- It is never too late to be what you might have been
- If you ever feel like giving up just remember quitting won’t bring you any closer to your dreams
- Be afraid and do it anyway
- You’re either fighting for your dreams or fighting for your excuses
- Just relax nothing is under control
- The real challenge is to overcome how we view ourselves
- Just a little progress each day adds up to big results
- Be obsessed with your own potential
- If your dreams don’t scare you, they are too small – Richard Branson
- If you never try then you’ll never know what might have been
- Believe in yourself, you got this!
It has taken me a long time to come to terms with this, in the past it felt easier to self medicate with alcohol and drugs and just ignore issues but I tell you now from experience these quick fixes do not work. If you don’t process your pain/anxiety/stress etc then it will most likely come out anyway, potentially when you’re not expecting it and you’re completely unable to control it. By holding it in you can become tightly wound, touchy, stressed and probably not a very nice person to be around.
Now we all have an idea of what is good for us, even if we pretend not to, we know cigarettes are bad and too much alcohol will make us feel rough. We know if we sleep in, only eat beige coloured food and do not exercise then we’re not going to feel great or have much energy, so then why is it so hard not to do these things?
I think it’s incredibly hard to succeed on your own, you really have to make a conscious decision to change and that can mean removing yourself from social groups which aren’t supportive and finding other like minded individuals. I’m not sure of the stats but I would say you’re much more likely to succeed at something if you have the support of a friend or group of friends around you.
You really have to want/need to do it. A lot of my changes have come through health issues (so a need), my mental health is fragile and needs constant maintaining along with my gut health and so diet. Even though my journey started as a need it has now become a want, I see the positive affects of the changes I’m making and I want to continue to benefit from them. My other huge motivation is my children. I want to set a good example for them and make sure they have all the tools they need to be happy and healthy.
- Baby steps Don’t change everything at once, you will fail. There are probably a few things which will need to be all or nothing such as smoking – at some point you just have to say enough is enough – but don’t quit smoking the same day you go on a diet and join the gym! Take it one step at a time and be kind to yourself, these are forever changes so there is plenty of time.
- Results I have worked at my health (mental and physical) for a good 5 years now and it is a working progress, I don’t always get it right I go backwards as well as forwards but more recently I can see myself changing. I feel calmer, happier, socially less anxious, freer almost. I still have dark days and I know I have a long way to go, I’m not sure 100% is actually achievable for anyone but it’s nice to be heading in the right direction at least.
- Take time for yourself Make sure you make time for yourself and treat yourself well, be as present as you can day to day and try to be mindful as much as possible.
So I’ve done Yoga for many years and for anyone who’s done Yoga at all you’ll be aware that there’s normally a bit of meditation involved and some deep breathing and to be honest I normally find this part a bit dull. I’ve also been on courses where I’ve learnt about the importance of breathing to get through fight or flight and all about the parasympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system and how to balance them, I’ve learnt about heart math and it’s benefits and I’ve even blogged on here for over two years about how important breathing and mindfulness is but it wasn’t until today whilst listening to a Happy Place podcast with Rebecca Dennis that the impact of my breath on my entire life really hit me.
A good few years ago when I first met my husband he used to say to me quite often:
‘You’re holding your breath again’
Now, I just used to find this ‘pointless’ information annoying but today it REALLY hit me that this is actually the root of all my issues. This is why yoga and meditation when I do them actually help me A LOT. I hold my breath literally all the time, I’m doing it NOW, whilst writing this post, I can feel myself doing it!
I honestly think this is going to change my life. I have been doing my meditations more (admittedly not everyday) but even that is starting to help and I am definitely going to continue with it.
Just stopping now and listening to my breath, its not smooth its not even, I’m surprised I’ve lasted this long to be honest!
I am sure I will need to do some work on what has caused me to hold my breath in this way but at least now I am aware of it and I can move forward.
Hopefully this will help someone else too,
Stay Strong xxx
I think stress is something we all deal with, there’s just no escaping it nowadays. We’re all programmed to take on too much and expect too much from ourselves. How we deal with stress however varies massively, some people seem to be able to dismiss it relatively easily where as some of us let it consume us.
My current method for dealing with most stress is avoidance, over the years I’ve become very aware of what causes me to spiral downwards and so nowadays if I don’t need it in my life then it’s not there. I realise this probably isn’t the healthiest approach and I wouldn’t really advocate it but there’s an element of self preservation in there for me while I’m on my long road to recovery and I slowly let bits back in on days I feel stronger and remove them again on days when I don’t feel so great.
So this is all well and good until I come across some unavoidable stress, urgh, the worst kind. How then do we process the wash of tension, self doubt, etc when there’s just no getting away from it? It’s a good question and one I’m definitely still trying to answer.
Firstly I always try and start with a bit of perspective, when struggling with OCD it’s very easy to catastrophise situations and make them appear much worse than they are, try to rationalise your thoughts where you can.
If the stress has been caused by say an argument at work, or a bad drive home then just let it go, the other person probably did hours ago, is it really worth your time and energy?
If it’s something more significant like an exam or money worries say then stressing isn’t going to help. Sit down and write out a plan of action, things you can positively do to impact on your stress and deal with the situation in a positive light.
Organisation is key, I personally have a lot going on at the moment but by organising my time and being pro active I am just about winning.
If you can take some time out just for yourself to regroup then do. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and feel the stress leave you as you breathe out.
Mindfulness and meditation are also great ways to reconnect with your body and try to work out what has caused the shift. The small amount of time it takes will definitely be worth the pay off you get afterwards. I’ve got to admit though whilst writing that last sentence I felt a bit hypocritical as this is something I never/rarely do, like I said I’m still working on it too!
Stress is something that quite often comes upon us without us even realising. Sometimes the first sign for me is that I can feel my shoulders getting tight or I start to be really snappy and short with people. Being able to sense and notice your signs early is another important factor in getting your stress under control quickly.
When you’re already processing a mental health issue stress is the last thing you want being piled on top of you, my advice would definitely be to remove all unnecessary stress where possible. I expect we’ve all taken on something we don’t need which can be eliminated.
If you can’t remove all stress, take a day off. Put the kids in nursery/school, book a days annual leave and do what makes you feel good just for one day, it’s a bit self indulgent but feels amazing and is totally worth it. You can’t function properly if your cup is half full after all.
Learn to say no when you can, people won’t think any less of you and you will gain some time and energy back.
Look after yourself, if you are the one holding it all together and people are depending on you it’s more important then ever that you take good care of yourself. Don’t resort to caffeine and sugar try and be conscious about what you are putting into your body.
I hope my ramblings have been of some use, just by writing a few things down I feel a bit more together myself. Most things aren’t as bad a you think, look after yourselves and as always,
Stay Strong xxx