The other week, I unintentionally set myself a ‘self care’ challenge, whereby basically I practiced some form of self care each day for a week. As I mentioned in my last post, my mental health feels quite tricky at the moment, and a lot of resourced say how much caring for yourself helps. I also know from my own previous experience that it can too, so I began this after reflecting on a few days realising I had done self care, so why not continue for the week?
I am a little unsure where this post is coming from, I suppose I feel it is the ‘right’ time to write this after a few weeks pondering (I awoke this morning with pains in my left foot so have been unable to walk on it all day, so am taking this opportunity to write what has been on my mind…). I wanted to speak out, about speaking out.
I am sat here in my green glowing glory (I have a face mask on to treat myself okay?) feeling really rather chuffed with myself.
I guess I wanted to write this somewhere. Instagram felt a bit preachy, so here it is, as this blog feels a bit like a ‘safe space’. This is more of a journal style post, so please bear with me if I ramble.
It is a Monday morning, on a rather gloomy day (however, MUCH brighter than yesterday and Saturday – as the post title may suggest!), and I have decided to write a blog post, which potentially may turn into a series so bare with me! Mornings are designated for ‘busy productive activities’, certainly not sitting down, getting my table and laptop out and knocking a blog post out! But, my body feels tired (it really shouldn’t, I spent the majority of yesterday sat down, but that’s a different matter), and I am embracing kindness and listening to my body – because that is now a thing!
Anyway, what inspired this post, happened last night. We had a dreaded power cut. In the middle of 5 inches of snow. At 7pm at night. In March. Okay, it probably doesn’t sound a lot, to readers who live in extreme climates, I am sure you will be laughing (as Britain is pretty much a laughing stock right now with the reaction to the weather, but I am British so I shall be laughed at, okay?), but it wasn’t nice!
I have just been on my usual daily walk, and I felt quite a few thoughts come to me, as well as emotions. Usually, when I get a lot of thoughts I turn to my diary where I splay them all out, but to me it has felt as though it has become more obsessive rather than beneficial, so thought I would turn to this blog as a place to share my thoughts. I wanted to share my thoughts on mindfulness and how it has affected me, and also where I am I suppose in life?
To some, this probably looks very ordinary. A typical book and lunch shot. People in Pret probably looked at me and thought absolutely nothing of me sat with a pot of soup and roll and my journal by my side (which is quite a good thing for me to think – to not have the paranoia that ‘everybody knew and was staring at me’).
But this, feels significant. At least to me it does anyway.
Yesterday was a bit a of a rubbish day, oscillating between feeling rotten, to getting a little better, to then feeling worse than the initial rotten-ness 10 minutes later. Usually, after a bad day, I feel the need to have a ‘safe day’ where I ‘get back on track’ and pretty much hide away and stick well within the initial comfort zone.
But today, I knew I had zero plans. My parents are on holiday, the house is tidy, and I sadly don’t really have any other responsibilities. I had a feeling that it was the anorexia trying to pen me in the house and eventually manipulate my thoughts into obsessing over the small things and begin pulling me down again.
So I had a brainwave – why not try and go out? And by ‘out’, yes physically I mean go out of the house, but mentally I meant out of my comfort zone too.
Anyone who knows me, knows I ramble on about wanting to sit in a cafe and read or journal and people watch. Unfortunately, it is something I have never quite managed. It’s been one of those ‘ideals’ that I’ve always said about but never put into practice.
You see, what those people who may or may not have seen me in Pret didn’t know was that at the ripe age of 23 and 8 months, I have never eaten out alone. Ever. I developed anorexia at the age of 13-14, and I didn’t really do stuff like food out alone before that and since then my life has been a constant barrage of ever changing rules and rituals that must be adhered to. They didn’t know that my thoughts were telling me to ring the shop up before going to find out which soups were available, telling me to ‘just stay at home because it’s far too “indulgent” to buy lunch out’, telling me it’s unnecessary, that I wouldn’t be able to manage the drive out, that I’d be too tired, blah blah…
Well, I can tell you that I didn’t ring the shop up – I decided that I would go with it, and I would deal with it when I was there. I can tell you I didn’t bottle out, I did a nice spot of shopping beforehand – getting the Mother some extra little Mother’s Day gifts, a huge water bottle, and some very reasonably priced raspberries (as everyone knows my love of raspberries 😉 ), browsed the continental market that was in the city, I then pushed open the door of Pret…feeling almost ‘normal’, I picked the item I wanted despite it being ‘full of the nasty xxxxxx and you should just pick something “safer”‘, thanked the barista and took my (shaking) tray with me to a table by the window, got out my journal and book, and ate lunch like a normal human being.
Afterwards, I felt nothing but pride and warmth (the warmth may have been the kick in the soup aha). My thoughts might not like me right now, but I am beginning to realise that life is what you make it, and that a comfort zone – however appealing it may seem to stay in – is not nourishing. It allows the same neural pathways to be trodden in and does not allow for creativity, spontaneity, and importantly…fun!
The other night, I saw my life like a roadway. There were 3 options: keep going along the straight road by ‘staying the same’, go slightly off and get worse which is a vaguely familiar route, or go along this entirely new road and start something new, something positive: rebuild my life from nothing.
Life is what you make it. I have never been and sat in a coffee shop alone before because I have not allowed myself to, nor have I made the effort to. Today was an average Wednesday day: it is not uncommon for me to have bad days and pick myself up the next day. And I could have stayed at home, doing the same old same old. But I went out of my comfort zone, into something new, entirely different and breaking more ‘rules’ than I care to admit or divulge. The thoughts were trying to put me off doing this before hand – after all it was spontaneous! I could have felt x, y could have happened…but I answered these fears with ‘if I never try then I’ll never know’ rather than retreat, ‘it could be good, it might not work out, but that is ok and I will deal with that when it comes’.
And you know what? I feel good from it. I feel a bit ‘out of my head’, which could be a good thing as I am always so in it.
Who knows, maybe a new pathway has been started to be paved or explored?
So I will ask anybody reading this, what is stopping you? What is your ‘comfort zone’? Is it nourishing you? Is it allowing you to grow? If not, why not take a step out of it, so something daring which might not ‘work out’ but if you don’t try, you won’t know.
Enough of my rambles. Hopefully if I write something like this again, my car parking ticket will not run out and I will be able to write it from my chosen cafe 😉
Wow, how is it the end of February (correction, it is not March!) already? I couldn’t resist doing a Favourites for February, especially with the alliteration 😉
I suppose this photograph is quite relevant in a metaphorical sense, and relevant to the title. This is my first mental health related post too so if I sound a bit rambley (and the fact it’s past 8pm aha) then I apologise in advance.
Good morning all! (Or it may be afternoon by the time this
First, my skin is picky. I have a mixture of eczema and acne, plus I have gets posted…we’ll see). It’s currently a mix of weather and it can’t seem to decide what to do – flitting from bright sunshine to snow. I was going to take myself on a short walk for some air, but have decided for now to write this post I planned on doing until the weather makes up its mind. Here are my favourite tings of January and a few things I’ve tried.