Not so Blue Monday: today, we're handing over to Clementine founder, Kim Palmer, to share her simple but effective tips for improving your mental wellbeing and confidence this year...
"I was recently asked to share my #1 tip for looking after your mental health in 2019. It was tough. I shared one but really, I don’t believe in a silver bullet. So, here are the three things that I started doing about two years ago that I really believe have been a game-changer for helping me to feel calm and confident…
Bookending Your Days
This means finding something that brings you joy at the beginning and the end of the day and really protecting that ritual. For me, it’s having breakfast at the kitchen table with the whole family. It’s chaotic but it really helps centre me for the day. At the end of the day, I love to read. Always a real book, not a screen. Even if I only read one page it really helps me to detach from the day. It gives me a chance to escape. I also love to touch something that feels grounding before bed.
Learn How To Take a Compliment
Years ago, I was fortunate enough to have the most amazing boss ever. She really took it upon herself to mentor me and gave me lots of in-the-moment feedback. Some of it was hard to hear – but it was always so helpful. She had spotted that I was terrible at taking any compliments at all. I’d bat them off as if they meant nothing to me, but that was kind of throwing it back in the face of the person who gave me the compliment in the first place. I’d always have a negative response ready for any compliment - for example: ‘You look lovely today Kim’ – ‘Oh this old thing’. Or ‘That was a great presentation you did, well done’ – ‘I could have done it better, oh well there is always next time’.
She reminded me that it’s disrespectful to the person who has taken the time to give you the compliment when you throw it back at them. Plus - and this is the big reason why you should start taking compliments - when we don’t take a compliment, we aren’t acknowledging any of the good stuff people are saying about us. We aren’t patting ourselves on the back. We are just filling our heads with negativity. So, I came up with an automatic response to get me into the habit and so that I wouldn’t feel like an idiot. Here it is: ‘Thank you, that’s so kind of you to say’. Simple, really. Give it a try.
Recognising and Recording When Good Things Happen
For years and years, I never really acknowledged and celebrated when good stuff happened. I think this comes from my childhood. I remember thinking that it wasn’t nice to boast about when you got something new, or you did well at something – it was as if you were showing off. But over the years I took this too far. Not acknowledging when any good stuff happened.
When I got a payrise or a promotion, I wouldn’t go around telling people for fear of looking like a show-off. Or if I’d nailed a presentation at work – same thing. When I bought my flat on my own in London? No celebration. I’d just act as if these were totally normal and off I would go to accomplish the next thing on my never-ending list.
Now I literally celebrate the tiniest of things. Today I felt crappy, tired and had no energy – so I haven’t got through much work. But I also did manage to get through more than I thought so I celebrated by having a bath. I also write in a journal every half year about the things I’m proud of that have happened in the past six months. If I’m feeling a bit down then I’ll do the same thing. It’s such a great way to step back, remember and acknowledge the little victories.
These three tiny habits bring me daily joy. They fill me with confidence and they’re super easy. Maybe pick one and see how you get on with it."