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.
Whilst my biggest heart breaks this year have come from platonic friendships, things on the romantic side of town haven’t been all that exciting. Failed romantic pursuits have always come with a lesson for me and I thoroughly enjoy dissecting my past relationships- albeit sometimes too obsessively.
I feel like I’m often choosing people who don’t choose me and if I’m being honest there are many times people choose me and I don’t choose them. C’est la vie.
Through heartbreak and tears and copious amounts of vegan and non-vegan chocolate, here are some things my failed romantic relationships have taught me:
From panic attacks leading to multiple visits to A&E to jumping off the tube because I can’t ‘breathe’, I find the subtler ways anxiety affects my life to be more powerful. Yesterday was World Mental Health Day and whilst there’s plethora of information out there on days like that, it can also be very triggering. Triggering because you are reminded quite heavily how devastating mental health issues can be.
I haven’t slept very well in the last few weeks. That feeling of being suffocated wakes me up at least six times a night which generally makes me anxious about bed time. I am very happy to report however that general day to day living has been much more pleasurable and I think the following have helped with feelings of anxiety:
Changing my routine
I changed my route home! Now whilst that might seem like quite a trivial thing it has made a word of difference. I’ve started taking the bus home more often. I found even things like the possibility of missing my train home quite distressing and I have a suspicion a lot of people can relate to this. Palms get sweaty, heart’s racing, will I make this train? It was getting ridiculous. View Post