There are 5 main areas of our lives that need to be addressed in order to live a balanced, healthy & happy life. They include: Mental Health, Physical Fitness, Nutrition, Spiritually or Religion and Career. For today’s blog we will focus on mental health.
Your Mental Health Matters
In my opinion mental health is the most important area to be addressed and maintained. Mental health goes right along with self-love, self-care, and self-esteem/confidence. This area will make or break your efforts to “level up”, lose weight, eat healthy, drink water, leave a bad relationship, pursue your dreams and more. Anything that involves doing what is best for you is directly connected to mental health and self-esteem.
The journey to a better you starts by first recognizing that you deserve the best. You deserve the best that life has to offer no matter what mistakes you’ve made, no matter what your abuser told you, and no matter what you’ve told yourself. Realizing that your life has meaning, that you are beautiful, that you are not your mistakes, and that this world needs you to express your talents and gifts.
If you constantly talk yourself out of doing what you need to do in order to be the best version of yourself, you are in need of a mental health checkup. It is worth mentioning that every woman is different and mental health needs will vary woman to woman. That does not mean that every woman cannot improve.
Quite the opposite, if you put your mind to it, you can change your life for the better. The bottom line is that we all need to be mindful of what is going on in our minds. Negative self-talk and internalizing others negativity will directly affect your mental health and the actions you take to be the best version of yourself every single day.
How can you positively change your mental health & self-esteem?
1. Acknowledge that there is a problem and be willing to do something about it.
2. Forgive yourself. For everything that you have done to disappoint yourself, forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. Release the guilt you feel about what others have done to you. Forgive yourself for carrying around mental and emotional baggage. Anything that has already happened, forgive yourself and let it go. There is no benefit to holding onto the past. Oddly enough, holding onto the past and identifying as a victim can be comforting. Letting go will feel abnormal at first but you will feel relieved later. Letting go will free you to create more positive experiences in your life.
3. Reprogram your mind. Unlearn, uninstall the faulty programming from your childhood and sow need seeds in the garden of your mind. YouTube had an abundance of free meditations that can help you with this. I used to fall asleep listening to meditations that helped me reprogram my mind. You can also write affirmations or listen to affirmations while you’re at work, at home or just lounging around the house. This stage takes months and sometimes years. You will have to repeat over and over again because initially you won’t believe what you’ve hearing, writing or say. Do not be discouraged. Stay the course!
4. Take care of your mind and mental health. Practice yoga, take a bath while listening to jazz, go for a walk (alone), read a book, feed the mind positive thoughts, go to counseling, take a vacation. Whatever you need to do for you, do that and do not feel guilty for putting yourself first.
5. Fuel your body with healthy food & water. This is a no brainer and is supported by science. If you give your body the food/fuel it needs it will perform well and support you in life. Eating healthy helps you think clear, will help you feel better about your physical body and helps improve body composition. Drinking adequate amounts of water helps to detox the body, clear the mind, just start the metabolism, hydrate the skin and more.
6. Move your body. This could be yoga, going for a walk, lifting weights or whatever physical activity resonates with you and allows you to sweat. Do not get caught up trying to do box jumps or extreme fitness videos you saw on Instagram. If remaining consistent is something you struggle with, I suggest investing in yourself and hiring a trainer.
7. Write a new story. Part of letting go of your past is writing a new story for yourself. Close your eyes and imagine what the new and improved you is doing. What is she wearing, what does her partner look like, where does she live, what does she do for fun, what does her body look like? Be a detailed as you can, make sure you write your new story in a journal and remain focused on the new and improved you.
8. Don’t settle for less. Once you start doing this work your standards will begin to change. You will see that you have been settling for less and your feelings will guide you to do better. Listen to your feelings. Be ready to release things and people that do not meet your standards.
9. Repeat steps 1-8 over and over again.
Dealing with mental health, self-esteem and confidence issues may not be as glamorous as learning how to apply makeup that brings out our natural beauty. It is the most rewarding step when it comes to self improvement. When you know how to balance your thoughts, forgive yourself and truly shine from the inside out everything else is extra. Your feminine magnetism will begin to attract things, people and situations you never imagined.
Shakera Leigh Halford is a holistic health coach, yoga instructor, fitness instructor and beauty professional. She is passionate about helping women learn how to become the best version of themselves. She teaches women how to balance family, health and beauty though her amazing wellness and weight loss programs.