Hello everyone! I hope you had a lovely time celebrating (or not!) your new year. We welcomed in the new year with people that matter the most to us and also raised a glass for all that were not able to attend. It was a wonderful evening, apart from a terrible Chinese issue.. 2 and a half hours late, food missing and sauce spilled all in the bags.. I was pretty fuming with that to be honest but not that big of a problem!
This year brings a year of organising my wedding and bringing you fresh and new content to my blog weekly. I have so many ideas for posts that I can’t wait to share with you and also sharing my wedding planning and DIY tips and tricks to cut back costs and have a wonderful stress free day.
Now that’s all said and done, it brings me to the reasoning behind this post. I suffer from bipolar disorder and severe anxiety. I’m come into this new year on more tablets then I have ever been on and it’s nerve wracking to think that I’m back to square one with this. Well, maybe square one is a bit dramatic but I am certainly in a worse place than I was the previous year and I’m not ashamed to admit that. I don’t think anyone should be ashamed, we all go through tough times in our lives and this just happens to be what’s in store for me. This doesn’t mean I’m going to give up, it just gives me more incentive to get better again! For myself mainly but also my incredible children and fiancé.
Anxiety isn’t easy to live with by all means. Things like new year and Christmas really kick things up a gear for me because of all the build up. It’s just the preparation of it all for it to be over in a matter of moments. I enjoy this time of year so much but I find myself worrying more and more as the time goes by.
For me, new year is by far the worst. It’s the prospect of having a brand new, fresh slate to start off with. In my mind it’s like starting all over again and that troubles me in ways I can’t quite comprehend. To start again from the beginning for anything has always been a struggle because if I can’t complete something, my anxiety is my enemy. New year isn’t something you can put off and it can be so frustrating. All the celebrations and the happiness of spending it with the people you love push it to the back of your mind to only wake up in the morning and realise that that’s it.. It’s another new year, another 12months full of surprises and more build up for what is shaping the rest of your life. It’s exciting, but damn right worrying.
I’ve found a few ways to deal with this and I would like to share them with you. They work for me and I hope that someone out there reading this may take comfort if they are feeling like I do at this time of year.
- Don’t worry too much about sticking to a resolution
This one has helped me in more ways then I realise. As much as I love making resolutions like the rest of people, I also find it make its way into a list of things I end up worrying about. What if I can’t stick to it? What if I forget about it? What if I can’t make time for it? All these questions going around in your mind won’t make your anxiety any easier. I find that this year is the year I want to change my lifestyle to a healthier one. Now I broke this down and decided I wasn’t going to “diet” as such, this is always so frustrating because I get too obsessed with counting numbers, calories and standing on scales. I just want to turn my eating habits into healthier ones, this means swapping out bad choices Food wise for better ones. I find this easier because I’m not telling myself I’m on a diet, I’m just slowly making changes to a healthier lifestyle because a healthy life is good for a healthy mind.
- Don’t be afraid to say no
With this I mean don’t feel like you have to be doing so much for people. Everyone has a habit of leaning on others but they don’t sometimes realise the damage that can cause. If your tired, having a bad MH day, want to be by yourself, that is completely and utterly understandable and you don’t need to explain yourself. Most people call me boring but I spend most of my evenings in the bath and in bed early. The more sleep I get the better I feel in myself. I’m not afraid to now say no to anyone who wants to go for a drink in the evening or in my case, a late night trip to the supermarket WITH NO KIDS. (Literally it’s the most exciting thing when your a mum). People will come to understand you are putting yourself first and will realise you won’t be saying no all the time, they will just understand that you want to make time for your self and your mindset. If they don’t then f*ck them. This is all about putting yourself first. Im not telling you in the slightest to never leave your house, just if you want to do something for you, whether it’s inside or outside of your home, you don’t have to involve everyone else.
- Baby steps are key.
I find if I go into something all guns blazing then I will screw up in the most astronomical way. I end up working myself up over things that don’t really matter and forgetting the key aspects of what I need to do. I worry constantly that I’m not going to get something right or it’s not going to work out for me. This is where this comes in and is so useful. If your days are full of rushing around and not having a moment to breathe (insert school runs, food shopping, doctors appointments and pre school here) then just take a step back and work through it one step at a time. When I have days like this, which in my family is very often, I sit back and work out when I need to leave my house due to traffic on the school run, make sure I don’t book appointments near those times and try to get errands done in the morning because it’s typically less busy in my area. This way I can conquer one thing at a time and it means I can have more achievements then problems. Don’t stress if your busy, that’s easier said then done and I’m sometimes the worst for this! Just take your days one step at a time and you’ll feel how much easier the rush can be.
- Make time for yourself
This may sound like I’m teaching an old dog new tricks but I cannot stress enough how important this is. Like I’ve mentioned, I spend my life in the bath, my best friend is literally a bath bomb and I get sucked into the YouTube hole and end up watching video after video of stuff I’m not overly interested in. (Last time it was mukbangs – literally watched people eat food. Why?! I just made myself hungry! 😂) After a long day of entertaining my kids, cleaning the house, making dinner and being super mum, nurse, bouncer, referee, therapist, you name it, my solace is my bath. Doing something that is just for you is so rewarding. It doesn’t have to be anything too luxurious, just a face mask, reading a book, listening to music, watching Netflix, having a nice hot drink, the list goes on. It’s so important to look after yourself.
- Live for the moment.
This one is a new one for me. I’m finding myself living for the moments that don’t involve having a phone in my hand. Why spend your life scrolling through social media when your life is flashing right before you. The moments you miss, the time with your kids when they are young, the outings with your friends that end up as a snapchat story. Why not just put it away and live it through your own eyes instead. By all means take that photo and video so you’ve got a permanent memory but what stories will you have to tell your grandkids if you spent your younger years glued to a newsfeed? I’ve been doing this the last few days, putting the phone away and playing trucks and cars with my boys, reading books, singing to my baby. It’s been incredible having something else to focus on, especially feeling as anxious as I do this time of year. I urge you to give it a go just once and see how it feels seeing the world through your own eyes.
I could go in forever talking to you. I love writing to you all and talking things through. I have always said in my previous blog this is like an anonymous therapy for me and I just hope someone out there may find what I wrote helpful for them. It’s not advice as such, just my coping strategies which i would like to think can come in useful to others out there.
Please try not to let this time of year get the Better of you. It can be scary making the jump to a new year but just turn it into an opportunity to make 365 more choices for a better healthier mind. Anxiety sucks, but we are in this together.
Time to turn my phone off and enjoy a nice hot coffee and lunch with my little boy.
All my love,