Yes, you did read that right.
I am a woman of lists: to do lists, shopping lists and now, blogging ideas lists. To do lists help me keep on top of everything going on and even if there is loads of stuff to do I always feel like having it written down makes it seem more manageable.
Anyway, we all know the purpose of the do list but this post is all about writing a to don’t list and how this practice can help improve your mental wellbeing.
How to look after your mental wellbeing by writing a To don’t list
Instead of writing down all the boring jobs that need doing like in a regular to do list, a to don’t list is a place to write all the things that you don’t want to do anymore to help improve your mental wellbeing . The practice is simple, just write down a list of all the things you are doing in your life that don’t make you happy and instead create a load of negative feelings. To help boost your new positive attitude even more, next to each thing you don’t want to do, write a brief sentence on why you don’t want to do it anymore. A to don’t list is an easy way to help you stop feeling guilty and beating yourself up over certain things and can really help to get you into a more positive mindset and a happier way of life.
I have no idea if this is a new concept or not but it’s something I have been thinking about doing for a while. So, here is my ‘to don’t list’…
To don’t list
● Stress about money – you have always got food in the fridge, a house and everything else you need. Yes, you may not be able to afford lots of nice things but money isn’t everything and you could have it a lot, lot worse.
● Worry if Leo skips meals – it is frustrating and scary to think he’s not eating enough but the boy isn’t going to starve himself. You always offer him food, he just might not fancy lunch today..we all have days like that.
● Hate your body – the poor thing has been through a lot! You carried a baby for nearly 42 weeks and breastfed for 10 months.. it would be some kind of miracle if you still had the figure of your 21 year old self. As far as post baby bodies go, yours isn’t that bad.
● Feel ashamed about your job -there is nothing wrong with being a barmaid. So what you have a degree, circumstances meant you weren’t able to start a career when you wanted. Given the choice there’s no way you would choose having a career over having Leo. You will always have a degree and there’s plenty of time yet, for now just enjoy this special time with your little boy, so many mums don’t get that.
● Feel guilty for treating yourself – being a mum is hard work, if you want to sit Leo down with the tv for 20 minutes while you have a cup of tea then just do it. Leo isn’t going to feel neglected and the TV won’t hurt his development, just think of all the things he has learnt from Mr Tumble. Enjoy some me time, read a chapter of your book if you want..it is totally allowed!
I feel SO much better already, just by writing all that down and getting the negativity out of my head. If you are feeling low or have lots of things playing on your mind, maybe you would benefit from writing a to don’t list too.