Mental Health: Looking After Ourselves

After reading lots of other blogs this morning, a common theme kept cropping up about looking after ourselves.

I haven’t been looking after myself at all well recently, particularly in the area of food. ( I’ve been pretty depressed and anxious so my motivation is low). So I’m writing this to help me get motivated and to FOCUS (I’m so distractible it’s untrue!).


1. Cooking- arghhhh!

One of the things that I always let go of first, when I’m struggling with my mood, is cooking. My disorganized brain can’t seem to cope with planning meals, getting all the needed groceries, dealing with “best before” dates, preparing food and trying to get everything to cook so that it’s all ready at the same time! It always feels like so much effort and time-consuming. I just can’t find the motivation when I’m depressed.

Other obstacles that crop up are anxiety/panic in the supermarket itself, planning meals for myself and my super-fussy boyfriend (who hates vegetables/potatoes/cheese & lots of other staples), my sugar-addiction ( trying not to buy chocolate/biscuits/cakes etc is extremely challenging), and the fact that I HATE touching raw meat/preparing it. I’d prefer to just buy pre-cooked meat all the time or go veggie. My partner is a real meat-eater though!

Actually, writing all these obstacles down has helped me to see that I really am up against some quite tough odds when it comes to shopping/cooking! No wonder I don’t want to deal with it when I’m depressed! Might start thinking about shopping online and having the food delivered.

2. Planning as a Defence Against Emotional Eating

I have a really strongly-ingrained emotional eating habit, developed over the repeated depressive episodes I’ve experienced, which I really feel I want to tackle now. The weight I have gained is now impacting my health and I want to change. I’m ready.

This morning I woke up and the first thing on my mind was to plan what I was going to eat this week. I know what’s good for my body, I know how to eat healthily, it’s just getting into the healthy habit again and staying motivated and focused! I even enjoy eating healthy food when I bother with it!

I was pretty pleased with myself for coming up with the plan and the shopping list. I feel like just making the plan has given me more control over what I will be eating. I like seeing it there. Most of the time I usually have no plan, wait until I’m really hungry and feel the strong need to eat straight away. So I eat junk because it’s quick and handy.

I’ve also been inspired by some of you, obviously healthy-eating, bloggers.

I need to remember I am worth spending the extra time on the plan meals and I deserve to nourish my body. Just because my partner doesn’t like something doesn’t mean I can’t eat it! I am worth it


3. Exercise

Exercise I’m not too bad with as I walk my dog everyday: 30-60 minutes per day. It keeps me energised, I enjoy the fresh air and nature, and I often get blog post ideas too!

I need to increase my core strength though as I have a very weak lower back. My back is also pretty stiff when curved in towards me, but flexible the other way. I’m a bit out of balance. So I’m thinking I need to get back into yoga again.

Yoga is another thing I really enjoy once I find the motivation to do it- it’s that initial burst of effort I need to get started that eludes me! (Think I’ll try the Bach Flower Remedy Hornbeam for this. It helps when you become tired at the thought of doing something, but once you’re started you’re OK).



4. Doing Things We Love

Again this is where I struggle with finding that initial burst of energy for the first spurt of effort needed, as well as the initial motivation. So when I get depressed I just drop these activities fairly quickly:

Playing piano, singing, drawing, browsing through my many over-sized books for art inspiration, meditating, listening to my extensive music collection!

Maybe if I plan small chunks of time on each one, that will seem more manageable and less like a gargantuan task!





Related Posts- Bipolar Disorder: Eating DistressBipolar Disorder: Body Image and Anxiety


Interesting Articles

Mind Guide to Food & Mood

Yoga: Not Just An Exercise by Psychology Today

Emotional Eating and Weight Loss by WebMD

Emotional Eating: When Diets Don’t Work by Health Habits

CBT For Depression by BPD Recovery– This is actually about Activity Scheduling whilst Depressed.


Photo Credits: Broccoli by, Frying Pan by, Yoga by

18 thoughts on “Mental Health: Looking After Ourselves

      1. rachelmiller1511 Post author

        LOL- yeah I think I saw that on your blog. Someone said something to me once about eating Wine Gums, that they calm her down. They always rev me up!

  1. Lisa Ann

    You highlighted some powerful areas in your life that, with improvement, can change your world. That may sound extreme but I totally get how simply focusing on eating better and staying active can change your mood. And I get how mood can keep you from eating better and staying active! Ugh!

    It took everything in me yesterday to push past my fatigue (and grouchy attitude) to make myself something for lunch. It was 3pm and my blood sugar was off. I started to “give up,” but I knew that I would be in worse shape if I didn’t eat something–anything. Making myself lunch truly got me into a better mood (and prevented a calamity from happening a few hours later, lol).

    I always risk getting into a bad mood when I don’t plan ahead for what I want to eat. It’s also good to have some something to fall back on just in case you have a problem making a meal, something quick yet healthy that you can pop into your mouth for an energy boost.

    You are headed in the right direction! And thanks for the reminder 🙂

    1. rachelmiller1511 Post author

      Yeah it’s a bit of a vicious cycle if you let the food and exercise slip! I’m aiming for healthy eating and exercise to feel like a natural part of my day!

      So sorry to hear you’re still struggling with the fatigue. You did great though to make yourself some food.

      You’re right about having something to fall back on too. I think my back up will be baked beans on toast. I like veggie soups too.

      Thanks for the encouragement, always appreciated! Hope you get some relief from the fatigue soon xxx

  2. Shelly

    Way to go! It’s important to come up with a plan. I’m working on the same things you are! I’ve been eating lots healthier lately…lots of salads, fresh fruits, fish and chicken. Walking almost every day. Want to do yoga more often…just have to do it instead of thinking about it. I’m meditating everyday. I’ve stayed pretty stable which I’m grateful for. I hope you come out of your funk soon…you’re taking all the right steps.

    1. rachelmiller1511 Post author

      LOL- made me laugh when you said about doing the yoga, rather than just thinking about it! That’s what I do. But all action starts with a thought I guess! Maybe we should think about it more!!

      Good to hear you’re doing well with your eating- they’re exactly the food I’ve been planning to eat this week, and I will!

      Thanks for the good wishes.Hope we can get our yoga going soon LOL!

  3. mentalhealthtalk

    This is an amazing article–it just goes to show your devotion to recovery. Kudos! I am sorry to hear you are not feeling well lately and will send you loving and healing vibes during my meditation today.

  4. rachelmiller1511 Post author

    Bless you Trish! For the complement and the healing. I’m very proud to say I’ve been eating lots of fruit and veg since posting and hardly any sugar! I’m expecting it to get harder, but I can do it!!

    1. Trish

      You go girl! Keep up the great work Rachel!

      I feel soooooooo much better for cutting out sugar, though I do have to admit I eat unpasteurized, local honey everyday (moderate amounts). The reason being is that honey is a single molecule sugar and it absorbs quickly into the small intestine thus having little effect on your blood sugar level (apparently how quickly a sugar is absorbed was not considered when they came up with the glycemic index). AND it is highly nutritiousness. I don’t feel the effects of eating honey at all, whereas too much sweet potato, or an avocado on it’s own (it has this weird sugar in it) and I’m jittery and tense. Once my blood sugar levelled out, my cravings were gone. It is awesome!!!!

      (I love talking about this stuff!)

      1. rachelmiller1511 Post author

        Wow, you sound super-healthy! I like hearing about this kind of stuff, it makes me realise how healthy other people are and inspires me to change my habits.

        I’m trying to cut out caffeine too- I think I’m super-sensitive to it.

        I really hope my blood sugar levels out so my cravings go. They’re not too bad at the moment. See what they’re like in a week!

  5. Sandy Sue

    I’m so bummed. I’ve been missing your blog for who-knows-how-long because WordPress keeps goofing around and telling me I’m not subscribed to a bunch of my favorites. Suddenly, all your posts are showing up and I’m thinking, “Rats! I’ve missed all this great stuff!! Rantrantrant.

  6. Pingback: Counselling: my wellbeing as priority. | Emotional Wellness

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