7 June 2021

Recent Feelings & How I'm Trying to Change



Feeling like a shit human is a mood I've been clinging onto for days. 


My brain feelings like the spin cycle on the washing machine. Swirling around thoughts of unease and upset. Warping the truth and confusing what's real. Saturating every waking moment. Creating scenarios in my head that didn't play out the way I'd hoped and, watching imposter syndrome pull me under. I'm the main character in this story and I don't like what's happening here. Am I cruel and unkind, or am I the opposite? Am I both? I can't tell any more.


There's a lot in my life I'm completely sure of. My relationship, how to cook the perfect risotto, how long to bake salmon for, when to step away from my phone, when decaf coffee is the better choice, what cake is my favourite, where to find everything I need at Morrisons, how to look after someone who's dying and, what my favourite colour is. But, yet in recent moments of insecurity, I'm doubting everything I know to be true. Is purple really my favourite colour? Do I really reallyyyy know where to find mustard in Morrisons? This self loathing I've sat uncomfortably with on many occasions never becomes less painful. So, painful in fact that I've been waking up at 3am with stomach ache for the past week, removing myself from the bed I adore and tucking myself up on the sofa, where I can lull in and out of sleep, replaying recent events and, trying to predict where I went wrong, what's going to happen next, and whether the people who say I'm a good person truly mean it.


I want to change. I need to do better. To know that not every decision in life that I make is going to be the right one for everyone, but that I think it's right for me or whatever project I'm working on. I suppose, in saying that I'm now addressing that I'm a people-pleaser. With every fibre of my being I try not to come across this way, but it's ultimately a total waste of energy, because it's who I am. I care. I care too much. I want to do well, I want people to like me and, I want to be helpful. I always strive to add value in every conversation I find myself within and will help however I can to reach a resolution. But I can't lie. I feel high at the scent of an ego boost. I need the reassurance and comfort of accomplishing something, being recognised and thanked for helping in the tiniest way to improve someone's life. Those moments, bring me back down to earth, allowing me a brief moment to smile and realise, I'm maybe not a complete loser. 


I've been taking steps in recent weeks to get to a place where I feel less like a loser every day, without seeking reassurance from those I value the opinions of. It's not been easy, and on many days it hasn't cured my mood for long, but I'm adjusting to these healthy practices and hoping eventually they'll lighten the load I've been carrying recently. Getting me back to a headspace where slow living is the centre of my universe once more, and I can go about my day empowered solely by my own positive vibes.


Tracking my mood


I've been doing this for the past 33 days precisely and, it's probably one of the most important things I've ever done for my mental health. I've been using a cute app called Daylio, customising my own activities, moods etc and logging them 3 times a day. At breakfast. Between lunch and dinner, and at bedtime. I'm not sure if this activity is boosting my mood in any way, but it's an easy way to check-in with myself, where I can see correlations between my activities, the meals I cook and, whether any of this directly impacts my state of mind. I think it does. It's also helped me find a better morning routine, and often acts as a checklist, making sure I take my vitamins, pill before bedtime and drink water etc etc.


Growing plants


A lovely lady I work with gifted me some overflow baby plants from her greenhouse earlier this Spring, and I've really loved watching them grow. Plants included: a sunflower, 2 pepper plants and 2 tomatoes as well. 


Within a matter of weeks they'd grown beyond my control and have now moved from my windowsill and out to the garden, where I've repotted them together. 


New levels of adulthood were unlocked that day, and since then I've taken so much pride in nurturing their growth. I feel like I'm tapping into my mum too, who notoriously has green fingers and loves spending her days in the garden. I see now how valuable this practice of taking care of something else can add meaning to my day, giving me an objective, reward and something to look forward to. 


Brunching with mum


Speaking of mum, we've been brunching a lot lately, most Tuesdays actually. Embracing a favourite pastime that stopped with lockdown and, the sudden news that my mum had cancer during lockdown 2.0, who then needed to shield. 


Since these rotten events, life has picked up though and she's getting better. We're drinking coffee again, people watching, eating our favourite foods and looking after each others wellbeing. Our relationship is like none other of course, and I rely on her heavily to pick me up when my thoughts are messy. She's a higher priority in my life than ever before, and I'm making sure she always knows it!


Turning notifications off


Over a year ago now, I decided to erase Facebook from my phone, to turn the notifications off on Twitter and Instagram, mute a couple of group chats and only check them when I wanted to. But, overtime I've found myself refreshing my phone constantly, longing for people to reply like yesterday, and installing Facebook again, in case mum posted anything I didn't want to miss, and to check in on the work social media, that I'm largely looking after. But, my mental health has been dwindling ever since, pulling old bad habits back in and, forgetting how to go an afternoon without my phone. 

...which is why in recent days I've taken control back somewhat. Turning off notifications on even more group chats, moving Facebook to an area of my phone where it's not always visible, but I can find it if I need to for work, and actively spending weekends doing other things I love, like day trips with my partner, working on our vintage car, relaxing in the garden, watching movies I can escape to, leaving my phone at home, and sometimes leaving my phone in the hallway overnight. 


Reading


I've always struggled to finish books, finding myself side tracked and longing for the right mood. But, I've come to learn that you need to seek out the right mood and conclude that every early night is an opportunity to sit in bed reading, instead of switching on the TV to watch episodes of Modern Family...again. 


But, with the warm weather I've been adoring recently, and the want to spend time next to my tomato plants, I've been reading outdoors. Soaking up Vitamin D, forgetting to put sun cream on (sorry) and, dipping my toes in our inflatable pool, whilst holding tightly onto Notes From a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig, a writer I've recently come to appreciate. His words in this book speak to me. I feel like I am him, and he's subtly teaching me so much about how to let go, leading ultimately to where I am this morning, writing this blog post.


Writing notes in my phone


I've always been fond of this activity, but more recently, I've been using it as a common practice when I feel overwhelmed...which is basically 90% of the time.  Here's an example of something I wrote: 


"What is important to me?? Stability. Kindness. Calmness / peace. Food. A loving family."


These simple prompts come to me when I'm offline, doing the dishes, taking a long shower, sitting outdoors in silence, drinking coffee alone. And, these I cherish looking back through, reminding me to centre myself and remember what I value most in life. Sometimes I write long explanations or ramblings when I'm mad, but most are simple, reflective and thoughtful. Some, I even share on Instagram or, turn into blog post concepts.


Learning 


Feeling like less of a shit human just for writing these words and getting these exhaustive thoughts out of my head. I think the most valuable thing I'm learning is to be self aware I suppose. To be able to realise that whatever vicious cycle is running through my head is probably not the truth or an accurate representation of how I'm perceived by others. Sometimes, maybe it is and that's what hurts us, but we can't be everyone's friend. We can't live a life where we hate ourselves and others like the version of us that isn't truly deep deep down who we are. I'm learning to set myself free from that burden. To conclude that this pattern of behaviour I live with isn't healthy or helpful and, realising that if I want to live a happy life for an extended period of time, this is something I quite desperately need to work on.


Here's a simple prompt if you often feel overcome with anxiety like myself...


When you're feeling like the world is against you, your colleagues hate you, that email you sent was too blunt, that plan you cancelled has led to a loss of friendship etc, zap that thought away and say "who told you that?" - more often than not, you did. Like me, your anxiety warped a situation entirely and no one has actually told you you're a failure, a terrible excuse for a human being or a bad friend. Remember that and I will too. 


Take care of yourself. Love who you're becoming and spend time offline every now and again please.

8 comments

  1. I'm so sorry that you've been feeling like a shit human. That's a daily mood with my mental health as well. I've actually got Daylio on my phone and it's such a simple way to track your moods. I'm super tempted to start growing some herbs in my kitchen...might grab some next week when I get paid!

    Daisy xoxo | AccordingToDaisy

    ReplyDelete
  2. First of all. You are not a shit human. It's completely okay to have bad days. Whenever you start to feel down, remember that it is okay to not be okay. No one is always in good state. Every one has bad days. These are fab ways to help you get better. Doing things to distract yourself from the ongoings in your head always help. I loved reading this x

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm so sorry to read that you've been feeling like this. But it's good that you're taking positive actions to remediate. And as a keen gardener, I can absolutely empathise about the healing power of plants and Nature. My garden is my happy place, it's my solace at all times. I hope you continue to enjoy your green fingers :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. i'm sorry you've been feeling this way but thank you for being honest & sharing this with everyone. i love that you shared these self care activities that have helped you. i also love spending time with my mom it truly boosts my mood. i also would like to say that first paragraph was brilliantly written and it drew me in!!
    great read!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh sweet - I'm so sorry you've been feeling this way! I'm glad you mentioned plants though, I think being able to attend to plants etc makes such a difference, growth comes in so many ways! xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm sorry you've been feeling this way but hope all the things you're doing are making it better. I think tracking your mood is such a good way to help xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm sorry you've been feeling this way. It's great that you've recognized those feelings and taking the steps to help yourself. You're not a shit human! I love all these tips as well - I can imagine that growing plants really does help x

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sorry you've been feeling this way, but it's great that you've been proactive in trying to help yourself out of it. The app you've been using sounds really good. I know a few people who have said mood tracking has really helped their mental health x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

    ReplyDelete

Leave a comment...