Hi all 🙂
After sharing a few posts regarding my struggles with anxiety and how I have managed it in the past versus the present, I have felt inspired to share a weekly update in regards to how it’s all going!
I want to say thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read/like/comment on my posts- it means ever so much to me and this blog is becoming a great outlet to express all the thoughts running through my mind.
In case you haven’t read my other posts regarding anxiety, my overall stance is:
Anxiety is a not a choice but we choose how we manage it.
Anxiety will always be a part of who I am- I cannot let it control me and dictate my actions but I cannot ignore it, I must constantly check in with myself and assure I am taking actions that benefit my wellbeing on a mental and physical level.
This week has presented a lot of difficult obstacles for me. The details are unimportant, but the events have been stressful and have weighed on my mind.
Reflecting on how I managed these obstacles this week, I have to say I am rather proud of myself. If I was going through what happened this week a year ago, I am sure I would be going into self-destructive mode. My routine would have mostly comprised of going to work, then coming home and eating junk, watching loads of tv and then sleeping. Don’t get me wrong these activities are enjoyable every once in a while but like everything in life, it is okay in moderation.
This week, however, I mostly made decisions that allowed me to positively channel all of my energy.
I exercised 4 days in a row- this is huge deal for me. I have been struggling for a long time now to get back into a regular fitness pattern. I have become physically active again this year but it has been inconsistent- varying from a few times a week to no activity for a couple weeks in a row. The problem with me not exercising is my reasoning behind it- it kicks in when I ignore my anxiety and let it take over.
This week, I did a variety of fitness classes after work. As drained as I felt after working, I motivated myself to attend every class and put my 100% effort into session. I wasn’t hard on myself if I couldn’t complete all of the moves, because I knew and accepted that I was doing the best I could. With each class I felt I was becoming stronger, and I walked out of each class feeling re-energised and having a new perspective on the day’s events.
That is not to say that all the decisions I made positively impacted my wellbeing. I did eat a lot of junk this week, and this tends to happen when I’m feeling overworked and stressed. However, normally when I fall into this pattern I then feel guilty about all the junk I eat. The fact is we can work on ourselves and improve our choices but what’s done is done. There is a massive difference between self-reflection and self-pity. I’ll use an example that happened to me this week:
I was feeling overwhelmed at work- it was nearly 2 PM and I hadn’t eaten anything all day. Finally I decide to take my lunch break and out of starvation/stress I go to the sandwich shop and get a greasy panini, a blueberry loaf and drink a can of coke while eating this.
Self-reflection: I am proud of myself because this week I reflected on this action. Let me breakdown the above action and my thoughts on it:
- I realised I did not have breakfast because I woke up too late and rushed out of the house to get to work. I therefore need to make sure I wake up more early to fit breakfast in (I am a true believer that breakfast is the most important meal of the day).
- I waited until 2 PM to to take lunch because I had become overwhelmed by my work load and I was not checking in with how I was feeling. Remember, we must constantly check in with ourselves as our wellbeing is the most important thing. The work was going to get done whether I took my lunch break at 12 PM or 2 PM. I need to take earlier lunch breaks and listen to my body when it’s hungry.
- I went to the sandwich shop because it was the nearest place to me that didn’t require me to walk far (as I was overwhelmed by my work load I felt like I needed to be back in the office ASAP). Really, what I should have done is walk further, clear my head, and reset myself.
- I ate a greasy panini and blueberry loaf because I have, through my past actions, trained my body into craving carbs. Like I said all is good in moderation, but we must also think why are we choosing what we eat. There was point this week where I had gone out to dinner with a friend and I ate a burger- I chose to eat that burger as we were at a burger joint and I genuinely fancied one. I had worked out and had a lovely evening with my friend. The panini and blueberry loaf I chose because of stress and lack of energy. In moments like these, I really should avoid carbs.
- I accompanied my meal with a sugary can of coca cola. Coca cola is my kryptonite- when I am stressed/tired/overwhelmed I badly desire it. It is essential for me to reflect on the fact that I had not had drunken any water that day- at all. This action kicks my body into craving sugar when it really needs water. The lesson here is that I need to drink more water.
Self-pity: In the past this action would have become a big self-pity fest for me. My thought process would entail me getting frustrated with my choices and not giving any thought to why i made those choices to begin with. I would look at my body and feel disgusted with myself and I would seek reassurance from others regarding my actions to feel better about myself.
That did not happen this week. I reflected. I made my actions and I did not punish myself for them- rather I learned something new about how my mental state impacts how I channel my energy. I have learned what choices I need to make to positively drive the stresses I carry around on a daily basis.
This is not to say that the above example won’t happen again, but it does mean that when it happens I am aware of why and I will know what actions I need to take to reset myself in the right direction.
Also, this week has been great for me to realise that getting older and experience really are the keys to mastering the art of not giving a shit.
One of the biggest ways my anxiety manifests itself into is how I think people perceive me.
Caring what other people think is a massive common struggle, when you have anxiety it is magnified by 100% percent.
As I get older though and experience more of this irrational mind state, I am realising that I am taking more control of not giving a shit of what other people think.
This week, I texted a friend and for a second I thought, “I shouldn’t have said that, they’re going to be upset with me for it”. However this time I quickly reset and realised that the thought process was irrational. It took whole day and half until they texted back, and guess what- I was totally okay with it. I didn’t sit there thinking ‘oh no, they’re not texting me because I’ve upset them and now everyone is going to be upset with me because that person is upset with me’. More often that not my mind goes there- but not this week. I thought they’ll text me when they text me, and surely they did and they were not upset and everything continued as normal.
This week, although difficult and strenuous, has presented me with a wonderful realisation of how far I have come in managing my anxiety and taking control of my decisions.
Self-reflection is a beautiful gift that allows us to guide our minds and bodies in a positive direction, while also enabling us to celebrate all of the victories (big and small) we have accomplished in a week.
Thanks for catching up with me, and I’ll make sure to share my journey with you all next week 🙂
P.S.: I encourage anyone who feels inclined to share their story/opinions/thoughts with me in the comments section or privately. Always feel free to drop me a line on email@example.com.