Avoiding Dwelling On Feelings – Day 65 of #365daysofselfcare

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

dont dwell on it move onSelf-care is acknowledging a problematic feeling but not dwelling on it

This morning I received the news that my lower surgery date has to be changed from 17th July to 8th August due to some issues with the surgeon.

I am of course upset, but dwelling on it won’t change it, it’ll just make me feel worse. It has taken me many years to get the balance right between acknowledging feelings and avoiding dwelling on them.

Positive thinking is often misinterpreted, as meaning, we should push bad feelings away, but this is not the case at all. Thinking positively isn’t about denying your emotions, this is just as damaging as dwelling on them. It is instead about changing our perspective on how we view those problematic feelings.

Our feelings need to be validated. For example, it is understandable that I am upset about my surgery delay and it is ok to feel those emotions. When we acknowledge feelings and allow ourselves to just let them be, they will then pass naturally. What causes us problems is moving from emotions to thoughts. For example by playing it over and over in our mind, ruminating over the injustice, the inconvenience etc. This is when we move from the acknowledgement of feelings  into dwelling on feelings

Remember to feel it, allow it and move on.

 

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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.

Be Proud Of Yourself – Day 61 Of #365daysofselfcare

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

its ok to be proud of yourselfSelf-care is allowing yourself to be proud of your achievements

I struggle to accept compliments, although I have learnt not to be self-deprecating in the way I reply, I still struggle to just say thank you without then following up with something along the lines of, “Well, of course, its nothing special….”

I think this is a hangover to my formative years. I was put down often and never felt good enough. I learnt, in turn, to put myself down and downplay my achievements. Somehow, I saw this as a positive quality, that it made me humble, as I felt to mention my qualities and abilities made me arrogant.

Over the last few years, since vlogging and blogging, I have received so many wonderful comments about how much I help people, that I have a talent for speaking, and so forth. I have begun to not only say thank you without any qualifying remarks, but I have also learnt to say these things about myself, out loud, to other people.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of yourself and singing your own praises. In fact, it is vital. If you downplay your abilities, you, in turn, downplay your opportunities. Being able to champion my own strengths and skills, has opened new doors and new possibilities, especially in growing my youtube channel and embarking on a new career path into freelance writing.

I value humility highly, arrogance is an ugly trait. However, this is a delicate balance. Be humble, but remember that being humble doesn’t mean you have to think less of yourself.

 

 

Using Gentle Determination -Day 59 Of #365daysofselfcare

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

easy does it but do itSelf-care is gently pushing yourself out of your comfort zone

While it is essential to look after yourself when you have mental health problems, it is also important to continue to challenge yourself. It can be tempting to say,“well I won’t try to do that, because if it fails, it might knock me off balance”. Unfortunately, this can also often be the message we receive from our friends and family. This, of course, comes from a place of concern, they too worry that a set back could negatively affect our mental health. However, not rising to a challenge can be just as detrimental to our mental health as we deny ourselves opportunities for growth, confidence building, and improved self-esteem.

I have recently taken a considerable risk, in changing my career path to freelance writing. In doing so, I risk failure, and I inevitably put myself in the way of criticism and rejection. I can understand peoples concern for me, their worry is valid. I must, in turn, be mindful of my own concern for myself. However, I must not let this stop me, but rather remind me to be realistic and balanced as I move forward.

This, of course, is true for anyone embarking on a new direction. Sucess comes in allowing oneself to try whilst being aware of the obstacles you may face, and having some strategies in place to take care of yourself whilst you walk boldly into the challenge.

 

The Power Of Music-Day 36 Of #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is knowing which wellness tools you can use to change your mood

2018-06-05_19.36.03-01Despite my restful weekend, I found it hard to get going today. I had lots to do and writing planned but I just kept getting distracted. I feel OK, a little tired but mostly OK, just lacking motivation.

Music is one of my favourite and useful self-care tools. I use it too soothe myself, to distract myself and to lift my mood. Its amazing how much it can shift how Im feeling in an instant.

I put on some cheesy tunes and danced around the lounge for ten minutes and then spent the next 2 hours being really productive and writing lots!