Learning how to look after myself again

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.

Weighted blanket

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).

Goodbye Instagram

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.

19 Comments

  1. I went through something similar not too long ago. Feeling hopeless and at rock bottom. Its an unpleasant feeling, but I do similar steps when im in a bad place mentally. I remove the things that cause my anxiety to spike. Social media is a big one for me too, Instagram is a great place but can be so damaging at the same time. I am constantly re-evaluating who I am following and what im allowing myself to consume. It helps so much in putting those self doubt feelings aside.
    I know you’ll get through this time, and come out even stronger 💖

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Last couple of weeks for me has been difficult to say the least. I understand what you mean by comparing yourself through those filter filled amazing photo we see on Instagram. I deleted mine today —it’s so easy to fall for the trap of the picture perfect life.
    Like you said learning to re-evaluate what makes you feel settled and doing all the things (talking to our loved ones about how we feel) really helps to get through the bad days.
    As I am learning through the bad times there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.
    Loves and virtual hugs 🤗🧡 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry that the last couple of weeks have also been difficult for you. Well done for setting yourself boundaries, know how hard it is to do. Sending you lots of love also 🥰🤗 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel this so much. I’ve had a really overwhelming 12 months and had time away from writing and all social media (not by choice at first but doing a detox from it has proven good for my mental health). I’ve not tried a weighted blanket but wonder if it would help me too. Thank you for sharing all this — it has been so encouraging and helpful. I wish you continued healing and comfort.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sorry you’ve had a tough 12 months Molly. It sounds like you are doing all the right things to help you. Glad that I was able to help in a small way. Sending you lots of love xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. These last few months have been hard and I totally get that you miss being able to physically talk to someone! But we’re here for you – put out a post or drop a comment and we’ll definitely be there for you. It may not be the most comforting to talk to a stranger but sometimes it makes it easier to discuss things talking to someone who has no idea of your background. Hope you’re feeling better. Take care ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This covid-19 pandemic thing had me in a bad place mentally. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I forced myself to start running again and eating better. The physical activity helped a lot and my attitude changed dramatically. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Peace to you and yours. It is tough. I’ve done well because I am be outdoors. I’m dreading the cold, dark, gray, cold winter when sitting outside or being on the water with friends was possible.

    Liked by 1 person

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