Life, Mental Health, Writing

Saying the Negativity will Change isn’t Enough

Negativity isn’t good for me. It’s hard to get out of my mindset when I’ve dug myself so deeply. Reaching the way out is impossible.

I ended the day yesterday in such a negative mindset I didn’t write. I moaned to Dave and friends, my negativity. They tired putting positive spins on things. Usually, I would see the positives. No matter what, that negative cloud couldn’t be broken.

I’m not taking proper care of myself. Yesterday, I was asked, last minute, if I would go for to a 2-hour call. It was a good call but I still said no. I used that time to go out with my mum, walking the dogs.

The closer I got to leave for work, already on my rota, that negative mindset got darker and darker. I moaned at every little thing. It took me a while to get to sleep that night.

I didn’t wanna get up this morning knowing I had a busy day at work. My cloud had turned grey. I’ve still been moaning. I took on extra work, I’m tired and just remembered I have my pack up to sort for tomorrow. Plus a funeral to go to tomorrow.

I’m sat here thinking there’s gotta be more to life than this. I know there is. But when it comes to taking care of myself. I put myself on the back burner. Help others out first and say yes to things I most likely shouldn’t.

I say this needs to change. It does! But saying isn’t enough. I need to do! I need to take care of myself.

 

2 goals
New Goals

 

What I mean is when I’m asked to do something or be involved in something I need to follow my ground rules of my self-care and love for myself.

Anxiety, Mental Health, Writing

Past, Present or Future?

I am pleased to say: I have started working on a couple of my goals. To make it easier and to, well, worry less. I am making notes of what I do in my calendar. I hope that doesn’t become an obsession. 

I started my Overcoming: Anxiety, Stress and Panic workbook. I’ve only got to page 6 and I’m already journalling. I’ve just finished the worry and stress checklist. 10 questions; 9 with the answer of YES and 1 with the answer of SOMETIMES.

Let’s just say that meant I have problems with worry and stress.

Reading blogs and the 6 pages of the workbook, I came across a theme about worrying about the past. It got me thinking: Do I worry about the past, present or future the most?

The Past > I try to avoid it. But I think that is a post for another time.

The Present > I certainly worry and stress about what does or doesn’t happen right now.

The Future > It’s the future I wanna look at.

The Future

This is the one I tend to worry and stress over massively. This is what goes through my head often:

Worry.jpg

I could go on. The future is scary. The unknown is scary. The future, the worry, the stress is affecting my present. Which will, in turn, affect my future. An endless cycle, I cannot seem to break. Not knowing how to stop going around in circles.

I’m mentally exhausted. Like I’m going crazy. Worrying about the future is a big thing for me. It’s something I need to tackle.

 

Depression, Mental Health, Writing

Christmas Cakes and a Frog

There’s one word that comes to mind when describing how my feelings towards the day were until the afternoon.

Meh

Thankfully that ‘meh’ feeling did change to a sense of ease. Usually, ‘meh’ days are spent in bed. Even though I didn’t feel a sense of determination. I did get on and do things today. Full disclosure: having my mum and step-dad around helped.

I went with my mum and step-dad to my sisters to see my nephew and my 11-week old niece I had not met yet.  Had some cuddles. From there we went to see my step-grandparents. All good on the catch-up front.

When we got home my mum wanted to start making a batch of Christmas cakes. Instead of just going to bed and watching telly. I asked if she’d like a hand. My mum taught me how to make the Christmas cakes.

Christmas Cakes.jpg

I can’t remember everything step by step. The more I do things the better that will become. I enjoyed it. It was like therapy. I started off ‘meh’ and finished off feeling at ease.

I spent the whole time focusing on what I needed to do. None of the little things going through my head like they normally are.

This feeling of ease continued for the rest of the evening. I started making Mental Health First Aid notes, did my breathing techniques and did two hours of my job today.

On my way home, I posted a couple of letters and noticed a frog on the pavement. This is usually things I miss when out and about. I tend to have tunnel vision when it comes to tasks and jobs.

My mindfulness isn’t the best. But today I saw something that interested me and I took a photo. So here you are, to end my post today is the picture of well I wanna say Mr, Frog but it could be a Mrs, Frog.

IMG_20171001_205750.jpg

Anxiety, Life, Mental Health, Writing

Behaviour and Panic

Week 3 of the Positive Steps group is the week that encouraged me to start overcoming my panic about having a bath. Doing this through exposure.

Behaviours

The week is called Managing Behaviours. Looking at a different type of vicious cycle; the behavioural vicious cycle. Here’s mine:

Untitled1

How do I go about changing these behaviours? 

Going by what my counselling work says I need to make a list of the things I need to engage with. As creativity is one of the ones on my list. I’ve made a picture of my list rather than just listing them out for you.

List of things need to do.jpg

As you can see I have colour coded each item on my list.

  • Red: Necessary
  • Green: Routine
  • Purple: Pleasurable

In all fairness, I would like all the things on my engagement list be pleasurable. There were a couple I couldn’t decide on. For example, Yoga and Walking the dogs is on my routine list and it does need to be routine but I also want these to be pleasurable too.

Now I have my list, I have to start small and schedule these into my days. Making sure I do something regularly and then reflect on what I have done.

I have started doing activities from my list. I’ve been setting reminders, putting them in my calendar and logging walks and yoga through Google Fit.

I reflect daily, through my writing. Although I don’t just talk about what I have done that day. I think my reflections will be within my end of month reviews.

Panic

The second half of the week looked at panic. This is the part that spoke of exposure leading me to start getting over the things that panic me. I have to start one thing at a time. Having a bath to me was the ideal one to start with.

I have no idea why I panic when it comes to having a bath. I used to have them all the time when I was a kid. I haven’t had a traumatic experience in one. I just panic about having a bath.

It’s been easy for me to avoid over the years. We only have a shower now at my parents’ house. Dave’s parents’ have a bath but they also have a shower. Me avoiding again just had showers there too.

Dave loves baths over showers. I know when we get our own place a bath is gonna be one of his main ‘I wants’. Relaxing in a bath, taking time out, does have its appeal. I just have to get over the panic part.

As it has been a month since the session on week 3. I have started my goal towards having a bath. I’m just not at the point where my panic is totally gone before I can think about relaxing in one.

I did learn that there were three types of panic attacks. This, I didn’t know. I just thought a panic attack was a panic attack. The three types of panic attacks are:

  1. One you predict
  2. One you cannot predict
  3. Night time panic

Me having a bath is definitely one I predict. You may also have figured out I have a fear of spiders if you’ve read other posts of mine. I’m not sure which that one falls under. I know I’ll panic if I see one. But I can’t predict when I’ll see one.

I have had the odd night time panic. Being an anxious, worried and having low moods makes me more susceptible to having panic attacks. Are you?

This week told me that reducing anxiety helps to decrease the chance of having a panic attack. This is what lead me to want to overcome my anxiety and fears.

There are fears that are out of my control. The risk of them happening, the majority of the time, is low. But if I learn to control my behaviours and panic, I should, in theory, be able to control any panic attacks I have in the future.

Breathing is a big part of this. Breathing is always coming up with me. Clearly, I need to take note. Workin on my breathing techniques it is.

Have you exposed yourself to any of your fears?

 

Depression, Family, Friendships, Life, Mental Health, Writing

To Much. Too Soon.

I tried carrying on as normal today. Let myself have a lie in. Did my module four for my NVQ. Found out the details for my Grandma C funeral.

That put me down again.

Trying to get the day off work for it was stressful. They had booked my NVQ assessor that day and I could only see her on my day off. It was like they didn’t wanna give me that day off and reschedule my NVQ assessor. In the end, they did. Now waiting for my meeting to be rebooked.

I felt like my brain was gonna explode. I had to go lie down. My mum found me a while later, laid on my bed. After a mini-talk. She told me not to do anything else today. I was glad it was my day off work.

Towards the end of the day, I started to feel better. At the beginning of the week, we had booked bowling for this evening. Then to go for a meal afterwards. I was glad for my mum, step-dad and Dave.

We continued with the plans. They got me out of my head for a few hours; which was nice. I came second in both games of bowling and we went for a Pizza Hut afterwards.

I thought of my Grandma C before I went to bed. I had planned to see her today. That got me down again.

My family and friends are amazing. I’ve a great close-knit circle I can count on. I think I and probably many people in the world can take these for granted. We shouldn’t.

Life

Social Media is Constricting your Productivity

A post I really connected with. Social media used to rule me. Now I have one personal account on one platform. Only use it on my tablet. Not on my phone, I cannot just get my phone out to check my Facebook feed. Although, I still have moments of feeling I’m missing out, I don’t dread it anymore. Baby steps to a more productive me.

EthandRace

My routine while I was working on my undergraduate degree:

  1. Write a sentence
  2. Check Facebook
  3. Write a sentence
  4. Check Instagram
  5. Write a sentence
  6. Retweet something witty
  7. Repeat

I used to complain that I had a challenging time completing my work but really, I was constricting myself repeatedly without realizing it. Fragmenting your attention is detrimental to productivity.

In Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work, he writes about the way he practices increased focus and productivity in his academic and personal life. In the book, he outlined four distinct sections—ones that if you can master, your productivity will reach new levels.

  1. Work Deeply
  2. Embrace Boredom
  3. Quit Social Media
  4. Drain the Shallows

Work Deeply

Newport defined Deep Work as a constant and thorough stream of concentration. Involving yourself in Deep Work isn’t as simple as sitting down and writing your boring essay or completing your economics homework. Deep Work is about getting…

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