Lately I have been getting overwhelmed which led to exhausting myself, keeping myself as busy as possible to avoid having to stop. I was so scared of losing control, and yet that’s exactly what happened because I wasn’t giving myself the time to process anything.
This year has been traumatic for everyone. The constant unknowns and uncertainty has sent me into a head spin. As someone who feels settled knowing whats what, and what’s going to happen next, 2020 has done nothing to ease my anxiety.
Ways that usually help to calm my anxious mind haven’t really been doing much recently. So I am having to relearn how to look after my mental health. I plan to build on this as time goes on so that I always have something to come back to when I am having an off day. These are a few of things that I’ve noticed have made the biggest difference in the last week.
This may be a comfort tool that I have had for a couple of years but over the last week I have truly appreciated having a weighted blanket. When there is what feels like a weight on my chest, my weighted blanket helps to proportion the weight over the rest of my body. The weight from the blanket helps to soothe, and makes me feel relaxed. I am gently forced to stop and that is exactly what I have been doing; lying on the sofa, snuggled up under my soft weighted blanket, enjoying episodes of New Girl (see Finding Comfort In These Hard Times).
One of the first things I did after being signed off work for a week was disable Instagram. When I am doing well social media is a great way to share, be creative, get inspired and keep up to date with people but as soon as my anxiety flares up, I start playing the ugly comparison game. It is easy to forget that Instagram is really just a filtered, highlights reel of someones life.
I’ll enable Instagram again at some point – could be tomorrow or next week – but i’ll do so when i’m feeling more at ease with myself. If I was using it at the moment I know I would have lost hours to endlessly scrolling myself into a pit of misery and self doubt.
Time to Talk
Oh how quickly I forget to just talk about what’s going on in my chaotic mind! Part of the reason that I burnt out is because I wasn’t being completely honest about how I was feeling. I get it in my head that I am being a burden. Finally I had the courage to open up – I talked to a friend that I haven’t caught up with in a while and opened up to my parents and partner about how I was feeling. Being open with the people I care about the most reminded me that my feelings are valid and that I am not alone in my thoughts.
Although we are now always seemingly available through our phones, I do believe that 2020 has made it harder to communicate. I miss human interaction. It’s easier to open up when you are physically with someone. I also recognise that I am someone who needs time to myself but I have tried to arrange more time to catch up with people over the phone and talk. In the current climate it will have to do.