When I realized my life was wonky, long before I divorced, I took inventory of what I used to have and love and compared that list to where I was at the time. I believe, especially as mothers, that it is very easy to let some of the best parts and some of the best people go while we are in the busy-ness of raising kids. It just happens. It is hard to be purposeful and hold on to what we love about ourselves and our people when there is barely time to take a shower and look presentable on a daily basis. But, when life slows down, when those kids begin to become self sufficient, when your head begins to clear the water line and you want to reenter the vast world you once knew – where do you start?
I started by listing the people I missed the most and I started reaching out to them. I planned trips to see them and I took my kids on most of them. I made a list of hobbies I loved and I modified them for life with kids. I needed a creative outlet or my family would not be able to stand me. So, I scrapbooked for awhile. But, really, I needed to paint. So I traded oils for quick drying acrylics to keep little fingers less of a chance to help me paint and I painted. I found the time here and there. This made a huge difference in my happiness level and I am still taking inventory, planning, and carving out the time needed to do those things, see those people that make my life a happy one.
Do you need to take inventory of your life? Are there people you miss and want to connect with? Are you passionate about something? Painting? Photography? Cooking? Reading? How could you add your passions back into your life? These things improve mental health. (See? The government says so.)