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.
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.
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.