Mental Health

Where have I been?

Hello! I nearly didn’t write a blog post this morning, and I’m writing this sentence still unsure of whether I’m actually going to hit the “Publish” button when I get to the end. I wanted the next thing I wrote to be really happy and positive and, honestly, I haven’t felt very happy or positive for most of the last couple of weeks. But this is supposed to be a personal blog, and a way to regularly practice my writing, and I suppose that means just ploughing on and writing about the bad stuff as well as the good.

The last couple of weeks I have been quite low, by which I don’t really mean sad or grumpy or miserable, I just mean nothing-y. Sometimes, that’s harder to deal with – if I feel angry or sad, I can just stomp around my flat a bit or have a really good cry. But what do you do when you just don’t really feel anything much at all? The answer is usually a lot of sitting around staring into space, half-watching TV while the hours tick by.

Anyway, I’m not writing this to have a grumble. I’ve been here before, I’ll be here again and soon I’ll feel better, because eventually I always do! I’m writing it because I think just the general monotony of the last few months has got on top of me a bit. Somewhere along the way of focusing on acceptance and adapting to life as it is for now, I’ve just lost sight of myself a bit, and of the things that make me feel like “me”. And if I feel this way, I can’t be the only one.

Here are some of the many things that make me feel like “me”: running, baking, cooking, attempting craft projects, reading, writing, listening to music, yoga, walking while listening to a podcast, spending time with close friends. Yours might be similar to mine, or might be entirely different, but I imagine if you sat down and thought about it you’d come up with a fairly long list. I’ve done less of these things over the last few weeks, and then reached a point where I didn’t really know how to re-start, and that’s where that “nothing-y” feeling begins to set in.

It doesn’t help that I’ve annoyingly fallen foul of some of those external pressures that I’ve been telling everyone else to ignore. Like wondering why exactly it is that I’ve got all this “spare time” on my hands and yet haven’t become super fit, read a book a week or finished 50 different craft projects since March. The problem is, feeling that way doesn’t spark motivation, it just sparks fear of failure:

“What if I try to run 10k and only manage 4k – won’t that make me feel even worse? Maybe I’ll just stay home and sit on the sofa instead – can’t fail at that!”

Anyway, having talked through this nothing-y-ness (how many made-up words can I include in this post?) with a couple of people, the conclusion I have drawn is that I need to start feeling like “me” again, and that means starting small, with no huge expectations. Getting my trainers on and running/walking alternate kilometres. Cooking one dinner from scratch in a week. Setting aside half an hour on a Sunday to work on my cross-stitch, even if that’s all I do. Yesterday I baked cookies that took 10 minutes to throw together and 15 minutes to bake – it wasn’t one of my usual 2-hour baking missions, but it was something, and it gave me that sense of achievement that makes baking a thing that I love.

So I guess that’s really what I wanted to share this morning – if you’ve lost some of your motivation and sense of self lately, maybe find 15 minutes do something really simple that you’d normally enjoy, and see where you can get to from there. Be as kind and patient with yourself as you would be with a friend, and just try starting somewhere.

xx

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