It’s been seven years since I started working for myself, and I must say — those first couple of years were a struggle. It’s so easy to get inside your head and become overwhelmed with fear or feelings of stress or anxiety, or uncertainty.
It was a period when I was trying to develop my identity, voice, and brand, yet constantly looking to others for approval and inspiration.
Even though a mental health journey is different for everyone, I would honestly say only last year I realized the routines I had implemented in the previous years were here to help me with my mental health.
They all came naturally when I was ready to do the work.
Here are my top 4 routines that have helped me manage my mental health, learn and understand myself better than ever.
Moving my body consistently
In the past, I used to move my body more as a punishment and aimed to lose weight. While it may be a healthy goal to take care of your body weight, the habit of moving my body didn’t stick with me.
I rediscovered the joy of moving my body while battling depression seven years ago. That’s how I discovered yoga. I wanted to feel better psychically and mentally, too. For the first time in a long time, I was showing up on my mat to take care of myself.
My weekly routine looks like this:
- I practice yoga 4x per week. It can be a 20-min practice or a 60-min practice.
- I lift weights 2x per week.
- I take long walks with my dog. Never underestimate the power of walking. It can be such a great start on your journey of becoming healthier.
- I add everything to my calendar and make sure the exercises are happening; no excuses.
My most significant breakthrough when passing through depression was realizing that all my thoughts are negative and have no control over them.
That’s how I decided to start to meditate.
It was before starting practicing yoga.
But it didn’t work out for me at the moment.
I didn’t know what I was doing.
I didn’t know how to be with my emotions. And my back was killing me from years of no physical activity.
Meditation came in handy after a year of staying consistent with my yoga practice. Since then, it has been the first thing I do after I wake up. It feels like having the first moment of the day of grounding, centering myself, and setting the intention for how I want to feel that day.
I’m seeing a therapist
Seven years ago, it didn’t even cross my mind to see a therapist to deal with depression.
It would have helped? I’m pretty sure it would.
But last year, I woke up one morning, and my first thought was, “Alexandra, how about if you’re giving therapy a chance?”
That was my intuition speaking. I followed it because it made me curious about what I might learn about myself, and somehow I felt stuck, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.
Today it’s about having one hour per week to define my emotions and thoughts so I can identify patterns and change them if needed.
It’s one more thing helping me show up to better myself for other people.
Yes, the more I learn about myself, the more I understand other people and situations and can be of more service.
Working on my mindset
Over the years, I realized two things, and that’s how coaching made its way into my life:
- Not following my dreams means I’m not taking care of myself.
- No matter what I want to achieve is about having a mindset aligned with what I want to create, finding the right tools and taking actions to make my dreams happen.
As an entrepreneur is a work I’m constantly engaged in. It’s not just work I’m doing once, and that’s it. It’s about staying present and developing the awareness of zooming out and seeing the possibilities of a situation.