Tuesday, 1 May 2018

How I am trying to keep positive.


Last summer I shared a real insight into my mental health. I always wanted to do a follow up, but to be honest I just wasn't able. 8 months since then I feel I am doing really well. 8 months seems a long time but time has just disappeared and it is interesting to consciously realise this shift I have had internally with dealing with things.
I only say realised because in the last month I have noticed myself feeling lighter and happier about things that would normally feel out of control. There have been a few changes in life that I am sure have helped, in fact I know have helped, also, I think I have learned to control my emotions a bit more. It doesn't mean that I don't have down days but I even said to Rob the other day "I feel happy that I am able to sort out the usual unhappiness by myself now, I don't feel the need to talk about it." He laughed at the 'don't need to talk about it' bit but congratulated me on the fact that I seemed to be able to sort out my thoughts. Most of these thoughts span from self negativity and space I have in my head and believe me, they have not gone, but they have been silenced for a period which has even made me recognise that I am not thinking them.
I said there had been some changes and I suppose I have tried to deal with things differently: the winter is a good hibernation period, and this last winter brought a lot of happiness for us as a family and that in itself has lifted us all.
I wanted to just list some of these changes, as in a small way they might help someone else realign themselves and put them on a happier path.

1} A new job. It is unfortunate to write this but the reality is work is stressful and actually, I was doing something before that stressed me out and upset me every week. When you only have 7 days to avoid thinking about something you begin to realise that the negative emotions don't actually ever leave you. Even though you think you leave it all behind when you leave the office, you don't and that is so damaging. Living in a negative work relationship has really damaged me. I often was fighting for self recognition and just out and out praise, to be honest, but it was hard to get. No direction or proper management made it a tough job too so even though I don't want to leave the opportunity, walking away from it is a really healthy idea. Plus, it became more possible when a new opportunity opened up and I realised what joy I could get from work again.

2} Experiences. I shouldn't say a holiday will help you get over your mental health problems, it doesn't but I'll tell you what, an escape does help ease it all. I always think you get out what you put in and our Christmas break gave us that. It was a great gift via the blog but loads of people have done similar things and haven't had it affect them in the same way. Maybe that's because we all went in feeling incredibly lucky to start. The whole experience was literally a dream come true and it worked so well because Rob and I made it work so well. It was a big team effort and I had to let go of quite a few anxieties and since then I have been able to let go of so much more. Even Rob remarked the other week when we left the kids in the IKEA creche that I was so much less anxious about leaving the kids, since our Mark Warner holiday where we had to leave them in childcare. Isn't that amazing though. I have gotten less anxious about the kids by being pushed into it, but I suppose life pushes you into the best things sometimes. I really do feel less anxious and I find that I want to push them into these opportunities. That is a full circle of change for me.

3} Talking. And not even about my problems. I started seeing a really good friend once a week and we would talk solidly for 3 hours about life each week. Some weeks through school holidays we have had to cancel and I think we both feel it but when we have our routine, it has been surprisingly helpful. Just chat gets me to open up and I am getting stuff off my chest in a friendly environment.

4} Realising that social media isn't life. I think we could all say that we know this but then why are we online 24/7? I have massively stepped back from living life through social media. Posting and checking likes is not a priority anymore because I know that at the end of the day, this world could all just disappear. I enjoy it for what it is. I love the social aspect and the inspiration but leaving it all for a day or two a week is so good. I have no shame or guilt  with that and it has released tension that surrounds work and the constant need to update!

5} Using my office as an office. It was so easy to just work on the dinner table and have the TV on in the background. Getting cups of tea was easy but actually having my computer downstairs was just a constant reminder to write. Even when it was a happy feeling to, the deadline projects came so much more pressured. I would see my computer and just constantly be nudging myself to write, and not just leave it until an appropriate time of day. Developing our spare room recently has just made me want to be up here more and keep work stuff all in one place. It also means I can close the door on it all when I am done.

6} Running. It always comes round to exercise in one way or another. I don't mind if I feel frumpy if I know I have done enough exercise each week. A few runs and a swim session has really put me back on track to not feeling so negative about my body. Why? Because when I am trying I can talk myself down from the shock of the scales. When I don't do exercise I just spiral with negativity. Being more on it with my step count is really helping. But so are the light evenings which make all of us want to use our time better.

7}Team. A lot of my focus with my negative energy always brings me back round to just being in my team. Rob, Raph, Etta and I; that's all I need. Learning not to dilute that is a strong tool in itself. Choose your A Team; they lift you.

8} Plan for fun. We still have no official summer holiday booked but I have every faith we have a season of excitement ahead. With two siblings getting married, a huge work show for me, birthdays, days out with friends already planned and in the diary I have so many things to look forward to and plan for. Joy in planning has made me feel better.

9} Finding my place. Right now, I have a new job, exciting prospects, children happy, children active, Rob and just a place that is right, right now. That's all I need and no more.

It's not a lot. It's to do with where I am but maybe you might be  able to reflect on where you are and use some of my changes to just help shape your ideas and make life a little happier for yourself.




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9 comments

  1. Glad you're doing well, but please may I ask that you read through your post before submitting - I found it soooooo difficult to read with so many spelling and grammatical errors. Sorry to ask but usually enjoy reading your posts xx

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    1. I believe it’s dyslexia. It’s not always possible for someone to pick up on these things.

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    2. Sorry, all changed now, draft version, un- edited, dyslexia. But no excuse! Em

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  2. A wonderful, heartfelt post. I really admire your honesty - it is difficult to put personal feelings "out there". Hope you continue to feel good.

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    1. Thanks Jane, Sorry you read the version with all the spelling mistakes!! I have changed it now! Em x

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  3. Morwenna Moseley3 May 2018 at 14:25

    Love your honesty Emily. Also don't mind spelling mistakes due to dyslexia as that makes you who you are with your creative spirit so nothing to be ashamed of. Continue to enjoy your new work, runs and time with your A team this Spring ������

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  4. Really enjoyed reading this Emily and it really resonated with me. I've felt very similar over the past 6-7 months and even had CBT to try and help (which it has). Glad you're doing well now xx

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  5. Oh Emily I love this post.
    I think we have similar issues we deal with and I hate how bad my anxiety has become this past year but I am on a little journey to feel better with the things I can change. So thank you for this post.
    It has reminded me this morning to keep breathing and enjoy today not be so worried about perfection xxx

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