When I was struggling with my mental health, motivation was one of the most difficult things to find. I remember scrolling through Google searches, reading articles from PsychCentral and yoga blogs, watching Kati Morton videos on YouTube, and making notes from self-care posts on Tumblr. I compiled lists of what felt like a million strategies I could utilize to improve my mental health. It felt both overwhelming and exciting.
I'm a planner, so I would make daily schedules to ensure I remembered to do everything. Yoga and meditation in the morning. Planned healthy meals and snacks throughout the day while monitoring my sugar intake. Eight glasses of water, one mixed with homeopathic remedies. Several fifteen minute deep-breathing breaks throughout the day. Cat snuggles - can't forget the cat snuggles. Weekly counselling appointments and support group meetings. Medication at night, plus a long, relaxing bath with an aromatherapeutic bath bomb. Regular bedtime, ensuring I would get at least eight hours of sleep. Mood-tracking and journaling before bed - no electronics. And more, while going to school full-time, and working two part-time jobs.
Needless to say, I did not manage to follow any of my schedules. And that left me feeling like a failure, like I didn't have the motivation or stamina needed to feel better. It felt like if I wasn't able to do everything, I didn't want to do anything. That's the perfectionist in me coming out.
I wish I'd had access to something like Courage Box - something that introduces you to new strategies slowly so that you don't feel overwhelmed, and that helps to provide you with motivation to keep going long-term. The design of Courage Box helps to eliminate many of the struggles we face when trying to access self-help strategies, but there are still a few things you can do to ensure you're getting the most out of your subscription.
Based on my own experience, the first thing I can recommend is to be gentle with yourself. You'll probably lose motivation sometimes. You'll probably have good days and bad days. Maybe you'll be forgetful, or struggle to find the right strategies. But just keep at it - this is an adventure, so treat it like one, and try to have fun! :)
Here are five ways to get the most out of your Courage Box subscription.
Give everything a fair chance.
Chances are, you might open one of your boxes and think: ... oh great.
Interact with others online (and offline).
This is one way to help yourself stay motivated throughout the month. Share your progress with other subscribers online. Check out their experiences and read any tips they have for you. Utilize the community that Courage Box creates. We're all here for each other. :)
If you can, interact with others offline, as well. If you have friends who are struggling with their mental health, subscribe to Courage Box together so that you can keep each other motivated.
If you find something that works, stick with it.
The intent of Courage Box is to help you find self-care strategies that work for you. If you notice an improvement in how you're feeling at the end of one month, Take it as a sign that what you're doing is working, and don't just stop that strategy! Try to work it into your routine.
But keep trying new things.
One thing I've learned in my journey with mental health is that it doesn't hurt to learn new tools. I'm learning alongside with you, trying new strategies every month to see what helps and what doesn't.
Think of it this way: our logo is a hot air balloon, symbolizing adventure, proactive self-help, and floating away from your troubles. Imagine you're building your hot air balloon with just the tools you have in your toolbox. As you add more tools, it will become easier and easier to create more structures, to decorate it to your liking, and to maneuver it through the sky. If something breaks, you'll have the tool to fix it. If your balloon falls crashing to the ground, you'll have what you need to bring it back up into the air. The more tools you have, the easier it will be to cope with the unpredictable weather.
Was that metaphor lame? Stop laughing, it works.
And use other resources as well.
I do my best to develop boxes responsibly with the help of mental health professionals, but there just isn't a way I can replace professional help. If you have the means to access a counsellor, a doctor, a psychiatrist, support groups, or something else, please do. In my experience, having a combination of resources is most helpful. Subscribing to Courage Box is just one of those resources you can utilize. :)
What do you think? What else do you think will help you get the most out of your subscription? Comment your thoughts below, and don't forget to share this article with your friends, especially if they're planning to subscribe. :)