Mental Health And Self Care

Simultaneously feeling isolated and overwhelmed. Out at a meal today I had the tightening of a dread knot in my stomach, clumsy words and an intense desire to leave the table and never return. I’ve  not felt this way in a while.  This morning I didn’t find any joy in writing my novel. Uncomfortable and anxious at the epic task ahead of me.

There are a plethora of reasons I could be feeling this way. I will always jump to the worst conclusion; My depression has returned with a vengeance and I will feel this way forever. However, it is far more likely that my busy week has left me feeling just a little run down. Not to mention a dramatic bus ride home in which I hugged a crying little girl as her drunken dad picked a fight.

I’ve avoided practising mindfulness and pilates, two activities that force me to pause in the day. Instead, I’ve been bulldozing through, sidestepping any silence. I have a check list for such scenarios.

  1. Tell the husband and support network
  2. Figure out what I’m feeling and why
  3. Practice self-care
  4. If things do not improve go to the doctor

Self Care

  • Address pressures and anxieties
  • Look at Schedule to make sure I’m not pushing myself too hard.
  • practise good sleep hygiene
  • Eat regular healthy meals and snacks
  • Keep to a consistent routine
  • Leave the house at least once a day
  • Practice Mindfulness

Word count since the last post: 1209

Today’s word count: 365

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…And Breathe

My week has been a whirlwind of activity. I cannot think of a single day in which I  had time to rest, never mind write!

I can feel my mind becoming overloaded. Manic bursts of energy followed by pure exhaustion. Days rush past with unnatural speed. Tight cracking jaw,  the frustrating insistence of a tension headache. Thoughts rush with anxious urgency then vanish with the next task. Pin pricks of guilt. Forgotten obligations.

I need space.

I need silence.

 

Disrupted Routine.

I am a creature of habit, or perhaps more accurately, habit and routine are important aspects of my recovery. The times in my life when my routine is disrupted, inevitably lead to heightened anxiety.

That has not changed through my recovery. What has changed is the way I deal with that anxiety. I now know that the worst thing I can do is isolate myself by hiding my feelings, either by throwing myself into a project or sitting for hours (or even days) in front on the TV blocking out all thoughts, negative or positive.

The biggest struggle I have is recognising the difference between being anxious and stressed, due to a situation, and slipping back into depression. I keep having to remind myself that it is a perfectly normal to feel negative emotions and it does not mean that I am slipping.

With that in mind I am not going to give myself a hard time about missing out a few days of writing and posting. I can and will get my routine back on track.

Today I wrote the Crafty Sew & So blog post which will be published tomorrow morning. On Sunday I plan to get stuck back into my novel. Even if it’s just for an hour.

Wish me luck.

Today’s word count: 389