This messy house is the right house for us

Standard

A few week’s ago, Mindfump’s post titled Ways To Manage Your Environment for Better Mental Health really got me thinking about how much my space impacts my mental health. It’s something I wrote about a bit last year when I just couldn’t keep my home clean.

Maybe it was more that initial post about being embarrassed about having a ridiculously messy home that first got me thinking about the impact of my space on my mental health. Prior to that, I put a great deal of pressure on myself to keep my home clean and tidy because I thought it would be good for my anxiety and depression, but all it really did was make me feel like shit.

Since then, I’ve gotten married and moved. All my stuff has been left behind, for now, so we’re essentially starting over from scratch, only getting what we absolutely need to have before my stuff comes and somewhat slowly deciding how we’re going to use our extra bedrooms and massive basement. It’s an opportunity to create a home that works best for me.

So, what works best for me?

IMG_1961 copy.jpg

1. Light

Not having natural light and bright light actually upsets me. When I’m in a home with poor lighting at night, I get grumpy. So, pile in the lamps!

IMG_1959.JPG

2. Bright colours

It’s not so much that bright colours make me happy as dark colours make me feel like I’m somewhere dingy and depressing. So bring on the colour with all those lamps!

IMG_1964.JPG

3. Silly things

I’ve talked about this before. It’s harder to be sad in a room full of strange cat statues than it is to be in one without. Shout out to my pal Michelle Rondeau for all her cat gifts, including this cat skeleton and cat tissue box cover (the tissues come out the bum!).

IMG_1962.JPG

4. Life

Same deal with plants and animals. I’m so much happier in a bustling, green home. Before I got here, I sent my husband a list of plants we had to get. Then I got here and bought them all, plus an extra few.

IMG_1970.JPG

5. Projects accessible

In my old home, I tried to put my crafting projects away each and every time I was finished. Which sometimes meant I was pulling my mail cart or button-making supplies out several times a day. Talk about a waste of time. I’ve realized it’s so important to keep the things I love doing out, not only to save time but also to encourage me to be creative. If the colouring books are right next to the TV, I might feel inspired to pick up the pencil crayons and listen to a podcast rather than watch a show and be less productive.

IMG_1973.JPGWhile I like my home to be sanitary and things put away enough that it’s possible to find what I need, it’s more important to me that I get some quality time with my husband, my book and my knitting needles each day than it is that the toilet sparkles. While I don’t care if the lawn ever gets mowed, I really want some trees and bushes around the yard so I’ve got some cover to nap in the grass without anyone starring.

Creating a home that works for us probably means we’re going to be a judged a little by guests, but I can’t say I’m always judgement-free when I walk into a spotless house that feels more like a hotel than home. So fuck it.

Messy this place shall stay.

IMG_1965.JPG

 

Be your own coach

Standard

Somedays fucking suck.

Somedays, I can barely breath because of the crushing anxiety. Somedays, I forget about all my successes. Everything just seems absolutely hopeless. What’s even the point of continuing to freelance? It’s not going to get me anywhere.

The evidence against my extreme pessimistic views are in my bank account and resume, but when you get down too deep, who’s going to remember that? Not me, let me tell ya.

But if not me, who else?

It’s not my husband’s, friends’ or fellow freelancers’ responsibility to drag me out of my depressive holes. It’s my own.

Finding inspiration or storing evidence against my false beliefs is helpful, but sometimes I just need a good pep talk, and who better to give me one than myself? After all, I know myself and what gets me out of a slump better than anyone else.

I’ve gotten rather good at giving pep talks by regularly offering them to friends when they’re not feeling like their awesome selves. It takes a little practice to be able to turn that around on oneself, but it’s important because, especially as a freelancer, you can’t always count on someone being around and having the right words.

Here’s a basic, standard, probably not super helpful because it’s not personalized pep talk:

You’re doing great. Despite everything your brain puts you through, you still get shit done. Incredible. Some people would crumble under the anxiety, but not you. Sure, it gets you down sometimes, but you get back up. You’re a badass, kickass human being who’s taking on the world like no one else can. Pick yourself up, take a day to rejuvenate and keep up the great work.

Wanna practice your pep talk skills? Shoot me a draft of what you’d say to yourself at megjcrane@gmail.com or post it on Instagram and tag @MegJCrane.