will leave you stuck. If you really want to see the change that you’ve been desiring for so long, you have to do the work to shift your mindset. Doing so can decrease your anxiety, give you peace, and improve your relationships and your overall quality of life, but it all starts with you.
In my post “9 Important Questions to Ask When Seeking Therapy” I opened up about my own personal struggles with my mental health and my desire to overcome those challenges. Between being overworked, trying my best to survive the pandemic, and feeling depressed I had a serious mental breakdown and didn’t know if I’d ever find my way out of it.
I’ve spent the last year and a half doing some serious work to make meaningful changes. That involved being committed to showing up for myself, being vulnerable, doing the work to unpack my trauma, and unlearning unhealthy behaviors and mindsets that I was so accustomed to. Very early on, my therapist made it clear that in order to make meaningful changes, I have to retrain my mind and my thoughts. I really had no idea how mean I was to myself. It impacted how I would show up for myself and others every day. So, I slowly started shifting my mindset. I would start off my day with telling myself how much I loved myself in the mirror, complimenting my body and appearance, then I’d go through the day and give myself pep talks. Over time I’ve built my self-esteem, self-confidence, and mental well-being from there.
Just the other day during one of my Sunday morning walks, it suddenly occurred to me how far I’ve come mentally. I’ve evolved so much and I am so amazed! The way that I handle tough situations, whether it’s conflict, challenges at work, or not always feeling my best is like night and day. I finally feel like everything has come full circle.
5 Mindset Shifts I Made to Improve my Mental Health
I just want to note that this list is in no particular order. For a very long time, I was consumed with limiting and self-sabotaging beliefs. It’s amazing how mean and negative we are towards ourselves. Since making these changes, I’ve replaced my old limiting beliefs with empowering ones. Check it out these mindset shifts and feel free to give it a try!
I Don’t Have Time → I have plenty of time
I think many of us fall victim to this mindset! I won’t lie, this is still one that I am actively working on. Here’s the thing though, we have plenty of time. It’s just how you use it. Many of us are wasting our time doing things that make us unhappy, spending time with people that drain us, procrastinating, and being distracted by the idea of losing time. The truth of the matter is that we make time for what we want to make time for. It’s that simple!
Here’s What I’m doing
I’ve done a lot of work to set boundaries with work, relationships, and myself. I’m extremely mindful about how I spend my time and if I am making the most of it. I am able to do that by being self-aware. I am always in tune with how tasks, settings, and situations make me feel. I started doing more of the things that made me happy, and less of the things that didn’t. I also started to review my commitments and PRIORITIZE them. As we go through life, our needs, wants and priorities will indeed change.
I’m Not ______ Enough → I am More Than Enough
Stop letting your mind be consumed with feelings of lack. Many of us feel like we have to be perfect in everything and that’s simply not the case. Truth is we all have to start somewhere! Life is a journey and it’s about how you are able to use what you have to get where you’re going.
Here’s What I’m doing
I try my best to start my day with positive affirmations and thoughts. I remind myself that I am capable. I remind myself of how far I’ve come and I tell my inner hater to shut the hell up! She still shows up from time to time, but I’ve never felt more empowered.
Here are some books I read that have helped me shift my mindset in a healthy and impactful way. Check them out!
I Can’t Put Myself First→ I Can Put Myself First
So many of us believe that we can’t put ourselves first, and that’s the main reason why we feel so depleted all of the time. We go through life distracted by our responsibilities, commitments, and relationships that we forget to show up for ourselves. Doing so will catch up with you, it always does! You’ll find yourself being full of resentment and drained. You won’t be any good to anyone if you’re not good to yourself first!
Here’s What I’m doing
I used to wake up every day and dive right into work, taking care of the house, running my business, and being there for my loved ones. I barely had time to think let alone take care of myself. In turn, I started to neglect doing the things that would fill me up. So now when I wake up, before even getting out of bed I tune in with myself. I assess how I am feeling and then I ask myself what do I need today? Sometimes that might be a yummy latte from Starbucks, others it’s an intense journaling session or a very slow morning. Whatever that thing is I do it because truth is, life will not stop and all the commitments that I have will still be there AFTER I take care of myself first.
I Can’t Rest Until I Reach My Goals → I Can Make Time For Rest & Reach My Goals
Hustle culture has really done a number on us all and I hate it. It’s so toxic and dangerous. Many of us know this, but we often fall victim to it. Why do we feel that we’re not allowed to rest? Rest is essential to a healthy life! It’s one of the ways that we can ensure that we show up as our best selves so that we can put our best foot forward.
Over the last few years, I haven’t been able to rest without feeling guilty for it. I’d take a much-needed day or two off but in the back of my mind, I’d be panicking about all the things I COULD be doing that I wasn’t. I’d be so consumed with this guilt that I couldn’t even rest! Instead, I’d be in a constant state of angst. Before I knew it my break was over and I’d be back into the cycle of work.
Here’s What I’m doing
Now I prioritize my rest and make time for it. I do this in a number of ways. As I mentioned in my last point, I always make sure to check in with myself and assess what I need at that moment/day. If I feel the need to rest, then I will rest and I refuse to apologize for it. Also, I purposefully do not work on weekends anymore. I leave my calendar open to do as I please. Whatever is not done on Friday is put up on the shelf until next week, no harm no foul.
Setting Boundaries is Wrong → Setting Healthy Boundaries is Vital in My Life
Having clear and healthy boundaries is an act of self-care… period. There is nothing wrong with having boundaries and setting them. What areas in your life do you feel are completely out of your control? I can just about guarantee that whatever those areas are… boundaries are lacking. If you want to want to get more control over your life and your happiness, set those boundaries and stop feeling so bad about it. Also, you shouldn’t feel guilty for having and setting healthy boundaries. It’s the one thing you can do to protect your peace and happiness. Because at the end of the day, our peace, joy, and happiness are no one else’s responsibility but our own. We have to ensure that we always remember that.
Here’s What I’m doing
One day I decided to assess all the areas of my life and what made me feel drained. No lie, I sat down and made a list…surprisingly it was pretty damn long! I then took that list and reviewed each item one by one and asked myself what boundary can I implement here? This included duties at work, time limits on my phone, relationships, and situations I’d allow myself to interact with… you name it. As a result, I have not only gotten super clear on my boundaries with others, and most importantly myself, I slowly started to get my peace and sanity back!
Your mind can only be your worst enemy if you allow it friend. There is so much power that comes with mindset shifts that are empowering, uplifting and affirming. Be gentle with yourself and just give it a try. What do you have to lose?