Finding What Works For You -Day 64 Of #365daysofselfcare

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

THE RIGHT WAY IS YOUR WAY.jpgSelf-care means knowing that what works for you is right for you

Yesterday was a big day, I travelled to London to take part in a filming event with Pan Macmillan Book Break for Pride Month. It was an honour to be asked to take part, I had an enjoyable evening, and I met some lovely people. However, going, to new places, meeting new people and speaking on camera causes me a tremendous amount of anxiety. I have woken up feeling utterly exhausted. This is my usual response to a high anxiety event. It takes a lot of mental effort to calm my thoughts and my breathing, and this inevitably leaves me thoroughly wiped out for a day. Today I need to make some changes so that I can have a quiet, restful day.  Ironically, this is making me smile, as it is confirming that my choice to begin the path of becoming a self-employed freelance writer is the right one.

This might sound odd to anyone who doesn’t experience mental health challenges. Why put myself through all of that if I know it will make me crash like this? The answer is because I love what I do and I refuse to let my mental health get in the way of me leading a productive and fulfilling life. I have a massive passion for recovery and change and for empowering people. For so long I have desperately been trying to fit my square peg self into societies perfectly round hole so that I can work in this field. All that did was make me feel like a failure when I inevitably couldn’t manage it.

Having the realization that I could carve my own way forward has been a revelation. I am only in the early stages of self-employment but I get inner confirmation that this is the right path every day. Like today, I can barely move, I’m in bed, but I’m working. Im writing, I’m networking, I’m creating.

I can do things like yesterdays filming, that cause me to have an anxiety crash because  I know I can find the time and space I need after the event to take care of myself. If I was working, in the usual sense of the word, I would have no choice but to take a sick day. That would constantly put me in the mindset of being ill and would, of course, hold me back in my career progress. In being self-employed, I don’t have to declare myself ill or take a sick day, I just rearrange my day to work around my self-care needs and it won’t halt my career progression.

Self-care is liberating ourselves from other peoples definitions of ‘the right way’. There is no right way to do things, only what works best for you.

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Day 8 Of #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

IMG_20180507_190642_672I am still exhausted and feel generally off colour. Perhaps its the new thyroid medication? I’m really not sure whether its that or just my usual mood cycle but either way…urg.

I had to cancel on my best mate today and I hate doing that. I had so much difficulty yesterday outside in the heat, I think it makes my fatigue worse so when l woke today still feeling awful l knew l had to reschedule.

Unfortunately I then went into a spiral of guilt about cancelling, and then I saw all the updates about our lovely weather and went into a spiral of guilt about that too. All the should’s’ came out….l shouldn’t have cancelled….l shouldn’t be wasting this lovely sunshine, l should be outside enjoying it. I should be finishing my writing…. Oh my goodness my inner critic is LOUD today!

I Decided to compromise with myself again. I walked into town, had a coffee and wrote a little, got some supplies and then headed back home. I’m reminding myself that setting unrealistic expectations of myself is harmful and counterproductive. I’ve done what l can do, all the ‘should do’s’ can go away!

Day 7 of #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

IMG_20180506_232842_244It’s been a funny old day today. Woke at 7.30 so l could take my first thyroid medication. Fell back to sleep and woke at 10.30. Had every intention of going to the seafront for the Magnificent Motors event which started at 11, but l was just so exhausted it took me until 12.30 to actually make it out of bed. I decided to at least give it a try and headed to the seafront.

However, my mood was so low and anxiety so high that the crowds were too much. Did a quick walk through and then decided the best act of self-care for me today, was to just allow myself to come home. Once back indoors, I put my feet up, watched snooker and did a bit of colouring. Sometimes it’s ok to give in, do something else and not beat yourself up about it.

Day 5 of #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge 

IMG_20180504_213822_229Today’s act of self-care, was to persevere with my local GP to be seen by a doctor, after weeks of trying and having no luck.

I am so glad I persisted as it turns out that my blood tests show l have an under-active thyroid! This could explain why my depression and anxiety has become so severe over the last six months and explain to crippling fatigue I’ve been experiencing.

I’m also low on vitamin D  and my cholesterol is high. Apparently this also all linked to hypothyroidism.  It additionally explains the carpal tunnel syndrome too!

I am of course not happy to know l have hypothyroidism, but I am happy to at last have a reason for feeling so terrible. I am very hopeful that the new medications will get me feeling back to normal soon. Thank goodness l managed to see a doctor!

After  a very eventful day, I am cow curling up in bed, watching Starwars, and then having an early night

Day 4 of #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

IMG_20180503_235112_019-01After yet another bad nights sleep , unsurprisingly, today has been another tough day. However, having self-care at the forefront of my mind, I decided to be gentle and allow myself a day in bed.

I really wanted to get some writing done so I simply wrote from under my duvet, in the comfort of my pyjamas.

I got up briefly to cook a decent meal, sing to some music, eat the meal, and then got back into bed.  My biggest act of self-care today, is reminding myself that sometimes the basics are all you can manage, and that is OK.

Day 2 of #356daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

2018-05-01_22.41.04-01I barely slept last night. I was up and down to the toilet every couple of hours. It’s the worst my bladder has been for a couple of weeks. Being so tired,  l slept through my alarm. However, with self-care in mind, I didn’t beat myself up about sleeping in. I instead took some deep breaths, accepted l needed the additional sleep and just started my writing work later than planned.

I also cancelled going to see mum as tiredness and a mum with dementia is not a great fit.  I surprisingly managed 3 hours of writing done, and afterwards I planned to flake out on the sofa. However, I had a sudden urge to do a bit of exercise. I decided it would likely do my very unfit body some good. I went for a  20 minute circular walk on the seafront and then did a 15 min weight session.

In the evening, I rewarded myself by putting my feet up and watching the remaining episode of lost in space.

Another nicely balanced day which again surprised me. It shows that mindfulness really does help a day to develop and turn out well, even after an awful start.

 

Day 1 Of #356daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

IMG_20180430_214524_449-01I awoke this morning feeling absolutely exhausted. Looking at my fit-bit, it says I manged 5 hours and 19 minutes. It is so frustrating to be so tired but somehow still manage to struggle to fall asleep and to stay asleep.

Despite having to crowbar myself out of bed, l actually ended up getting a fair bit done!. It was helpful having this new self-care endeavour at the forefront of my mind. I started my morning with a healthy shake, packed with mood supporting nutrients. I then sat down to do some writing, but was mindful not to push myself. After a couple of hours writing I  cooked myself a healthy meal and watched the sunset (even if it was from my lounge!) This evening I sorted out my bullet journal for the month.

Despite the dreadful way I felt this morning on waking, by taking it slowly, one thing at a time, I ended up having a really nice balanced day!