I’ve navigated the last few weeks with a lot of tension. Foggy nights have given way to even foggier days and general my anxiety has been quite high.
I’ve called myself ‘high-functioning’ many times because I tend to get everything that needs doing done as ‘normal’ and with minimal interruption – well until I attempt to drift off to sleep and then I’m usually plagued with frequent mini but (mostly) manageable panic attacks.
I’m trying to be as honest as possible with myself so I can discern what is causing this flurry of very negative and disruptive feelings. Whilst I’m not coming up empty I can’t quite name and shame the culprit.
I know that my near car collision a few weeks ago hasn’t made sleeping easier. My constant guilt for not having enough energy to pursue my ‘dreams’ and my fear of saying NO to helping friends and family out certainly haven’t helped either.
I had the pleasure of visiting Paris for the first time this weekend and it was quite the adventure. I traveled 2 hours via the very reliable Eurostar from King’s Cross St. Pancras in London to the Garde du Nord. The hotel was a last minute find but proved to be an absolutely fantastic choice (http://hotelhabituel.fr/)
From the old style Parisien buildings to the amazing vegan food I cannot wait to go back and see it all again, here are a few pictures!
Okay so maybe I’m being a little shady with that title. Everyone needs to practice self-care, often and at any age.
I’ve seen a recent shift as concerns the view of what self-care is and why it’s not all face masks and switching off the tv (both of which are excellent forms of self-care if I do say so myself). I’ve seen this shift which now seems to suggest that self-care should involve deep introspect, accountability and awareness of one’s own toxicity- and I fuck with that- heavily.
When I feel out of control, lacking motivation and simply not on top of my game, it’s nice to take a step back from my problems, unwind, relax and regroup. This sometimes means cancelling a gym session and having a meal with a co-worker I can de-stress with or going home after work to watch a movie. The end result is usually a good result, I’m no longer stressed out and I feel like I’ve put myself before anything else.
Sometimes however, when I feel out of control and simply not on top of life, the answer isn’t a face mask or cancelling all responsibilities to meditate in the park. Some days, self-care means doing the painful work of completing a ‘to-do’ list which I have put off for weeks, having a difficult conversation with a friend or family member or cleaning my bathroom because I know that putting it off causes me anxiety.
Powering through a busy day when you are also navigating internal emotional conflict is difficult A F. The pressure to be productive is overwhelming and I’m in one of those weird places where I know I could certainly do more but also feel a call to take it easy.
After an amazing 30th birthday party and an awesome week and a half away in the motherland, I was ready to return to London and put pen to paper and thoughts to action. If you know me, you know I’ve been looking for a career in anything creative/writing/content making for a long ass while. What I wasn’t ready for was the constant nagging of anxiety that is now making it extra tough to keep my motivation going.
I don’t like to say that I suffer with anxiety, I prefer to say that I LIVE with anxiety, as most of us consciously and/or unconsciously do. It’s that dull ache that lingers and echoes all your fears about things you have no control over. That irrational ‘friend’ that fears anything and everything.
My go to strategy at the moment is to identify my triggers, stay away from them or when the inevitable happens, accept that I have been triggered and MOVE ON. It’s of course easier said than done and I am the first to admit that sitting in the pockets of depression and anxiety can be delicious, in a sick twisted way.
It has only been a couple of days since Trump called Haiti, along with several African countries ‘shithole’ countries. What ensued was the usual Trump bashing and not surprising a flurry of lists of accomplishments from people from said ‘Shithole’ countries. My initial ‘yasssssss, tell those suckers’ was quickly replaced with a new concept, why do we have to be extraordinary to get respect. WH
I equated the feeling to black women constantly being referred to as strong and resilient and therefore feeling like we have to have tough skin by default. We don’t have to be.
January always seems to bring with it some pressure to perform and outperform. Your yearly plan must be neatly typed out and stuck on your office desk, fridge and bed. Your annual budget calculated to the last work lunch and your weight loss project strategized to the last squat rep.
Sometimes I want to rule the world and sometimes I just want to be an average bitch and guess what- on both occasions I deserve respect. It is exhausting having to carry around the anxiety of accomplishing everything all at once. Suddenly you over spend or forget to take your hair vitamins for a month and you send yourself into a frenzy of ‘I have failed miserably’.
I am all for motivating yourself and others around you to be the best version you can be; however, I am more recently more concerned about living a life that doesn’t restrict my self-worth to how much suffering I can endure or how many degrees I have or how fast I can whizz through my daily to do list.
It is wonderful to be productive, and it is just as wonderful to navigate this world at a pace that doesn’t make you feel worthless.
There is always some new project you could be working on, there’s always a better paid job, a new business venture you could dive into- but at what cost. Focus on doing the things that set your soul on fire but remember that even on your least productive day you are just as worthy.