365 Day Blog challenge Day 179 Mental Health Awareness Week (2) #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #365daychallenge

It’s been a quiet day of catching up on emails at work and not much else so following on from yesterdays post on what others think of you game here’s a photo of the words I was given:

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365 Day Blog challenge Day 178 Mental Health Awareness Week #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #365daychallenge

#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

So today I did a thing….

My first day back at work after a week off and straight into a team meeting I’d helped to plan. The post-lunch energiser was to have come to the meeting with 4 or 5 songs that you felt represented you and we had 15-20 minute doing some arts and crafts decorating our CD of the songs. Then we had to talk about why we picked them. When it came to my turn I explained I’d picked songs based on the 2 parts of my personality; on the one hand I’m one of the most laid back people you might meet, on the other side I have a Sever Anxiety Disorder.

I’ve flirted around the subject between a few of the team but never sat and said it out loud with it’s full title to everyone. I was less anxious than you might think. I’d planned the songs and what I wanted to say so just came out with it.

I was sat opposite my bosses boss and he was nodding and smiling the whole time which made me feel good. Then the host of that segment discussed her songs and the energiser was over. I didn’t expect a conversation and we didn’t get one. I also had the following exercise in the meeting so could move the meeting along at my pace.

My exercise was for everyone to think of one nice word or phrase to give to each member of the team. This way at the end each person should have had 13 positive words about themselves and we were going to reflect on this. Often what we think we are  can be all negative and it can surprise you what others think of you. As the host of this exercise I didn’t take part so it was a nice surprise that 11 of the team gave me words.

Three people gave me the word ‘brave’ with one colleague saying it was in response to admitting my S.A.D. Going back to how others see you I didn’t feel brave, I was feeling determined. There’s a big thing at the civil service called ‘I can be me’ with people with disabilities, faiths and sexuality writing blogs about these things and how it affects them. I write this blog, I don’t need to write one for work but I do want to within my team free to ‘be me’.

Of course the next steps are important, how my line management team follow up on this. What I want to happen is for them to say ok fine and move on. What I don’t want is for them to not offer me opportunities because they think I couldn’t cope. That should be for me to decide.

I summed that up (I hope) with one of my song choices: So What by Pink. The line So what, I’m still a rock star is the mantra I live by. So what… I have anxiety but it doesn’t define me. I think I’ve found a work team that accept that 🙂

 

365 Day Blog challenge Day 177 Change of Plans #365daychallenge

I go back to work tomorrow after 6 sunshine filled days. I was meant to be having a long weekend in Ibiza, Spain after winning a competition but sadly it didn’t work out. I’ve posted numerous blogs on the state of my finances and despite hotel and most food paid for I couldn’t pay for the rest. Plus my passport is about to run out so I would have had to find the £85-ish to renew that first as well.

This is where I get fed up and my mood swings drop. I made the mess thanks to my mental health and I accept that and am taking steps to fix it. I’ve just under another 2 years left before I can be debt free. Most of the time I get by but sometimes I just want to be like everybody else and be spontaneous with trips.

My recently retired boss is on her 2nd holiday this year. Everyone around me is talking holidays even if it’s a week in this country. I’m desperately hoping that we get a bonus this year so I can look at the £99 2 day trips so I can have something. I know the next 2 years will fly by and I’ll be able to make up for everything I feel I miss out on now and I try not to have regrets as what’s done is done.

However lets be positive as that is what this blog page is all about. I could have spent the 6 days feeling sorry for myself and despite what the above paragraphs might say I haven’t done that. Instead I spent the time smashing my to-do list.

I painted the cupboard after saying I would for the last 18 months. I cleaned out the shed, I gave the garden two cuts and it’s now ready to be dug up so I can start looking towards the plans I have when the debts are paid. And I’ve finished and sent in my assignment 12 days early! Today I’ve done very little. I think I deserve at least one day just chilling and reading (although I did take advantage of the library 10p book sale – even my budget can’t argue with that amount)

Tomorrow is back to work although only for 2 days then it’s my weekend again.

365 Day Blog challenge Day 176 Starting Again #365daychallenge

I’ve noticed over the last couple of months that my sugar consumption is creeping up. I still haven’t had the chocolate and I’ve not had the fizzy drinks but I have had more biscuits than I should have and too many times I’ve ordered a cake or pastry when buying something in a shop.

Cutting it out as much as possible in January did wonders for my health and I obviously haven’t been paying enough attention to my behaviours for it to creep in again and I don’t want to keep making excuses to myself. I started the reduction of sugary products yesterday and keep thinking I need something sugary in the afternoons but I’m on leave from work for 6 days so I’m sure it’s just a boredom eating thing. I’m not hungry. I need to find more things to do!

The other thing I’ve let slip is a beauty regime. At one point I got myself into a really good routine of moisturising, using toners and so on and it’s lapsed. I keep saying I will do something about starting this again as it did help my skin but I haven’t. Again no excuses except my own laziness. So from tonight the creams are coming back out.

I remember at the beginning of the year watching something called Fat;The Fight of your Life or something similar. These people had often 10 or more stone to lose and first of all started off doing amazing then had a relapse. Some then picked themselves up and continued their journeys, some sadly gave up. At the time everything was going great for me so I couldn’t understand the lapse but now I can.

Magazines just tell you the success stories to sell whatever product they are peddling. They don’t tell you how hard it is to continuously carry on thinking about your weight, your body and what you need to do to change things. No one is perfect and set backs will happen. The key is whether you pick yourself up or give up. I refuse to give up so I have to accept that my journey won’t be perfect and every so often I’ll have to regroup and start again in some way. I’ve come so far though this year to stop now and for the first time in many, many years I don’t want to.

So new start, fresh start, onwards and upwards 🙂

365 Day Blog challenge Day 175 Freedom #365daychallenge

That’s it. My final university assignment has been sent off No more studying until it all starts again in October. That one is a entry level filler as I had a 15 credit gap after re-starting my degree so I don’t expect much stress or struggle. Then the final module and graduation. it’s all come together so well after the stress of trying to get everything restarted last August.

I’ve enjoyed the year I deliberately stayed away from any FB or Open University forums to avoid politics and back biting. These things seem to be a constant no matter what the subject matter. Once a forum or FB page is in place someone will start an argument. Choosing this year to not sign up for them did wonders for my mental health.

And for me more importantly I survived my first Level 3 (final year in a brick university) module. Taking the break was one of the best decisions to make even if it means from start to finish my degree will have taken 9 years! But I’ll have one.
I started my degree to prove to myself I could finish something and to help regain my confidence after the 2010 breakdown. I’ve gained the confidence and in 2 years I’ll have my completion. It’s so close now. I’m really looking forward to the next course.

Roll on October

365 Day Blog challenge Day 174 To-do lists #365daychallenge

I wrote a blog the other day that said I was rubbish at getting things done because I’m too laid back. It also mentioned that I was going to try and stick to the goals that I had committed to this month.

Well I have not only stuck to my goals but have completed them 2 weeks early! The grass is cut (and will need more work but I’ve at least done the bit I said I would), the cupboard has been de-cluttered and painted and I’ve cleaned out the shed. This then gives me lots of time to myself for the rest of May but also means I should probably start a to-do list for the garden.

I’ve still got 3 days left before I go back to work. I finished my story for my end of module university assignment and have roughly 300 words left to do of the commentary and my references so I’m even ahead of myself in that as it doesn’t need to be sent in for another 12 days.

I would like to say I will be really good at sticking to targets in future but I’d be lying. At the minute I’m just trying to harness the positivity and energy I have at the minute.

365 Day Blog challenge Day 173 Temptation #365daychallenge

This year as I’ve mentioned several times I gave up chocolate and cola/pepsi and it’s diet versions. I’ve never managed to last as long as I have this time and the habit really has gone. Over Easter I was surrounded like everyone in the supermarkets by chocolate eggs and managed to not be tempted at all.

I was more concerned about the fizzy drinks. I’ve caved in so often with this. However last week my son brought a bottle of coke zero into the kitchen saying he didn’t like it any more. Old me would have drank it all that day. New-me said that I would give it to my nephews and nieces and if they didn’t want it throw it away. It’s still sat on my kitchen work top as I keep forgetting to take it round to their house. This would never have happened even in December!

I’m so pleased with myself. They say it takes 30 days to break a habit. Even when I’ve tried to give things up for Lent (40 days) I’ve always caved straight after. It may sound like small things but to me they are huge achievements and proof that I can change other things if I put my mind to it.

I’ve really probably started eating too many biscuits and cookies instead which is why my weight loss isn’t moving fast so this is something to tackle now that I have proven to myself I don’t need these bad sugars in my life.