Productivity and Mental Health

Friday 17 June 2016

When dealing with mental health, it's often the little things that can make a big difference. We're constantly told  to 'deal with it' and hear well-intended but useless things such as 'have you tried yoga?' People seem to forget, for many, getting out of bed in the morning can be the biggest challenge of the day. With that in mind, I've complied a list of things that - I hope - can help improve your day. 

Please bear in mind these are just suggestions based on what works for me. Everyone is different so if these don't help don't be discouraged. You'll find something that does. 

Make your bed
One of the first things I do every morning is make my bed. It makes my room instantly look tidier and makes me feel better about everything. I'm not constantly looking at it and thinking 'how can I do anything if I can't even make my bed? My life is a mess just like the covers.'

Wash your face
When you go to the bathroom, splash some water over your face. Not only does it refresh you and help keep your skin clear, you can view it as washing sleep and procrastination away in order to start your day properly. Failing that, cold water definitely shocks you into waking up fully.

Get dressed

Even if it takes you until five o'clock in the evening and your only change your underwear or your shirt, getting out of your pyjamas can have a huge impact on your productivity. If you aren't wearing sleepwear you'll be less likely to feel that's all you can do.

Take breaks
Listen to your body and respect when you need to step down from things. If you need to stop for a snack, have one! If you want to watch your favourite show, do it! Just try not to tell yourself  'just one more episode...' That never ends well.

Make lists
If you need some motivation make some to-do lists. Perhaps do this the night before so that you have a plan of action for the next day and aren't left thinking 'I can't do anything I haven't made a list!' It can give your day structure, and for some this can be a massive help.

Don't overload yourself
That being said, don't give yourself hundreds of tasks, and don't tell yourself you have to do all the strenuous things in the same day. Know your limits and work with them. If you take medication that makes you sleepy, don't set tasks after taking it. If you have a deadline that's causing anxiety, split the workload into lots of small parts rather than cramming it all into an hour. You have to do what's best for you.

Don't beat yourself up

If you set out to do ten things but only manage two, you've still done things! You haven't failed. You haven't let anyone down. The fact that you were able to do those two things is fantastic, and it means you have two fewer tasks to do next time. Small victories add up.

Take each day as it comes
And don't forget: we all have bad days. If you wake up feeling dreadful and can't bring yourself to even get out of bed, that's okay. You aren't useless or a waste of space. You can't help your mental health, but at the same time you're so much more than it. Take a day or two to recharge and then break back into things slowly. You can do this.


  1. I try to make my bed and wash my face everyday just for those reasons! It makes me feel like I've gotten something done and I don't have to stress about it. Skincare is also healthy mindfulness in a way for me. Great tips Charlotte!

    1. Thanks :) Having clear skin can also impact how you feel, so it's all around a win-win!

  2. Fantastic post! I'm the world's worst for taking breaks - I continually tell myself that I'm not doing enough, and end up just going on and on until I exhaust myself (and then yelling at myself for exhausting myself, good times.)

    And I'm going to say it again because that's how much I mean it - fantastic post!

    1. Thank you so much! You definitely deserve a break from the sounds of things then! Maybe if you find you have to keep doing things you can designate weekdays to chores and errands and then weekends for just chilling? That way you're doing things 5 days a week so can't tell yourself it's not enough, but you still get down time.

    2. I'm self-employed (damn you adulting!) so I kind of have to do the things. It's just I do the things for hours on end. I have a really bad concept of time because I have suspected dyscalculia (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!) so I don't realise how long I've been doing something for. That & the longer that I do something for, the more I'm convinced I haven't done enough (depression/anxiety logic - yay.)

    3. Ah, that's a shame. But congrats on having a job! I'm still an unemployed student who is too terrified to get a job :( Is there any way you can make it easier for yourself, like setting alarms so you can keep track of time? If only there was a way to just switch off mental health in order to get things done, but in a way that also allows you to just sit back and relax after. Hope you find something that works for you!

    4. Hopefully I will - at the very least I've got the cats bugging me for food at certain times ;) Thanks :)

  3. This is such a beautiful, perfect list. Thanks Charlotte! It's so true that just making it through the little things in a day can make yourself fell 100% more productive and better. Good luck getting me out of my pajamas though! ;)

    1. Thank you so much! It's just a shame pyjamas are so comfy! Who wants to switch them for jeans?!


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