Being Honest About Emotions-Day 25 Of #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is being honest about your feelings

IMG_20180525_115930_040I have had awful anxiety all day, which started last night. I have been finding it hard to stop my brain from over thinking things. I am not sure if this is new dating nerves or simply down to my low thyroid. Its frustrating to not know my emotional self very well at the moment, due to my low thyroid complicating things.

Rather than sit at home all day worrying and stressing, I made myself get out and get a fresh hair cut. This always makes me feel better and feel more confident.

My date arrived and l was honest about my anxiety. I said that l knew it had no basis, but felt l wanted to be open about the range of feelings I’m going through. Honesty is the only way, even when it means sharing your most vulnerable side. Ive learned over time that self-care means honouring and speaking your feelings, even when it is difficult as keeping them in does so much damage.

 

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The Writers Cafe Review Series – Introduction

20180522_161312One of the many reasons I have decided to pursue a career as a writer, is because it gives me the freedom to work from home. If you have read my previous posts, you will know that my mental and physical health, continues to prevent me from being able to work. At least in the conventional sense of the 9 to 5 workplace environment.

Writers, so the stereotype goes, are not the most sociable of people. It’s another one of the reasons I am attracted to it I guess! However, I am aware that whilst freelance writing it is a fantastic solution to my work problem, I must be careful not to isolate myself too much. I still need to make sure I challenge my anxiety and not succumb to the urge to hibernate in my pyjamas.

Therefore, I am on a mission to look for nice cafes, where I can sit and write. Even if it’s just getting out for an hour a day.  This will also help me to become reacquainted with Eastbourne. Despite being here for almost 8 months now, I haven’t really explored much.

To keep me motivated, I am going to turn this into another writing exercise and create a ‘Writers Café’ review series. Every time I find a place that I really enjoy writing in, I will post a review here. Of course, this will be very subjective. What makes a perfect writing spot for me won’t necessarily be the same for others. In thinking about what makes a good writing spot for me, I’ve defined the following things as important.

  • Quality of my favourite hot drinks – Flat white with soy or oat milk / Green Tea
  • Seating – comfortability, space, plug sockets, outside space
  • Friendliness of staff
  • Ambience
  • Ethos – independent or chain
  • Noise – music or no music
  • Toilet – ease of access, gender neutral – (very important to me for my trans siblings)
  • Food choice and price

This may well change as time goes on and I chalk up a few reviews. It’s a work in progress, like all good things in life! I will update soon with my first review!

 

Winding Down-Day 22 OF #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is remembering to take to relax

IMG_20180521_235119_685Its been a really busy day today. I overslept as I slept badly. I didn’t beat myself up about it, instead I worked hard to do as much as I could do, without stressing myself out. I did my washing,  then I recorded, edited and rendered a vlog and wrote like a ninja to finish a short story. I actually didnt stop till gone 9pm. Once I realised the time, I decided that self-care needed to be taking some time to relax with a hot choc and a book chapter before bed.

Taking Balanced Risks-Day 21 Of #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-Care is knowing when to take a balanced risk

IMG_20180521_133236_068Taking risks is hard, it’s even harder when you have mental health challenges and are in recovery. I have to be so very careful to stay balanced. A lot has happened for me recently and l’m back on a fairly even keel and want to stay that way.

However, balance is a fine line between self protection and risk. I’m risking a fair bit right now. The change in career focus is massive and unknown.  And now l have met a wonderful man who has really captured my heart and of course, so much is unknown with that too.

I have missed so much in my life, l don’t want to miss any more. What is the point in worrying about what might not happen? Why decide not to do something for fear it won’t work out? Yes staying mindful is important but not to the degree that you deny yourself a life.

Self-care today, is reminding myself that as long as risks are mindful and well deliberated, there is no need to avoid them. All the wonderful things l have in my life now, came from taking mindful risks. I am ready to take a few more.

Day 16 Of #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge
2018-05-15_21.52.12-01It has been a really tough day today. I had an appointment with the Mental Health Team this morning as I have been referred to them for further support.
I find these initial appointments so hard. The anxiety of meeting someone new is bad enough and then there is the demoralising discussion of my  mental health history how I am currently  struggling. It is never nice discussing past issues and being open with a stranger about all that’s going on, even when you know it’s for a good reason.
Then this evening Yang, one of my gerbils,  passed away. It was his time and it was peaceful but it was still sad to see him go.
The desire to self medicate with food was huge this evening. It can be hard to know when its OK to allow yourself that treat and when its actually not in your best interests. I decided that it would be better for me to compromise with myself and have a more healthy treat instead, choosing sorbet and fruit rather than Ben and Jerry’s.
It tasted amazing and I felt good for making the right self-care choice for myself.

Removing the Shame In Talking About Mental Health

UntitledI have been very honest about the fact that I am in the middle of a mental health crisis, one that I am finding very difficult to manage. My usual ways of coping just haven’t been helping. A lot of the time I have been so fatigued I haven’t had the energy to do the simplest of self-care actions.

Recently, I saw the hashtag #365daysofselfcare on Twitter and followed the link to the website Blurt. I decided that this is just what I need right now. It will get my focus back onto my self-care. Posting about it each day will help me to rebuild the habit and keep myself accountable.

Its been two weeks now since I started participating in the daily hashtag and it has indeed been very helpful. I am paying much more attention to taking care of myself and making time for self-care every day. There has also been an additional unexpected outcome of posting daily, it has got me talking about my mental health.

This really shouldn’t be a revelation for me, I write and make videos about my mental health all the time. However, when I write or make a video, I do so after the fact. I do talk very openly, but it is done in retrospect. My sharing is delivered in a reflective and measured way.

In contrast, the daily sharing I am doing with the hashtag on my Instagram and Twitter is raw and uncensored. I am sharing what is happening on that day, at that moment. In posting this way, I have often caught myself thinking, “I sound like I am a right state”, worrying what people will think of me. Its been a surprise to notice that I still carry shame around my mental health, despite being so open about it.

Shame and stigma is a corrosive side effect of mental illness. It stops people asking for help and puts them more at risk of harm, isolation and worsening overall health. The shame is senseless, its an illness, what is there to feel shame about? Physical and mental health is part of everyone’s everyday life. We don’t shame someone for having a broken leg and tell them to pull themselves together, do we? We help them, supporting them whilst they heal. The same compassion needs to be extended to those who have mental health problems.

I am so pleased to see so many people and organizations talking openly this week as part of mental health awareness week. This must continue, not just this week but permanently. Living well with and recovering from mental illness, begins with removing the burden of shame.

Day 13 Of #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

2018-05-12_23.15.08-02I have been working hard on my eating habits lately. However, over the last few days I have been slipping into bad eating habits again so today’s act of self-care was a tasty, fresh, nutrient packed salad.

Healthy body = healthy mind!