This week has been a good week for me; I have literally been making sure I take time to relax before bedtime and tell myself that tomorrow is going to be a good day. It sounds silly and so simple but couple this with five minutes or so winding down and deep breathing and it makes me feel a hell of a lot better. I also tell myself what I am going to do in the morning so if I am wanting to get up early to go for a power walk (I was running but it wasn't having a good impact on my back) then I tell myself I am going to get up early and go out. I am finding going to sleep with motivational thoughts in my head makes me feel more motivated in the mornings.
If I have woken up and felt like I want to stay in bed rather than go out and exercise (who doesn't feel that way?!) I have reminded myself of how good I will feel afterwards, both physically and mentally. When I go out for a power walk or run I make sure I think about absolutely nothing. Nothing at all. Just clear my mind (which is really hard for me!) and enjoy the fresh air and the scenery around me. That is therapy in itself. By the time I get back I feel refreshed and ready to face the day. If I haven't been out in the morning I go in the evening, I feel like exercise is now my medication. It gives you that natural buzz and relief. If I can feel anxiety creeping in or that I am feeling a bit down I go out for a walk or whatever and think about nothing but which which route I am going to take and it makes me feel so much better.
I have also been stressing less about things coming up in the future that normally I would worry about. This one is extremely hard for me! I am always living in the future, every minute of my life. Always distracted. I am always thinking of what I need to be doing next or stuff coming up or worrying about future bills and what ever else. I can never enjoy what's happening now because I am never here now. Sure, I am in the room but my mind is always whirring along in the background three days ahead (minimum). If I am at a party listening to someone talk, I can never just be at the party, relaxed and enjoying the mood and the people I am talking to. I am always thinking of something else or worrying about something else and before I know it a whole conversation has happened around me and I have no clue what people are talking about. My mood has soured because I have got myself in a state about stupid random things and my anxiety levels are rising. This weekend we had a party and I was really looking forward to it; I promised myself I was going to have a good time and not be stressing about anything. I was just going to enjoy socialising and chatting with people I hadn't seen for a while and that was it. And that's what I did. I had a lovely time. I had some lovely conversations with good friends and family and it was a nice evening. I left early because Savannah was so tired and grumpy but I didn't get stressed out about it like I normally would. I usually find having Savannah with me at a party really stressful and my anxiety goes through the roof but I know it is all in my head. She is fine and it is lovely for her to enjoy herself and have fun, as long as I keep my eye on her it doesn't matter and when she is tired, if I can't settle her then I will take her home - which is what I did.
This week is the first week of my life that it has really hit home with me that I can kick anxiety's arse and be myself, the real me that has been hiding away behind my anxiety's back is now slowly starting to emerge. I am not a stressy person and I am not a miserable person - that is my anxiety. The real me likes to laugh and chat and have fun and enjoy life. This week I stuck two fingers up to my anxiety and enjoyed myself and it felt amazing.
One sure sign I was feeling better in myself is that I went swimming with Patrick and Savannah; I would usually watch because I hate being in a bikini but I didn't care because the desire to go swimming and play with Savannah in the water was greater than my fear of how I looked in my bikini. I actually didn't give a second thought to how I looked in my bikini because it wasn't important. Afterwards, we took Savannah to an animal sanctuary which was really good fun too and it was lovely to spend time together as a family. I used to think I needed cigarettes and alcohol to give me a buzz and make me enjoy life more but I am quickly learning I just need life experiences to give me a buzz and make me feel happy. Not once at that party did I feel like I missed alcohol (I gave it up last October by the way, not sure if I have mentioned that on here yet) and that was the first time that I have felt that way. I felt good enough and confident enough to enjoy the party on my own.
When you let go of a lot of things like fears of the future or thoughts of the past or just general over thinking it leaves you free to do a hell of a lot more with your life. I have been taking care of myself more this past week too, exercising being one - am starting a new class tonight called Contour Pilates which I am excited about - and eating well again which was something I struggled with when I felt crap. I just craved bad food. You only have one body and one life though and you need to look after yourself, I feel like something has clicked inside my head finally that has made me realise that I am just as good as everyone else. I can do whatever I put my mind to and taking small steps and making small changes has proved that and has made me want to do more.There isn't any secret in how that thing 'clicked' in my head, I have been telling myself for a long time that I am good enough to do whatever I want and achieve whatever I want, maybe it has just finally sunk in.
I know I will still have down days and times when I don't feel as motivated but that is OK, so long as I recognise what it is and don't wallow in it. So long as I motivate myself and push myself harder so that those darker days and thoughts don't win. I am more aware of those thoughts now and how to deal with them but it will certainly be much more of a test for me when I feel crap. It is easy to feel good and motivated on the better days, the dark days are when I really have to find my inner strength.
So, this week I am feeling very proud of myself and very comfortable in my own skin. Content I guess. It is a lovely feeling. Here is to having another good week!
Lots of love xx