Welcome to week 11 of my What Makes You Happy? guest series. Looking after your mental health is important for each and every one of us, and when you add becoming a parent into the mix it can make looking after yourself just that bit more crucial. As a parent myself, I found this a very relatable read and a really valuable reminder that looking after myself isn’t just imperative for me, but for my family too. So, without further ado, I shall let today’s guest take it from here…
Hey there! My name is Courtney, but I’m most likely known as Unfiltered Mama. I started my blog, unfilteredmamasite, to help me understand my own struggles with anxiety and depression. Sharing my personal battles was difficult for me to do at first, but then I realized that I was targeting a specific audience who also needed guidance. I made it a goal of mine to be the voice that others had trouble finding, and whom are still in search of today. I hope to be an icon for all mental health advocates! You can find me and my work on all social media sites… Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest.
Here’s what makes me happy:
- Being a mom – While blogging takes up a lot of my time (not to mention that I also have two kids), I find that it’s so important to divide my day into things that don’t fall in the same category. Being a mom does require tons of schedules and time slots, but changing up the pace of things leaves room to become more involved with a burst of energy… energy that I wouldn’t have if my day was repetitive. In order for me to be a GREAT mom, I have to find my happiness and put it on the top of my to-do list. I think this goes without saying, but being a mom of two (under two) is what brings the most enjoyment in my life. The transition from one to two wasn’t easy and brought on both tears of joy and exhaustion. But watching both of my kids grow has been the absolute best experience of my life. My daughter loves hiding my cooking spoons in her toy box and likes to remind me that the baby used to be in my belly. Little moments like these put a smile on my face that nothing could ruin. My son loves to laugh and recently found his hands. He chews on his little chunky fingers all day and it’s the cutest sight to see. In a moment of defeat, I’m reminded why I’m the luckiest mom in the world and once again… nothing could take that feeling away.
- Nap time – When I manage to get both of them to sleep at the same time, I like to sit and enjoy the silence. You would think I’d try catching up on sleep by napping with them, but it’s quite the opposite. Sometimes I stare out the window and watch the cars go by, or hope that it’ll rain so that I can listen to it collide with the glass. Something as simple as silence can reverse my mood and leave me content. You’ll understand this when you have more than one child who requires your attention. They’re a blast to be around, but naps are pretty great too.
- Singing – My happiness is also much involved with singing. Many do not know that hearing my voice echo within the halls of my apartment is something I look forward to everyday. I usually like to listen to music when I’m cleaning. It gives me this charge of motivation that keeps me going until the house is organized. My daughter likes joining in on the fun as well! She’s the reason why I sing almost all day. Her reaction is used as a reminder that hey, maybe I don’t sound so bad!
- Dress myself up – Waking up to crazy bed head and an oily face doesn’t always keep my spirits high. It usually brings on a lot of anxiety. The only way to get myself out of that funk is to dress myself up, regardless of my plans for the day. I do my hair and put on an unseen outfit, and then I’m ready to take on the days chores. It’s so important to appreciate all sides of self-care. You are just as important as the person standing next to you. Give yourself some love!
- Walking – Taking walks always makes me feel better when I’m anxious. I like to pay attention to the little things around me, like the graffiti on the high school building or the ants making their way to their hill. Moments later, reality usually strikes me and I forget what I was allowing myself to stress over. This method works almost all of the time!
I used to never open the door to the simple things in life. But since doing so, I’ve realized that my anxieties are controlled by me. Only I can push myself toward a happier life… and just by sharing my ways to feel better about myself, helps me think that I’m not different from the rest. My mental health is always on the top of my to-do list, so tell me… what do you do to make sure you’re always being the best YOU?