Everyday It’s You vs You

Happy New Year all! Is it still OK to say that on the 27th Jan? How is 2022 treating you so far? I always find January a tough month, it’s dark, cold and long! But at least we’re nearly into February now and it’s getting a bit lighter each day as we edge closer to spring, yay!

Today I thought I’d pop on here and share my latest mantra which seems to be helping me, as you know I’m always keen to share the good stuff. Each morning when I wake up and I start to get bombarded with the OCD torrent of crap – because it is crap you know – I tell myself, ‘it’s you verses you everyday, so who are you going to pick? The OCD you or the; happy, funny, relaxed, best version of yourself you?’. Ummmm, well it’s an easy answer isn’t it, so why so often do we pick the other one? and don’t start thinking you don’t have a choice, because you do.

  • You can choose not to engage with the thoughts
  • You can choose to look after yourself with good self care
  • You can choose to accept the uncertainty – I know this ones tough
  • You can choose to be that best version of yourself, for your family, friends and yourself
  • You can choose to put a smile on your face, even when you don’t feel it – because this sends positive messages to the brain by the way.
  • You can choose to live and be that best version of yourself

I get so mad when I think about how much of my life I’ve wasted worrying about my OCD intrusive thoughts. It’s also important to remember it’s not a straight line though, we all have days when we feel more resilient then others or we self sabotage for who knows what reason and you know what that’s OK too, that’s part of life and being human. Always be kind and compassionate to yourself, remember the thoughts affect you because you find them hard/repulsive/horrible and it is completely normal to have the thought in the first place.

So put the mantra,

Everyday it’s, you vs you’

up somewhere and read it everyday, I have it as my screensaver on my phone so I see it all the time and this works for me, I really hope it will work for you too.

As always,
Stay Strong xxx

What a year!

Well, what a year 2021 has been, I feel like I’ve been to hell and back and I really didn’t see it coming. As a result, I have been super quiet on here and I am sorry for that but know I have been working on myself and building back my resilience which was shattered to pieces a few months ago.

This blog was never a place to fill with OCD triggers and so I’m not going to go through in detail what has happened but just that it was some health issues which resulted in panic attacks followed by a particularly awful run of jury duty which triggered my OCD, the result of which was a mental break.

There is no way I could have predicted either of these two events and it has given me a new perspective on my recovery. I really thought I had my OCD under control but what I’ve come to realise this year is that I had actually just become very good at avoiding my triggers. I wouldn’t watch the news or go to places I found uncomfortable but by avoiding these things when I found myself in a situation where I couldn’t anymore, I just shut down and was unable to cope.

My coping mechanisms had become so natural that I hadn’t even realised I was doing them, scary! So, the second half of this year has been a battle with myself to get back on track and I am still going through this and will be for some time I believe. It makes me sad that this has happened but I am learning and growing all the time and having self-compassion is incredibly important. I will not be sad to see the back of 2021 but here are some thing it has taught me which maybe useful for you as well.

  • You can’t hide/avoid your triggers, they will find you. You have to face them and ERP the shit out of them!
  • Self-care is essential!
  • Exercise is really important but don’t rely solely on it! I’ve done this in the past as I love yoga but then if you get ill what do you do, have a backup!
  • Sleep well
  • Eat really well, avoid sugar and processed foods
  • Avoid alcohol, drugs and caffeine where possible
  • Help others, this takes the focus off yourself and gets you out of your own head, I teach yoga and it is fantastic for this!
  • Be in nature as often as you can, when I was really low just watching the birds fly in the garden seemed to lift me a bit, knowing the world is bigger than you and your thoughts is important.
  • Learn to live with uncertainty, yuck, I hate this one but it is essential for getting through OCD and health anxiety, none of us know what the future holds and the sooner you get on board with that the happier you’ll be.
  • Learn some breathing techniques, you don’t have to meditate everyday (unless you can of course, in which case do) but know how to regulate your breath for those situations when it’s tough and you feel your anxiety rising, I will try and do a blog on this next year.
  • Socialise, I find it brings me back to the present very quickly and out of my own head
  • Don’t avoid anything, push into the avoidance – another yucky one I know.

Those are just a few of the things I have learnt, I could probably go on and on to be honest, I’ve done so much in therapy this year! I will do my best in 2022 to blog more with helpful information and I might add in some yoga and breathing exercises too. If you don’t already follow me on Instagram please do as I’m going to be throwing more info up there in the coming months, all things that have helped me.

I hope your 2021 has been better than mine and that your recovery is going well, no matter where you are on that road remember it is not a straight line and there will be set backs, even massive ones like I’ve had this year! Always remember that you are a good person and that these thoughts – which everyone gets – affect you more because of that. Sending lots of love to everyone suffering with OCD over the Christmas period, I know it can be really tough, wishing you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year,

As always,
Stay Strong xxx

Relapse and Recovery

So, I’ve been away for a while and I’m sorry about that but the title of this post might give you a little insight into why that’s been the case. 

I’ve had OCD for a long time now and I thought I was pretty resilient and to be honest I think I probably was but starting in November last year I went through a series of events which I did not see coming and in May this year that led me to a mental state which was scarily close to suicidal.  Even writing that world has given me chills and I still can’t quite believe it but there you have it.  I’m still on my road to recovery at the moment and some days are better then others but I am definitely not where I was six weeks ago and that is very good news. 

Now I’ve learnt a lot over the last few months and I am planning to share the good bits that could help you guys too but it’s going to take me some time as I have to protect my mental health and writing this blog, even though cathartic at times can be emotionally draining. 

So enough about me, how is everyone?  I think the world is such a tough place mentally at the moment and it’s very easy to feel quite down about things, especially if you have OCD, as we are generally more prone to seeing the worst-case scenario and looking for problems which confirm our negative thinking patterns.

I’ve been doing my best to notice and override these thinking patterns, so I thought I’d share some of the things which have helped me along the way:

  • Sitting at the end of each day and writing down the things which have made me smile.  Even if I’ve had a pretty miserable day there’s always been something and focusing on these is a great way to go to bed thinking more positively, it gives you a great list to look back on when you’re feeling low too. 
  • Gratitude can also help, I tend to do this first thing in the morning, I lie in bed after I wake up, take a big breath into my lungs and I am thankful that I am alive, that I can breath and feel my body move with my breath, I wiggle my toes and feel grateful that I can and then I open my eyes and feel grateful that I can, I give myself a hug and tell myself that I am proud of myself, that I love myself and that I am a good person.  All this takes about 60 seconds so don’t tell me you can’t do it to!  Connecting with your body and thanking it for working for you is so important.   
  • Being out in nature, for me this is a massive one, there’s something so nice about being away from all the hustle and bustle of daily life and just grounding yourself, it can make your worries feel very small and insignificant and can remind you that you are part of something a lot bigger then yourself. 
  • I would normally say exercise at this point and this has always worked for me BUT what happens when you can’t exercise?  This has also happened to me recently and it has taught me that you can’t be reliant on one strategy for your mental wellness, you have to have a bag full of resources to fall back on, so don’t put all your eggs in one basket!   
  • Breathwork, this has been something I’ve always rolled my eyes at in the past but I’ve started to integrate some breathwork into parts of my life, especially round situations where I get very anxious and it is amazing how you can change your whole state of being through breathing.  If you get quite anxious it is worth learning one or two breathing exercises which you can use when the situation calls for it.
  • Eating well, now this can seem a massive effort when you’re feeling at your lowest but start easy and build it up.  For instance, you can add an extra piece of fruit in instead of a sugary snack, you can still have a sugary snack but if you’ve already had two biscuits maybe substitute the third for an orange?  Yesterday I made myself a second coffee at 3pm, I knew this was a bad idea and even though my brain was saying ‘yes you want it’, I ultimately knew what would follow would be a jittery rest of the day, then not being able to get to sleep at bedtime and so yesterday I poured it down the sink and made myself a decaf instead but don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of days when I’ve drunk it and suffered the consequences when I’ve felt less resilient or thought I would be OK, you learn as you go and you should never beat yourself up for these decisions once they’ve been made, accept them and move on, ALWAYS!!!!
  • Social interaction, this is so important and I couldn’t recommend it enough.  OCD has this nasty way of making you think you’re alone and you’re the only one suffering but it couldn’t be less true, the more I speak to people the more I realise that everyone has something going on, no one is acing life, despite what their Instagram feed may look like and you are definitely 100% not alone.
  • Get help, if you are really suffering don’t wait, I’m back in therapy now and that’s exactly where I need to be.

I have so much to share from the last few months and I promise to only share the good stuff in the hope it will help you too, no one needs more misery in their lives.  I really hope you’re all good and as always,

Stay Strong xxx

Is it me or the situation?

This is something I think I was already aware of but has been bought to my attention again recently by my new working schedule.

Just over a year ago I wrote about how I was going to leave my job in May 2020 and pursue an alternative career in Yoga. I wrote this post click here to view on March 4th 2020, just before lockdown and if lockdown hadn’t happened I think I would of followed through but lockdown did happen and everything flew up in the air!

I am happy to say I did manage to get my yoga qualification and I am now a Yoga instructor however the course ran for longer then was first planned and I had to continue to work at my old job throughout. There were too many unknowns just to quit, I guess this is a great example of not knowing what life is going to throw at us.

I now find myself in a double working life at two extremes of the spectrum, my part time day job as a software developer and my evening job as a yoga instructor but what I have noticed even more is that I take better care of myself on the days I do my yoga then when I’m just sat at my desk.

Why is this I ask myself?

Is it because I’ve been doing my software development role for a long time and there are certain habits which I have mentally attached to my software development working day? Such as always making a hot drink before going into a meeting, having a sweet snack at 10.30am to break up the morning, or not bothering to get up and walk around enough – even though I feel my fitbit giving me a hard time every hour!

These little habits have become so ingrained in my working day that I hardly even notice myself doing them. However on yoga days I think more about what I’m going to eat, I tune into and listen more to my body and I have to concentrate more to get it right and not just go onto autopilot like on other work days. Potentially as time goes on the yoga will become easier and more ingrained but I hope not.

This pattern has led me to look at other things in my life like my OCD. At this stage when I’ve had it for 25 years, there are definitely some little ‘ticks’, shall we call them, which have become so ingrained in me that I don’t even notice them anymore! They’re small things which don’t have a negative effect on me particularly but they’re still there. An example of this would be that I like to rip off the first piece of toilet roll – this has been a thing for ages and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it previously – it’s a really small thing but it still stemmed from an OCD compulsion.

Now what if I changed the situation….? What if I only put a small roll of toilet paper in the loo at any one time, I would have to use it more sparingly and not waste any, right? If I change my situation then I can change my ingrained OCD compulsion? Worth a shot maybe?

Work wise I think I will eventually leave my software job behind, once life is a bit more ‘normal’ and the yoga is a bit more established. In the meantime I am going to try and put a new slant onto things, mix things up a bit and see if it improves my attitude to my self care on my non yoga days. Maybe I’ll do a bit of yoga whilst the kettle boils or work out a chair yoga routine to do daily.

Has this post made you think of anything you do which you know is your OCD but you let it slide because it’s been around for so long? If you’re in a good place in your recovery it may be a good time to challenge these set behaviours like I am.

As always

Stay Strong xxx

OCD – Blind Faith

So how is everyone doing?  It’s been a tough few weeks hasn’t it.

Today I thought I’d write about Blind Faith; this is something you may never of heard of but if you have then it’s probably been in a religious sense. The definition of Blind Faith, from our friends at google is as follows: 

Blind-faith… is lacking in some component(s) of information but still continuing to believe in something. …You can have faith that something will occur knowing that the evidence suggests the outcome…but blind-faith is having faith something will occur with no evidence or conflicting evidence against that outcome

Now if you suffer from OCD Blind faith is something you definitely need more of but you probably struggle with.

WARNING: there might be some triggers here, especially if you’re pregnant!!

When I was pregnant with my first child I was in a pretty bad way mentally for most of the pregnancy, too many uncertainties for my OCD brains liking.  I read up on everything (a mistake) and catastrophised everything! 

I remember going away for my birthday in March when I was about 14 weeks pregnant and going for a walk with my husband.  We got stuck in the muddiest field full of cows, lots of their poo and sheep with their new born lambs and I honestly had the biggest breakdown/panic attack where we ended up back at the hotel, me in the bed in the foetal position crying – pregnant women are supposed to avoid mud because of bacteria in the soil and new born lambs because of an infection that can be transmitted to pregnant women – I hadn’t touched any of the lambs but of course my OCD completely catastrophised the situation and the weekend was all down hill from there. 

Later that day we went down for an evening meal and there was fish on the menu, needless to say I was already in a pretty bad way and my resilience was none existence by this point.  The fish on the menu was seabass – fine for pregnant women in moderation – but my magical thinking OCD kept telling me it was swordfish – to be avoided by pregnant women. I don’t know how many times I checked the menu and of course I had my phone out googling; ‘fish you can eat whilst pregnant’, for most of the meal. I was a stressed-out, anxious mess the whole time and I don’t remember one thing we talked about that evening because I was so distracted by my intrusive thoughts – sound familiar anyone?  

I remember looking over at my husband and asking him why he was so calm and he said the following words to me,

‘This is not in your control, you just have to have blind faith that everything is going to be OK’

and he was absolutely right (don’t tell him I said that!).

Of course I’m relating all this to my pregnancy, where you really do have very limited control over what the outcome will be and you have to just trust that your body knows what it’s doing. However this can be related back to any OCD intrusive thought/situation and I still use it most days. 

Remember we don’t really have any control over how our life is going to turn out, what events we’re going to be caught up in (Covid) or whether we’re going to be well tomorrow (my BPPV – vertigo which I just suddenly woke up with), we really only have now and that’s it.  We are all living with uncertainty and the more we can just trust and accept that we have no control but that we will get through whatever comes our way, only WHEN it comes our way then we are winning!

This is the resilience which we should all aim for and focus our energy on. Instead of worrying about the what ifs and the maybes we should be focusing on building up our resilience so we’re prepared for anything that comes our way.

So the next time an intrusive thought comes your way why not have a bit of blind faith that by not fixating on it/acting on the compulsion everything will be OK.

Sending love to you all at this crazy time, remember we’re all in this together!

Stay Strong xxx 

Pure O During Lockdown

I have had OCD for the last 25 years (man that stat sucks) and generally I have become pretty good at keeping it at bay but more recently with everything going on in the UK I have noticed I am slipping more often and there just aren’t as many of my normal coping mechanisms around because of lockdown.

My mental health feels very fragile and it’s quite scary at times as I can see how easy it is to slip backwards, it doesn’t help matters that my physical health has also not been 100% and normal routines have slipped over the holiday period. I have felt my patience lower and my irritability rise along with reduced energy levels and motivation, all this has resulted in my resilience being lower for when the intrusive thoughts hit me.

I have had to sit back and reassess how to deal with a new outlook where not all my normal coping mechanisms are available to me. Normally I would throw myself into seeing friends and family, exercise and getting out and about but not all these are currently possible.

So what am I trying?

  • To get out everyday for fresh air and a walk with the kids and dogs
  • To spend some time on my yoga mat everyday, whether this is just sitting still for 5 minutes or doing an hours workout. I currently have some issues with dizziness and I am getting over a cold so some days all I can do is sit and I need to remember to be kind to myself and accept this.
  • I have ordered a wellness journal and I am hoping this will focus my mind on positivity and gratitude rather then negative self talk.
  • I am taking some vitamins, and looking a little more carefully at my diet, replacing fast food and easy sugary snacks with fresh fruit, salads and veg.
  • When the negative thoughts come I am trying to just let them be and let them go as I know this is the only way.
  • I have felt very up and down over the last few months and I am trying to learn to sit with the downs when they come and know that they are part of life, I know now that they do pass with time.
  • Making sure I get enough sleep
  • Drink more water, I have found a good way to do this is to drink warm water as it is easier on my sensitive teeth and is absorbed into the body more easily as it’s closer to body temperature. This has really helped to clear my head in the mornings.

I know we’re all finding the current climate tough, if anyone else has found anything that’s working for them then please share in the comments below.

Happy New year, I hope you’re all OK out there, you’re definitely not alone!

Stay Strong xxx

Beating OCD Top Tips

So this year I haven’t managed to post as often as I’d like, Covid-19 and my yoga course have taken most of attention and I do find the OCD isn’t affecting me as much.  Is this because I am so busy?  Partly I think yes but I am definitely not naïve enough to think it has gone away completely.  Some days I can feel it there at the back of my mind, ready to come back with a vengeance when things calm down and this is quite a scary thought.  

So I wanted you all to know that I haven’t forgotten about you and hopefully the yoga will come together with this blog to give me more tools to help us all in conquering OCD completely.  

I’ve looked back over the stats for the year and still right out in front is the post I wrote on Pure O and False memory OCD. It has double the views of any other post and to be honest having had OCD it’s pretty obvious why it’s up there in front.

I think Pure O and false memory OCD are arguably the worst parts of having OCD, they’re completely hidden from view so people don’t know they’re happening and the thoughts are so terrifying at times that just the idea of uttering them to another living sole can be completely debilitating.  In fact OCD works in a way that it will find your deepest, darkest fears and go to town, making you feel like the worst person alive – you’re not by the way.  

Here are a few things to remember;

  • The first thing is that OCD likes you alone and isolated, it wants to be your only ‘friend’. Laughable isn’t it, OCD is probably the worst friend you could possibly have, the one who just takes from you and only gives you shit in return, if we had a friend like that in real life we would get rid of them pronto! It might not feel like it at times but you are separate from your OCD and you can be in control of it.
  • However hard it is you must try and speak to someone, even if initially it’s just yourself.  This might sound odd but I’ve found even by verbalising the thoughts out loud their power is reduced. I think most of the time we know the thoughts aren’t real and so by saying them out loud  it can reinforce this.   
  • Always remember everyone has these thoughts! You should take comfort not fear in the fact that the thoughts repel you and make you uncomfortable, this is the natural reaction and 100% means you would never act on them.  
  • Believe in yourself, you are not a bad person – self love is essential for recovery.  
  • Be mindful and live in the now, it is all we have, your version of the past only exists in your mind.
  • Avoid alcohol and other mind numbing substances, they are only short term fix’s and will actually make the thoughts worse overall.
  • Write it down – when I started this blog it was for the purpose of passing on helpful tips to others struggling but surprisingly it has also become a form of therapy for me as well.  Putting things on here detaches them from myself, allowing me to look at them more objectively.  
  • Remember there is light at the end of the tunnel, I still have very dark days but I am far enough into my journey now to know that that feeling doesn’t last forever and the darkness does lift – even though at times it feels like it won’t.  
  • You are not alone – though at times you will feel like you are – around 750 thousand people suffer from OCD in the UK and that stat is closer to 2.2 million in the US.

Wishing you all the best Christmas and New Year, I’ll see you in 2021!

Lets hope it’s a good one!  
As always,
Stay Strong xxx

Adult ADHD

So the other day I tumbled down a bit of a rabbit hole and it ended up being a bit of a revelation for me.  Whilst doing a bit of research into kids yoga I stumbled across some information on ADHD and how it presents in adults.  

In the past – whether rightly or wrongly so – I’d always associated ADHD with kids bouncing off the walls. Even though I was a very active kid I wouldn’t of said I was anything on the extreme side but now I look back I can see signs of it from when I was younger; inability to concentrate or sit still, bad short term memory, constant fiddling with hair and anxiety to name just a couple of examples.

Then I started to look at the adult list;

  • Lack of focus
  • Disorganisation
  • procrastination
  • Forgetfulness
  • Impulsivity
  • Intolerance of small frustrations
  • Depression
  • Emotional issues
  • Poor self images – mostly as a result of the above
  • Lack of motivation
  • Neglecting health
  • Restlessness and anxiety
  • Tendency for addiction
  • Sensitivity to sugar
  • Higher risk of other mental health issues
  • Inability to stick to a project/task

Golly it was like looking in a mirror!  The only other time I’d really felt the same way was when I found out what OCD was and it was like ‘Wow, yep that’s me!’.

Obviously to a certain extent this is just new information and doesn’t change anything, but it does help me to understand myself better and it gives me a few more tools to throw into the mix to help.  It also allows me to put it up here in case there’s anyone else like me who’s going to read this and think, ‘wait a minute…’, I hope it does help someone!  

As with OCD one of the best things we can do is look after ourselves. Exercise seems to be right up there at the top of the list along with a clean and healthy diet which is rich in protein. Exercise releases endorphins and dopamine into the brain which help to regulate mood and improve attention. I’m also going to start looking into some memory improvement options too and work harder on my meditation as I’m terrible at getting myself to sit still, but I need it so badly!  

Once I have some more information I hope to write a follow up post but for now I just wanted to share what I have discovered.

As always,

Stay Strong xxx

The mental implications of lockdown and isolating

So somehow, it’s now September and this is the first opportunity I’ve had to sit down, collect my thoughts and actually try and write something.  It’s been a tough old time heading back to work with my husband having to work away and me still having to look after my children.  I’ve felt my motivation dwindling, my patience disappearing and my positivity hard to keep hold of.  My kids went back to preschool last week and managed a day, yes just one day before my little boy had a cough, could we get a Covid-19 test?  Nope, nothing anywhere and so just when I thought things were getting back to normal, bang we’re back at home, stuck in again!  This was a big blow and I’m not going to lie pretty much broke me last week, I’ve been an emotional mess with my mental health incredibly fragile ever since. 

I’ve honestly been a bit worried about myself more recently, I’ve started to feel quite trapped and have pretty low depressive thoughts, I’ve been crying a lot and unable to focus.  I’ve also seen a return of my sciatic pain which is pretty emotionally draining as well.  Sorry if this all sounds a bit dark but I wanted to be honest about things as I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling this way.  The mental impact of everything going on at the moment and the pressure being put on parents in particular is extraordinary and I honestly feel there’s only so long the government can expect people to go on in this way.  

So, deep breath, let’s try and be a bit more positive and look at how to refocus myself. 

This is what I’ve come up with;

Step one – Find a way to give myself a bit more time/space

I’ve done this by increasing my son’s days at preschool.  This has been a difficult decision but he’s been off with me for six months now and his behaviour has deteriorated more recently, he needs the structure and I need a bit of breathing space to make the time we do get to spend together more fun.

Step two – Exercise

For me this is my Yoga, it has always helped with my focus, my sciatic pain and also my mental health, it needs to be part of my daily routine and this should be non-negotiable.  

Step Three – Be kinder to myself

I have beaten myself up so much over the last few weeks/months; ‘I’m not a fun mum’, ‘I’m letting them down’, ‘why can’t I cope, when everyone else can’, ‘I should be able to do this’, ‘why don’t I want to spend all my time with my kids’, etc, etc.  Why do we do it to ourselves?  At the end of the day we’re all doing our best and I love my kids more then anything, I know that.  I need to stop the negative chatter when I notice it and replace it with positive words instead.  ‘I’m doing my best’, ‘We do lots of fun things and the kids are happy, ‘no one is perfect and Instagram isn’t a reflection of real life.’, ‘you are good enough’.

Step Four – Stop looking at the news

Let’s face it, there’s nothing good on there!  As long as I know the rules to follow, I don’t need to know anything else! 

Step Five – Breath

So simple but most of us aren’t doing it right, we need to take time to check in with our bodies each day, in fact most of us our breathing backwards!  This was a complete revelation to me when I was told.

Take a deep breath in now

Did your chest raise and your tummy go in?  Yep that’s backwards breathing! 

When you breath in your chest should expand and your belly go out, like you would see a baby/child do.  Over the years we start to breath into the top of our rib cage and suck our belly’s in – as is socially acceptable nowadays – well this is wrong, wrong, wrong!  No wonder we’re all so flipping anxious.    

Step Six – Eat well

We need to fuel our bodies well and reduce things we know will affect our mood like, caffeine, alcohol, sugar etc. 

Step Seven – Sleep well

We need to get enough sleep to make sure we can function properly and enable us to implement all the other steps above, good sleep is the key to so much.

I’m betting most of these things aren’t relations to you, but sometimes implementing them all can get a bit overwhelming and I’m right there with you, this is not easy, if it was, we’d all be feeling great.  Annoyingly some sort of discipline is required to remain in equilibrium and so we should aim to do our best but not to set unachievable targets which are just going to make us feel rubbish when we don’t meet them!    

Look at the list above and find the quickest win, mine was finding some more time for myself by extending my sons preschool days but maybe it could be going to bed half an hour earlier, or sitting when you wake up in the morning for 2 minutes and listening to your breath.  It could be swapping one chocolate bar for an apple each day or changing one of your caffeinated drinks for a decafe.  Make it achievable and then you will feel like you have succeeded and that you’re heading in the right direction.  Small quick wins which are sustainable, that’s the key! 

Even writing this is giving me hope that I can start to take some small steps towards making myself feel better.  I know it’s been a long slog and we’re not out of it yet but you’re not alone and never forget to

Stay Strong xxx

Post Lockdown Anxiety

So how is everyone?

Sorry it’s been a little while since I’ve managed to find the time to write something, I’ve been meaning too but full time childcare and yoga teacher training has taken over my life for the last few weeks and I just seem to have no time at all!

So lockdown is finally easing in the UK and this is good news right?  Well yes of course it is but unfortunately for me I have really noticed my anxiety about getting out and about has gone through the roof.  I am an introvert with OCD so not a great combo to start with, add in Covid-19 and well you’ve got an anxiety inducing nightmare for me.

I have worked incredibly hard over the last 2-5 years to build up the courage to do just simple things like; drive to new places, go to the supermarket, meet friends at playgroups and now it feels a little like I’ve gone backwards.

I haven’t managed to get out with the kids without my husband or mother in tow yet which makes me extremely sad.  When my second child was born it took me 7 months before I had the courage to get out on my own with the two kids so this is a bit of a blow for me.  I have friends who have never had mental health issues before who are feeling the anxiety at the moment so I realise it’s probably to be expected that it’s going to hit me a bit harder but still it’s a tough pill to swallow.

There’s also a sort of loneliness about getting out at the moment, in the past we would always be going out to meet friends and socialise but the kids are a bit small to understand social distancing currently.

So I guess I go back to taking baby steps and being kind to myself, I need to remember all the tools that are so useful when things get overwhelming.  Simple things like mindfulness, remembering to breath and even just putting a smile on your face can help.  Eating and sleeping well, not drinking and trying to get some exercise in where you can.

I think it will be a while before I manage to get to a shopping centre but the local park should be achievable right?  I know I am lucky in so many ways and these are the things to focus on for now, the rest will come over time.

I wonder if anyone else is feeling like this?  Hopefully my post will make you feel a little less alone if you are.

Let’s all try and be kind to ourselves in what is the strangest of times,

As always, Stay Strong xxx