As I said when I started the new route through this blog, rather than focusing on the symptoms and struggles all the time, my escape began when I discovered that a friend of mine thought completely differently to me.
I hadn’t know then, at age 26, that I was woefully short on knowledge, ideas, and inspiration. Which was a bad thing.
The reason I was short on those ideas was that I’d been raised in one way to believe in one thing. I did step outside the family norm by taking myself off to church alone when I was 7, and thoroughly enjoying the experience until I was 14, when the wheels came off for me.
My family were strong-minded people who knew what they believed in and that it was the only way of life. They couldn’t see why I would want to go to church, although they fully supported it, but my first take away for you in this blog is – it was somewhere I found peace.
I used to love it when the vicar shut up (sorry vicar) and we got down on our knees to pray. From the first moment I could send my mind up and find a loving, strong, supportive presence. I still call it God but why not? No one knows quite what that energy consists of and it’s an easy name to spell. God is love. That will do me.
So, try to find something that calms your mind.
If you launch into Yoga whilst suffering from anxiety you’ll probably start worrying about the size of your butt in Yoga pants, your complete lack of flexibility, and whether you can get there in time after work.
If you try meditation you’ll probably find that your mind won’t shut up, and even though you’re supposed to ignore the thoughts and let them float away, they’re entirely distracting.
Personally I find having a massage stressful. I don’t like being half naked in an unfamiliar setting, if the person massaging me is stressed I will pick it up, and if I don’t like the setting I’ll fret over it.
The reason prayer made so much sense to me was that it was easy for me.
Don’t Heal All At Once
You won’t anyway, but if you try to get completely better fast you may land up disappointed. Clinical depression and anxiety are part of your body rather than your mind, so you need to be realistic about that and manage it within the parameters of your illness at first.
Non-clinical anxiety and depression always has a root, as I said yesterday, but also you’re highly trained into having those feelings and that training will take time to break.
So don’t set yourself the huge task of recovering instantly and feeling wonderful all the time. You’re just giving yourself something to get upset about.
The wonderful thing about feeling horrible is that the smallest step forward is a wonderful experience. Do keep a journal and note all the good things, they’re very handy to remind you how far you’ve come. And you do need to track that. Don’t lose a positive in the mists of memory, or have it wiped out by a bad day or event. If you can say, or remind yourself, that yesterday you felt wonderful, it’s a huge boost.
Build on those good days, moments, events, experiences. They are the building blocks of your future.
- Get out in the fresh air, don’t pressure yourself to walk or run, just go out, the garden will be fine.
- Sit in the sunlight for at least 10 minutes every day and get those healthy vitamins into your body.
- Play music you love in the background as much as you can.
- Try to have a new experience each week. Visit somewhere you’ve never been. See a movie. Go to a show. Meet with friends. Go to a football match.
- Take a little time for yourself. Have a hair cut. Refresh your look. Put a bit of perfume on. Just stop throwing on any old thing to go out. This applies to all genders. Showing a little respect for yourself helps you to feel more important.
- Read a book. Don’t start with a major self-help tome, just something you want to read.
Don’t Add Pressure
When you’re struggling with your mind, as you well know, everything feels too much, so attempting to feel better by doing lots normally results in failure.
You probably thought when I started this mentioning that I needed more knowledge and information, I was going to launch into loads of self-help advice, recommend books, suggest inspirers and courses. Which I will do in the future, but at first you need to have small wins, positive pigeon steps, and build yourself up to success.
This doesn’t mean that the success will take forever and ever and ever, far from it. It’s like a snowball, get it started and it gathers more snow as it rolls downhill. At the moment you’re a warrior looking for solutions, who has climbed the mountain of struggle and is now seeking answers to help you move forward. It’s all downhill from here in the best possible way.
To your happiness