I’ve decided I need to be more proactive with my happiness. Do more for myself, or just in general, do more. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t think there is enough hours in the day, but can easily spend a whole day watching Netflix. I downloaded the Headspace app a while ago in a hope to work on my mindfulness. It takes ten minutes to do a meditation, but oh no, I don’t have enough time for that, I better watch another 30 minute show instead!
I have tried time and time again to do more, be more active and to put my mental health as a priority, but I just slide back into my old ways so easily. It’s almost like getting over an addiction. Retraining your brain to think in different ways is hard, it’s very easy to think “this takes too much effort and I am currently surviving.” But I’m not thriving and at some point, I might stop surviving this way. I cried for what I think was the first time during a therapy session the other day, and we weren’t even discussing anything that heavy. Just the fact I naturally think negatively. I’m starting to get really frustrated with this. I think, partly because I’m more aware I’m doing it and so more aware at how damaging it is.
I have noticed I make a lot of excuses to not do things.
- Yoga? A lot of places want you to commit to the same class each week, which is pretty much impossible when you work shift patterns.
- Swimming? Can’t afford a membership.
- Running? I suck.
- The gym? Horrible.
- Walking? To get a decent nature walk requires getting a bus somewhere.
- Baking? Ingredients cost to much.
I’m sure you get where I’m going with this. Why can’t I make excuses to actually do these things, the main excuse being my mental health?! I write a baking blog and I even make an excuse not to bake sometimes.
I really fell in love with swimming but I was too lenient with myself and wasn’t going regularly enough so the monthly membership was becoming too expensive for me to keep up. But it costs a fiver to go for a swim, so why didn’t I just go whenever I had a spare five pounds? So, this is what I’m going to start doing until I am earning full time wages and can go swimming more often.
I have noticed I am not very good at starting things “now.” Something needs to of finished, like university, or I need to buy a new planner before getting myself organised. But then I just spend a few weeks, or months, miserable, thinking once this is over everything will be fine. I felt like that in my last few weeks of placement. That once I got it out of the way and I was done I would feel lighter and more relaxed but unfortunately, that’s not the case. I don’t feel any different and I’ve got more time on my hands to dwell on the fact I don’t feel any different. In work I am very motivated and do tasks pretty much instantly so why in my personal life everything has to “start tomorrow.”
Something I need to start is turning my phone off when I go to bed. I like to listen to a podcast or audio book whilst in the bath so I will carry on doing that but I find myself scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, comparing my life to everyone else’s because they’ve got better clothes than me or somehow seem to be on holiday all the time but never seem to be at work. And I’ll continue to do this whilst in bed “trying” to get to sleep. So I’m going continue listening to something in the bath, just with my phone out of reach and then turn it off when I get into bed.
I’ve started listening to Happy Place by Fearne Cotton, which I was skeptical about at first. There are so many of these podcasts or books that seem to be “instagram popular” but are they actually beneficial to our mental health? The first episode focused far too much on Tom Daley and his husband having a baby rather than what I initially thought the topic of conversation would be on. But I’m going to continue listening to it and see what the next few episodes hold.
I think I need to learn there are so many hours in a day, and I can fit more than one thing into a day. Having a hobby like baking is great, and has been so beneficial to me, but doing it every day or three times a week is silly. So, maybe I need to think about having another hobby, something where the outcome is slower and I just spend 10 or 20 minutes doing it everyday. Knitting maybe? Maybe I need to write more and this could help me feel a bit lighter? To not have those thoughts bubbling around in my brain giving me a headache. Maybe, just maybe I need to start listening to my own advice. And maybe, next time I write to you all I will of started doing more and finding my happiness.
What do you do to stop negative thoughts?