Listening to your inner voice

I’ve spent the last few weeks paying real close attention to myself and my anxiety. I started back with the counsellor 2 weeks ago and we’ve been working on ‘inner voices’, what mine is saying and making note of it to reflect and work on.

It’s worked really well and I’ve learnt quite a bit about myself and generally been able to discuss it and start working on letting it go. Up until yesterday my anxiety has been low and I’ve felt quite happy with my progress.

Yesterday my anxiety levels started going up and I couldn’t quite work out at first why. There didn’t seem to be a particular trigger. So I’ve been listening to my inner voice. (I really should name her)

And what my voice is telling me is I’m tired.

On Monday (it’s Thursday now) I travelled to London for an all day meeting on Tuesday. I didn’t get check into my hotel until 7 and I never sleep well in hotels. It also meant I couldn’t eat as well as I’d like. As much as I’d like to once you’ve checked into a hotel and it’s getting close to 8pm you just want to go to the first restaurant you find to eat rather than spend an hour walking around to find the best fit. My colleague will only eat in a Nando’s when she works away. I never seem to have the energy to go searching.

All of this means my diet went out of the window. It’s not the calories and weight loss but rather I’ve been eating quite cleanly and with low carbs and you just don’t know half the time what is going into the cooking. I ended up with chicken and chips and some sauce. It was a restaurant based sauce (not ketchup!) so I don’t know the ingredients and I didn’t have the energy to ask.

Tuesdays meeting was eventful as there’s been a terror related car crash that morning which was on my route to work. Then we were evacuated for over 30 minutes because of a bomb threat (I’m a civil servant and my office when in London houses many senior leaders). While I was anxious about that it does mean you have a higher level of alertness and are less likely to stroll around enjoying your day.

Two days on and I’m still feeling over-tired, my diet hasn’t righted itself quite (I’ve gained a pound as well) and despite having completed my 10k steps a day I don’t feel like I’ve moved around and exercised enough and I’m anxious. So the anxiety this week is the inner voice coming out telling me I need to exercise, get out at lunchtime (I haven’t all week) and go for a walk and to eat better.

I’ve started this morning by making sure I’ve brought my own lunch. Originally I had back to back conference calls from 9 until 3pm (not healthy) but as the 12pm one has been cancelled I’m going to go outside and get some fresh air (even if it is raining on and off) and hopefully the anxious feelings will start to settle.

Eat well, move about more and sleep well. Simple things but sometimes we just don’t do these enough.


Loving yourself in style

I’ve just finished a book called Loving Yourself in Style by Shabana Feroze. It’s made me think yet again how depression, anxiety and debt have taken away a lot of what used to make me…me and leave a bit of a shell in it’s place.

There’s quite a bit of information despite being a small book. One section in there is about style. I used to have quite defined style; as a teenager it was all about the bands that I loved and being a rock chick with a bit of 1950’s thrown in. Then as I aged it became a mix of rock chick with 1940’s and 50’s. I love those eras; the music and the styles.

I lost a lot of this when I had my breakdown in 2010. I put on loads of weight and didn’t feel the confidence to wear the clothes I loved. Instead I ended up wearing smart work clothes and jeans/Tee’s day wear. Casual, comfortable and reeking of invisibility.

When reading the book my first thoughts were to shout ‘But I can’t afford it’, my life is on hold until 2020 when the debts are cleared and my money is my own again.

Are you tired of seeing posts where I say this? I’m annoying myself with it. A later chapter though talks about money and starting small. Ok I can’t go out and buy a whole new wardrobe or pay for events to meet like minded people. However I can try and put a few pounds away each month to be able to afford something form ebay or a vintage shop. I can still listen to the music which I have been doing all weekend). I also found a cafe nearby that is based around 50’s rock n’roll that put on special nights for £3. These are things I can do while I work towards my debt free goal.

I was speaking to a friend about restarting her life this week as a series of baby steps and it’s something I need to take on board myself. We discovered one cinema has halved it’s ticket prices and with a 2 for 1 offer on Wednesdays we can see movies for £2.50 each. Another way to have a little bit of a life for little costs.

The answers are out there if you fight the negative brain talk and look around to see what is out there. So I’m going to try and embrace life (within it’s financial constraints) and remember how to have  little fun and rediscover a style that makes my heart sing

World Cup Fever

First you may have noticed the daily post challenge stopped. I woke up one day and thought ‘no’ I don’t want to do it anymore. I felt like I was repeating myself a lot. I’m a big believer that if something isn’t making you happy or giving you what you want to stop it so I did.

I haven’t missed it and up until now I haven;t really thought about anything to write. And now I have 2 things! I’ll write the other one in a few days as I want to give it more thought.

So World Cup! I’ve been reading whilst the Russia v Egypt game is on and having a  bit of a think. It’s also my birthday today which always gives me a day of reflection. As a young girl I loved football. I supported my home team (Leeds) and one I thought at the time was glamorous (Spurs) and then the national side England. I only ever went to one or two games but I went to a few championship ceremonies – the ones where teams get to ride the bus through the streets. I could even explain the offside rule! (sort of)

Then as with so many things once  developed depression it all disappeared. This happened with so many things and I always thought they’d never come back. Some things did, some are obviously taking a lot of time 🙂

I watched the odd game but then along comes 2018 world cup. So far I’m on my 4th game. That’s probably 4 more than the last 4 years in total. Quite often I’ve found it makes for good background noise while I read but I have enjoyed it being on. Plus it’s been quite fun to see what I remember.

Another nice side effect are the conversations with my son. He’s autistic and until he was around 5 was non-verbal. Even now he’s not big on conversation but he works in football as an analyst so this is his world. We’ve had some lovely little football related chats.

Actually while typing this I got distracted by a post about trampolining – something else I excelled at as a youth that I then forgot about as an adult but would love to start doing again (I swear I can’t wait for this debt plan to be over, there are so many things I want to do)

It’s nice when you can bond with people. I’ve had the chats with my son which were more technical and the chats with a few people online that were more aesthetic. It’s all fun whichever way you look at it.

So come on England (but also come on Iran as I have them in the office sweepstake!)

365 Day Blog challenge Day 185 Let’s Do This #365daychallenge

Let’s Do This…..

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve said that this month.

‘I need to reduce my sugar intake again; Let’s do this’

‘I need to walk more; Let’s do this’

‘I need to restart my moisturising regime; Let’s do this’

And yet I haven’t done any of it. I really seem, after the brilliant start I had to this year to have lost motivation. I think about what I need to do then I’m not actually doing it.

I’m definitely at that self sabotage stage. I’m 2lbs off my next target and I know from past behaviour that when I get to significant targets I end up unconsciously putting up barriers to achieving this. I wrote some posts at the beginning of the year about the need to be invisible and that some of the sabotage was linked to this but I’ve taken lots of steps since then to combat that. I definitely think more about achieving goals than ever before.

One positive point this time is I am aware that I’m doing it. I’ve managed my inner battles with anxiety and self esteem to the point where my weight has stayed steady at the lower end rather than me gaining all over again so that is a huge plus point for this year. And another one; despite an increase in sugar I still haven’t had any chocolate so that is definitely one battle won.

I just need to work out that trigger to get me moving again.

I’ve had very little sugar this week but I have overcompensated with bread so I need to look at alternatives for boredom eating. Toast is not the answer J

I’m shopping at the weekend so will stock up on fruit and sugar-free jelly.

It’s a bank holiday and I have some walking plans. I still have those 5 minute exercise routines saved on my sky+ box but I have a tendency to forget they are there. I may have to set a reminder on my phone until it becomes habit to do it.

I’ve developed some good habits this year and got rid of some bad ones so I know it’s possible to do this. I also know from experience now that for all the messing about once I achieve the mini-targets the motivation comes back to go further and get at least ¾ of the way to the next one. I just need to find my missing mojo.

I will keep pushing on through and congratulating myself on achievements – being stuck now doesn’t negate the hard work and success that I already have

So again – Let’s Do This 🙂

365 Day Blog challenge Day 184 Motivational #365daychallenge

Today was the total opposite of yesterday. Well apart from rushing out of the house without a coat and nearly being late for a conference call but the rest has been good.

I had a meeting with my mentor who works in a building on the other side of the city centre. We went through the development course I am on and how it’s gone so far then discussed the different steps I want to look at next. She has made some contacts to introduce me to people in jobs I would like to explore so I can set up some shadowing.

Then we looked at the competencies needed for jobs. In the civil service this is the way they recruit and it can be a nightmare trying to give the best example of something you can to sell yourself in 250 words. I have a few already which she’s going to check and going forwards I have a few more to write so I have them to slot into any application. This is the hard part – doing them in the first place. She is going to sense check them and make sure they sell me as much as possible.

I left the meeting really motivated into my next steps. I have a few ideas of jobs I’d like to do and even though it’s never fun writing up competencies I have some good ideas to note down and build into something.

And it’s nice to have that time to just think about yourself and what you want and have a person to bat ideas off that can then help you explore what you really want.

Then I got to walk back to my office on a glorious sunny day. So today has been a good day 🙂


365 Day Blog challenge Day 180 Meaningful May: People #365daychallenge

According to tomorrow’s Action for Happiness Meaningful May calendar the action is to spend some face to face time with people who matter. Tomorrow is also the royal wedding and some big boxing event and the FA Cup football finals so I intend to avoid all social media where possible (except for writing this blog) and go hide in the woods or somewhere peaceful. So I did tomorrow’s action today.

My friend became a grandma 8 months ago. She invited myself and another friend to come and have a coffee and lunch with her and her daughters and the lovely baby. We all met in the coffee shop and just had a couple of hours with no intrusions from the real world. Lots of talk about the new baby and our grown up babies. Catching up on life.

Sometimes it’s good to switch off for a while, let go of life’s daily stresses and strains and focus on the good or in our case the little boy who is wanting to stand up and move and see everything with his innocent eyes.

So I’m totally at peace today. I’ve had a meaningful afternoon and am nice and chilled out. All fired up for ignoring the TV tomorrow 🙂