October is my mental health month

Despite the horribleness of 2020, the months move on and we are 91 days away from 2021. Although I’m on holiday this week, I’m going to be working from home for the rest of this year and probably into next, the best estimates are March but probably we’ll never have office life like we used to.

I struggle with autumn and winter, and I have written a lot about my coping mechanisms. (here, here and here). Over the last two years being able to work from home once a week has really helped because I don’t have to get up in the dark three days out of seven but working in an office has been good for me because I have to leave the house and be around people. This year is going to be different.

So I’m going to need a slightly different plan. I need good structure and a change of schedule but this year, I’ve also started to have the more obvious menopause symptoms (hot flushes I’m looking at you) but menopause can often be a bad time for depression so I do need to factor that into my autumn/winter survival plan. It’s important to point out that I don’t like doing some of this, but that I feel better for doing it. I need to treat myself like a toddler and force myself to do it because it will help and after a month it’ll feel natural and I’ll hate it less.

So this is the plan for the next four to six weeks.

A new desk

Next week I’m moving my work space from the kitchen to the living room. I’ve ordered a desk and I’ll need to rearrange the flat a bit but I’ll be working in a room with more natural light that looks out to the street. It’ll also mean that I’ll be able to order a screen and won’t have to pack away my work stuff every night so I can eat dinner!

Exercise

I talk about it a lot but doing it is tricky. While I’ve been away, I’ve been doing body balance or yoga every morning and I’ve been walking more because I’m on holiday. It’s not just about the ‘corona kilos’, it’s because when I exercise I feel better. Next week, Christelle and I are going to start the Les Mills app ‘back to exercise’ challenge and Kathy and I are going to try to get a lunchtime walk in a couple of times a week. (That also keeps me in touch with my friends, which is good for mental health too). I’m going to try and get my 10,000 steps a day which means I have to leave the house more!

Food and Drink

I say food and drink but mostly I mean drink. Alcohol and caffeine are two of my favourite things and two of the things that contribute to hot flushes. So back to no drinking Monday to Thursday and limiting my coffee drinking to a four times a week (Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday!). Drinking coffee and booze isn’t the only thing, I need to get back to tracking my water intake and making sure that it’s at least two litres a day.

It’s not just about what I eat and drink, in October, I need to menu plan and prep food so I’m not aimlessly looking at the fridge searching for carbs and sweets because I’m tired and miserable. I know it doesn’t help but it’s too easy to do when I don’t have a food plan.

Golden Hour

This month I need to make Golden Hour non negotiable this month and get back into having a longer bath at night with candles.

Bed by 10 O’Clock and up by 7 O’Clock

Early nights, early-ish mornings because although I hate it, it makes me feel better.

So that’s my plan. A successful October, should give me a relatively ‘good’ winter.

About nicdempsey

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1 Response to October is my mental health month

  1. Neil says:

    Good plan. Actively planning to improve mental health can only be a good thing.

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