Happiness and mental health have definitely been buzz words for most of the year and as a result I never really took any of it seriously. Whenever it occurred to me that maybe I needed some self care you would find me face dive into a share bar of galaxy and run a huge bubble bath with every skincare product I owned slapped on my face. Don’t get me wrong this is definitely part of the self care mantra but really shouldn’t we be focused more on self care that really is caring for ourselves. The less fun stuff perhaps, but arguably the more important. Things like drinking that glass of water, reading that book and even going for that run.
This year I have struggled with my happiness. Lots of personal reasons behind it but mostly I was lacking self worth. All of the things I didn’t like about myself seemed magnified and I was obsessing that others thought all those negative things about me too. It occurred to me that I had probably always felt this way about myself and that I couldn’t just pull myself out of it because if that were the case then it would have already happened. If something was going to change then it needed to start with me changing the help structure in my life and giving myself better tools to deal with what held me back.
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A friend of mine started having some counselling and I felt so much admiration for her. I think I always assumed my problems weren’t worthy enough of seeing a professional. I like to play the game called ‘it could be worse’ a lot but did it need to be worse for me to get help? She gave me the nudge to go along for a few sessions which I am so thankful for. They felt ridiculous to begin with. The silences, the fact me making a joke out of my shitty experiences wasn’t laughed at. I had to stop trying to make it more comfortable to talk about and actually just be raw for an hour at a time. It was emotionally exhausting and with the troubles we are having with our house move I actually think it was poor timing. So after a few sessions I have taken a break but intend to pick them back up when things have settled down.
Those few sessions sent me on such a journey though. The last month I have spent so much of my evenings reading and listening to people talk about self worth. Trying to understand my behaviours and why I am so defensive all the time. The self deprecation had to stop. I have a habit of saying no one likes me because it created a wall. I think I believe that if I say no one likes me then should it turn out to be true I won’t feel so upset about it. I am sure I am not the only one using these defence mechanisms in life but the last few months I have changed the way I speak about myself. I have to say that I have started to see the difference.
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After spending so much time listening to podcasts like Happy Place by Fearne Cotton and Under The Skin by Russel Brand I started to feel that I was slipping back into taking the easy option for self care again. Listening to an hours podcast was definitely less taxing than exercising for an hour for example. So yesterday I gave myself the push and I have started to do the couch to 5k Running app again. This time the soul purpose is for mental health. I don’t want to know how fast I am running or what week everyone else is on. I just want to run and to feel grateful that I am lucky enough to be able to. This quote really stuck out to me…
There comes a time in all of our lives where we just think ‘I cant be this person anymore’ and we either sit and feel rubbish about it or we strive to improve. I hope that all this work I have been doing on myself is me striving to improve.
This post is about my personal journey and isn’t intended as advice in anyway.
*This post contains clothing gifted from Very.co.uk as part of my on going collaboration with them. All words and opinions are my own.
THIS, everything you’ve said! I am totally in that stage right now where I am noticing that I have to dive in and choose me!
Thank you for sharing
Thank you for reading! It’s hard to prioritise ourselves sometimes but it’s so worth it!
This resonates so much – I’d heard people talk about anxiety on every social platform i became sceptical about it…until 8 months ago when I hit a wall and suffered with anxiety and depression in the midst of also having health issues… I thought it was an apt sort of karma! I too self referred to a professional and was helped to understand that my drive for perfection – personal – interior – and mostly parenting (compare and despair) as well as working from Home had drivin my stress levels through the wall. Slowing down has been incredibly hard but so valuable – reading, sitting, I’ve even watched cable girls on Netflix when the kids are at school which I would never have contemplated in favour of making my Home insta worthy! Best of luck – you sound like you have the right idea x
This post is beautifully written Cara. Thank you for sharing. Niki xx
Ah thank you so much for taking the time to read it 😘
Oh this hits close to home Cara! It’s so important that we offer ourselves the same consideration that we would offer a cherished friend, yet often we simply don’t! I struggle with this, and sometimes I’m better than others….but sometimes is better than no times I reckon. Thanks for sharing Cara, I love reading your stuff ❤️ Xx
Ah thank you. It really does require some effort to put ourselves first from time to time doesn’t it!
This was a really thought provoking read Cara and I find myself going to the kitchen to get a glass of water (I hate drinking water ). My body will thank you for it ( but I might not when I spend all day on the toilet 🤣)
I can completely relate to this! Running has been a huge help for me in dealing with feeling low and bouts of anxiety so I hope it helps you too. People say I’m crazy the amount of running I do but I know I’d be more crazy if I didn’t!
Ah that’s inspiring to hear! I really hope it does that for me too!
Thank you for sharing
Thank you for sharing. This is beautifully written and so real. It so nice to hear someone else put into words what you may feel or think at times when you can’t yourself (if that makes sense) I keep saying that I’m gonna start the couch to 5k but it’s always put off because of other commitments. Things need to change and I thank you for that. You are such an inspiration to lots of people (also hilarious) please keep doing what your doing xx
Ah thank you so much this is lovely to hear. xx
I came across your blog as I feel like whenever I feel happy about something, it’s like this feeling hits a wall and goes, I feel like I don’t actually know how to be happy day to day. This really resonated with me ‘There comes a time in all of our lives where we just think ‘I cant be this person anymore’ and we either sit and feel rubbish about it or we strive to improve.‘
Thank you for writing this honest blog.
Well done Cara, what an open and honest post and massive respect to you for tackling your feelings head on and writing about it to inspire others to do the same. You are awesome. Wishing you all the very best on your journey to seek the happiness and fulfilment in life that you righty deserve. Keep on going!! 💪💪 xx
Thank you Philippa x
I love where you’ve gone with this post.
The jokes and the self deprecation. It’s all part of that inside voice that you listen to and reflects how you see yourself.
Tell it something different and it will start singing a new song.
I hope so. Thank you for reading x
I think you’re so brave for writing so personally about this. So many people on social media continue to portray their lives as perfect, and no ones ever is. Your honesty speaks volumes about what a genuine person you are, and working on appreciating yourself can only add to this. On a different note…. have you listened to ‘the lady vanishes’ podcast? It’s right up your street!!! Xx
Ah I haven’t but thank you so much for the tip!
How is mental health and a very ad even related! What an insult to people who genuinely suffer? You got paid to write this blog so it lacks authenticity!!
Hi Lola, thank you for your comment. I’m sorry you feel that way. I take your feedback on board.
Can’t help but agree. It’s in poor taste to talk about mental health struggles in the guise of #AD
Hi Emily, I’m sorry you feel that way and absolutely take your comments on board. I appreciate the feedback.
I really related to this post even though it was your personal interpretation of your life. Things for me have bubbled up for a few months now and this past weekend I just thought ‘I cannot go on like this, I am not the person I want to be and this is not the life I want to continue living’ almost on self destruct I guess. But the good in all of this is coming off of Instagram (yes, we all know this is a good thing) unfollowing accounts that do not make me happy or that I’m not comparing myself to and try to work on one thing at a time.
I really hope things continue to get better for you and hope you are in a good place. Life can swallow you up sometimes but at least you’ve recognised something needed to be addressed. I kind of think I need to speak to someone as I have extremely low self esteem, self hatred and insecurities.
I really hope you have people around you to support you. Speaking to someone is absolutely the best thing you can do. I think we are all so hard on ourselves. Thank you for reading and I hope you’re ok lovely.