Thursday, 9 November 2017

Slowing Down


Last time I posted on this here little corner of the internet, I talked about my mental health and how I had a mini meltdown at work.  Luckily, my manager has been incredibly supportive, and the time I have had to myself to help me deal with the stress that I'm currently carrying on my shoulders has been a huge help in terms of me realising a few home truths about myself.

I need to slow the heck down.

This goes back beyond my Mum passing away, but has been heightened since losing her.  I'm constantly going at 100 miles per hour and then some.  It's as if I have this incapability of saying no to friends and family, meaning I'm living life in the fast lane constantly and not actually having any down time.  Fridays comes around, I have a jam packed weekend full of social events, and before I know it my alarm is waking me up at 5:30am on Monday ready to do it all again.  It's not good for my health or my bank balance.

It hit me how poorly I was making myself when I managed to catch three colds in a row.  That is no exaggeration.  For a month I was struck down with one illness after another.  One week my sinuses were congested, the next I had a cough, and by week three and four I had a full blown chest infection.  Just how I wanted to spend a month of my life.

As I work for an agency at the moment, I don't get paid for sick days, so I powered through and went in to work every day, but this impacted on my home life, meaning the evenings were purely spent on recovering.  I had to reschedule my first driving lesson, I had to cancel seeing friends and family.  I was miserable and fed up.

And I only had myself to blame.

Maybe a part of it is down to keeping my mind busy in an attempt to not have to deal with the grief of losing my Mum, but this past year I've really spread myself thin.  Not only did I want to run this blog, but I also wanted an Etsy shop, and a YouTube channel.  Yet I also wanted time to spend with my friends and family, and lazy days in to take care of myself and read through the hundreds of books that are sat on my bookcase ready and waiting for me to pick them up.  When I had my few months out of work, this was slightly more manageable, but throw a new full time job into the mixture, and it all went down hill.

I felt like I had to keep on top of it.  I had to boss the hell out of every single day.  I had to constantly do something productive.  Relaxing was a waste of time.  Then I started to resent things.  Just the sheer amount I had piled on top of myself was beginning to overwhelm me, and eventually, I just stopped putting any effort into anything.  One, probably because my mind was telling me enough is enough, and two, because I genuinely just didn't want to deal with any of it anymore.  I'd given up on everything.  The activities that felt like chores, and sadly, my hobbies that I adored getting stuck in to, like writing this blog.

This past weekend I was sat in my bedroom, panicking about how I'm going to keep on top of everything.  I felt ashamed that I was struggling to keep my head above water, and that I wasn't able to keep on top of everything unlike fellow bloggers and creatives who just seem to be the most productive beings ever in existence.

Then I thought, "Why am I comparing myself to these people?  Why am I putting myself through all of this?".

It was clear I was gaining no happiness out of certain projects I had undertaken, and I was comparing myself to women who had very different realities to mine.  I was adding stress to my life for no apparent reason.  And as for not being able to say no to friends and family?  Well, that's on me.

Since, I've been taking some steps to lighten the load on my shoulders.  I've closed my Etsy shop, and have arranged to donate all of the remaining left over materials to a charity who arrange craft days for under privileged children in Sheffield, and rely on materials like this being sent to them.  YouTube is a no go zone.  I've cut down my time on Twitter and Facebook, focusing my time instead on my favourite app, Instagram, and I have only been agreeing to social events if I feel like I still have the time to get the rest and relaxation in that I clearly need, because you know what I realised?  Giving ourselves time to rest and relax is in fact incredibly important to our wellbeing.  Who knew!?

Instead of trying to do absolutely everything, I have three main goals I would like to focus on.

  1. I want to work on my health and fitness.  I'm currently waiting for my tailored plan to come through from The Body Coach, and I want to successfully complete the 90 day SSS challenge.  A success for me will be a more lean body, and feeling healthier and fitter within myself.
  2. I want to focus on this blog, and work on my writing again.  Instead of blogging and doing YouTube and having an Etsy shop and blah blah blah, I want to set myself goals to reach on this space.  This is where my passion lies, and I don't want my love for this space to be sucked out of me by anything that's bringing me zero enjoyment.
  3. I want to read more.  I think come the new year I'm going to set myself a Good Reads challenge to have something to work towards.  I miss reading, and come the evening time it really helps me to relax, so I'm aiming to set aside 30 minutes to an hour to read each evening.  Whether that be a book, a magazine, or the latest blog posts on my Bloglovin' feed, anything as long as I'm consuming wonderfully put together words.
Society tells us we're failures if we're not going at 100% 24/7, but I've realised lately that by doing this; by giving in to societies demands we're failing ourselves.  We work hard, we play harder, and we do everything else in between.  Maybe it's time we all take a step back, relax, and actually enjoy some of our free time.  relaxation is just as important to our health and wellbeing as hitting the gym is, so give yourself a duvet day.  Set aside days to do nothing but read, watch films, nap or play your games console.  Allow time for your brain to switch off from time to time.  I can guarantee you that you'll be much more productive on the days following this than if you keep pushing your body and mind to it's limits.
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2 comments

  1. I think we are all guilty of trying to do too much at times but you are not a failure if you don't do it all. Sometimes you just have to sit back and take some time for you and do what you want to do and not what society dictates. x

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    1. You're right. my biggest problem throughout my life has been trying to do what I think will make everybody else happy, but not putting my own wants and needs first. It's taken me a long time to realise that it doesn't matter what I choose to do; there will always be somebody who's not happy with what I decide to do. The most important thing is that I'm happy with what I chose to do, and that my choices don't hurt others, that's all that matters xx

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