Mental Health Monday | RachelPoli.com

Anxiety Tip: How to Pick and Choose Your Battles to Remain Calm

When I went to therapy years ago, I remember my therapist telling me that I needed to pick and choose my battles when it came to anxiety.

If I don’t need something in my life or it won’t affect it in any way, then I don’t need to push through the anxiety. I can just give in because we need to do that once in a while.

On the other hand, if it’s interfering with my life and stopping me from living it, then I need to fight back the anxiety.

Pick and choose your battles, decide what your anxiety can get away with and what it can’t get away with.

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Mental Health Monday | RachelPoli.com

Six Ways to Have a Chill Day and Relax Your Mind and Body

Sometimes it feels like you’re constantly on the go. Whether you’re busy with work, school, socializing, whatever, it can take a lot of you.

Then there are other times when it feels like the anxiety will never end. Even though nothing major is happening you still have anxiety for some strange reason and it won’t go away.

Or maybe you’ve been feeling utterly exhausted and can’t see to get through your day without itching for a nap.

When this happens, I find it to be super helpful to have a chill day.

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Mental Health Monday | RachelPoli.com

How to Create a Self-Care Kit and Why You Need One

What are some of your favorite things? What are some things that help you feel calm or at peace? A self-care kit will help with just that.

We all have that special something – even if it’s a guilty pleasure – that helps us get through difficult times. Or it simply helps us to relax.

There are times when I’m feeling down that I plop myself on the couch and stare into the abyss, going over conversations and scenarios (what happened, what could have happened, what can still happen, etc.) in my head. It never helps so try doing something that takes your mind off of it.

This is where a care package to yourself comes in.

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Mental Health Monday | RachelPoli.com

30 Positive Affirmations to Start Your Day

Sometimes it’s hard to be nice to yourself. Sometimes, it hard to believe in yourself. It can be difficult to get through each day.

Each day brings new stresses but it also brings new opportunities as well. One way to feel better and to keep moving forward is to believe in yourself and be kind to yourself.

So, here’s a list of positive affirmations if you’re ever feeling stuck.

You can do this.

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Mental Health Monday | RachelPoli.com

Journal Prompts for a Bad Day

Journaling is something that helps me whenever I have a rough day.

It allows me to get out my feelings and frustrations onto the paper. I can rant and ramble to my heart’s content and if I can’t find the words, I can draw or scribble.

Normally, I write about my day or talk it out with myself about why I feel the way I do, but there are plenty of journal prompts to help you get over a rough patch.

For example, there are prompts that help you focus on something else or shift your thinking around.

I’ve compiled a list of prompts that may help.

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Mental Health Monday | RachelPoli.com

How to Create an Inspirational Music Playlist to Boost Your Mood

One thing that helps me out when I’m having a rough day or just need to lighten up a little bit, is music.

Everyone loves music (at least, I believe everyone does). It doesn’t matter what you’re feeling – music has a way of switching your mood, depending on what you’re listening to.

Music can make you happy, make you cry, it can make you dance and sing.

So, I have a special inspirational playlist on Spotify that I created. I listen to it whenever I need a pick-me-up.

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Mental Health Monday | RachelPoli.com

Create a Positive Workspace

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I had already been working from home for a couple of years before the pandemic hit (almost) a year ago. It’s stressful and can take a toll on your mental health, even without the rest of the world being thrown into a tizzy. If you’ve ever heard “advice for working from home” you’ll notice that they all tend to say the same thing:

  • Put on pants – it’ll help you get in that “work” mindset
  • Sit in a chair at a desk – no couches or beds

Do I always follow those pieces of advice? No, I don’t.

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Mental Health Monday | RachelPoli.com

Vision Board for 2021

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Something I’ve always wanted to do was create a vision board. I never knew what to make this board about though. It can be about anything.

When 2019 went down the drain, I decided to make a vision board filled with ideas and goals for 2020.

I never made it through. I actually forgot about the idea.

It’s fine though because 2020 was a dumpster fire – it was worse than 2019. If I had made a vision board I would have added “traveling” and… well, that wouldn’t have worked out.

In an attempt to go into 2021 on a positive note, I decided I was finally going to create my vision board.

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Mental Health Monday | RachelPoli.com

Mental Health Resolutions for 2021

I didn’t necessarily make any New Year’s resolutions for 2021 this year. I usually make writing goals, reading goals, etc. I decided to do something different in which those goals have been turned into quarterly goals. I have something I want to aim for and hope to reach it by the end of three months and keep moving forward.

So, I guess that’s my resolution overall: keep moving forward. No matter what it is.Read More »

Make a List of “Firsts” [Mental Health Monday]

At the time I had planned on writing this post there were a lot of things in the world that didn’t exist – COVID-19, to be exact. In fact, I held off on writing this post because I didn’t think it would be relevant for 2020. I think this is something that everyone can hear regardless of what’s going on though.

I have a couple of bullet journals because I like the idea of them. But they’re not really for me. I keep trying to find different ways to use them and fall up short. There’s one thing I use them for though that I’ve been consistent with and that’s making a list of “firsts.”

Mental Health Monday: Make a List of Firsts | Mental Health | Mental Health Matters | RachelPoli.com

What is a list of “firsts?”

I did a lot in 2018. I traveled six months out of the year. Granted, four of those trips were weekend getaways, three of them being to the same place, and five out of the six was to a place I’ve been before. Still, it was a lot of traveling for me and I did go to someplace and new and try something different.

It was that year that I decided to keep track of a list of firsts. So, it’s sort of like a simplified journal but also a list of accomplishments.

I can’t exactly what made me think of the idea in the first place but I did it for 2018 and have been doing it every year since. (Admittedly, I don’t have much written down for 2020 since… well, we can’t exactly go anywhere.)

Why I think having a list of firsts is important

It’s such a simple task that requires little thinking and takes about five seconds to write down. Whenever you do something new, something different you never saw yourself doing before, or something that you’ve put off on doing because you were afraid to, for example, keeping a list of those things is important.

You’re acknowledging your accomplishments

I went to Canada in 2018. It was my first trip out of the country, it was my first trip without my parents, and my first trip on an airplane. (Sure, I had been on a plane once before but I was three-years-old and I don’t remember it.)

Not only that but the trip was totally spontaneous. My sister and I saw an opportunity and we jumped on it. That’s not how I roll. I’m a planner and I need to figure everything out to the last, precise detail before doing anything.

While there’s nothing wrong with being a planner, I think being spontaneous once in a while is good for anyone. It was an accomplishment for me because I jumped out of my comfort zone and you know what? I had a blast. It may seem simple to someone else but it was a huge deal for me.

You can see how much you’ve grown

I’ll tell you that there are things I did in 2018 that I never thought I would do years prior to that. I would talk about it, of course, but never thought I would actually do it. Or, not until I felt more like an “adult,” if that makes sense.

On the days you’re feeling extra down, you can also look back at the list of firsts that you’ve done in the past or that you’ve done recently. Trust me, it makes you feel better.

You can clearly see all the things you thought you “couldn’t do” but you did them anyway. Even if it took you a while. I didn’t drive on the highway until five or six years after I got my license. Even then it was with a friend and I’ve only gone on the highway once or twice by myself since then.

But I can still say I’ve done it and I can do it.

See how far you can go

I like to keep one continuous list for the year and then restart it for the following year. I write each new thing in a different color because it’s prettier that way, so why not? I don’t even bother to break it up into months. Normally that’s something I would do but I like to just see all that I’ve accomplished over the year rather than each month.

I think part of that is because if I see that I did five things one month and none in another month it’ll feel uneven and I’ll start to wonder why one month was “better” than the other. Of course, no month is better than the other. We all try new things when we’re ready to try them.

Try keeping a list of firsts and see how much you can accomplish in a year. Don’t push yourself – just note the little things.

Take care of yourself.

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How I Use the Calm App [Mental Health Monday]

There are a lot of apps out there to help with anxiety, depression, or mental health in general. A lot of these apps are like journals or they track your mood. These are things you can easily do in a notebook or a bullet journal, but apps normally track the patterns for you as well.

Calm isn’t necessarily one of those kinds of apps that is a journal or tracks your mood. It’s just as it sounds – calm.

Mental Health Monday: How I Use the Calm App | Mental Health | Mental Health Matters | Calm | Apps for Mental Health | RachelPoli.com

What Calm can do

Okay, I kind of lied earlier. Calm does track your mood. I forgot it did that because I don’t use Calm for that. But, if you want, you can check-in with Calm. You can choose a mood and write about what’s going on and why you feel the way you do. However, you do need an account to do this.

There’s a free version of Calm and a paid version of it. I have the free version and it does just what I need it to do for now.

Calm has yoga and meditation as well as breathing exercises. There are also soothing music and bedtime stories. Most of this you need the paid version for. Which is why, eventually, I’ll probably pay for the app. For now, I mainly use the two free things I can: the breathing exercises and the scenes.

Breathing

Calm has a cool part of the app where it’ll guide you through a breathing session. You can choose how long you want to breathe for and it’ll show a bubble that will enlarge and tell you when to breathe in, then shrink and tell you when to breathe out. It’ll also ring a small charm when you’re supposed to begin breathing in or out if you need to sit and close your eyes for a couple of minutes.

I’ll admit, I haven’t used this feature too often. I sometimes forget it’s there so I get too wrapped up in something else to think about it. But it’s a good idea and it’s definitely helpful to have something to guide you through breathing exercises depending on what you need it for.

Scenes

This is what I mainly use the Calm app for. I use it when I work sometimes, when I read, when I’m doing a Sudoku puzzle or something, or just when I need to lie down for a few minutes, close my eyes, and relax.

These scenes create sounds on a loop such as rain on leaves, thunderstorms, a fireplace, ocean waves, and so much more.

The best part about this is that you can play the scenes with the app closed. So I typically have it on in the background on my iPad when I’m reading a book from the Kindle app.

I love the Calm app

I’ve had this app for years. I can’t even remember how I came across it or what made me want to download it in the first place. I use it all the time though and I won’t go back.

Calm is a great app for whenever you need to relax for a minute or an hour or longer. I highly recommend it to help with your mental health or just to have. I hope the get the paid version soon so I can talk about it even more.

Take care of yourself.

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