Take a Step Back & Breathe

This is something I so often forget to do. I get easily caught up in everything that’s going on around me that I forget to take some time out and focus on me and my mental health. Acknowledging that I had anxiety was my first step to knowing how to deal with it. It helped me understand why I felt the way I did in certain situations and I began to put things in place to help me deal with it.

Lately my job has become more demanding than I expected it to, and I love every minute of it! However, for the last month I feel like I have been on auto pilot, running on fumes until eventually I just collapse. I was managing fine until I realised that actually yes, although work is going great, my relationship with myself and my loved ones has taken a hit. Everyday my routine is work, gym, bed. I hardly see my mum unless I’m reheating the dinner she made me and I only get to spend quality time with Tom on a Sunday (as I work Saturdays).

So, as I write this, I am in a beautiful Marriott Hotel in Derby. I’ve been sent here for a 3 day course. But what it also means, is that I finally have some time for me. I don’t have to step foot in my car for another 3 days!!! It’s amazing considering I feel like I currently live in my car. My evenings are completely my own to swim, workout, read and blog. The idea is just bliss.

Over the last 12 months, I’ve realised how important (for my own sanity) it is to just be selfish sometimes and look after number 1. Anyone who knows me knows I always always put others before myself. I’m just like my mum in that way, and I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing to be like that. However, I shouldn’t let my own happiness suffer for the sake of others. This realisation was a big learning curve for me, and I have started to put a big emphasis on making sure I am always doing what’s best for me. Which isn’t always easy. For me, going to the gym is what makes me happy. It’s my time to just zone out and focus on my goals. I like to be in control, and when I am in the gym, I am in control. When things become chaotic and I lose that feeling, I struggle to feel settled and calm. Can anyone relate?

On Radio 1 over the past few weeks, Greg James did his Pedal to the Peaks. This was in honour of Sport Relief and he was raising money and awareness for mental health. Listening to the stories of others reminded me how important this all is. How important it is to look after yourself, in every possible way.

I have been so out of control the last month and it has been horrible. So I am going to use the couple of days I have to centre myself, get my mind back on track and try to feel a little more settled. Life is never easy or simple and there are always challenges thrown our way, but it is how we deal with those challenges that determine the outcome. I let this feeling of unsettledness affect my mental state, and in turn, affect my relationship with those closest to me. But I also know that this is not a permanent situation, that it will not last and this feeling will soon pass. I just need to stop, take some deep breathes, look at my situation and find a solution. This doesn’t have to be done alone, more often than not I need Tom to help me. He is much more of an optimist than me, and he can seem to turn everything into some kind of positive. Which helps with me being such a pessimistic. A big thing for me is communication, talking to people and explaining what I am feeling. Sometimes their advice, or the sheer action of talking, can help me change my perspective.

Writing this blog has helped me feel more grounded. Putting everything I’m feeling out there helps relieve me of my stress. It’s always better out than in! Everyone will have their own ways of grounding themselves. Meditation, colouring, reading, working out or writing are just some of the things I do.

If you’re feeling unsettled, out of control or life just seems a bit chaotic. Please remember that you are the most important thing, and your mental health must never come second to anything, or anyone. Just take a step back and breathe.

I will leave you with a reminder I give myself everyday;

I am allowed to cry. I am allowed to scream. But, I am not allowed to give up. It will all get done somehow. Just breathe.

Love, Sophie
xxx

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