Action for Happiness Optimistic October Days 1-4

I haven’t done any daily blog posts for a while and was planning to do one this month as the Action for happiness calendar is Optimistic October however life has been a bit busy and so the first 4 days are going to have to be crammed into the first blog.

Day 1 was to write down your most important goals for the month. I have the usual; to work on my weight loss and health journey and to start and not get behind on my Open Uni course as this years module starts at the weekend. I also wanted to write something about work. Now I’m in the middle of a big restructure and as I’ve been frustrated in my current role for a while I’ve been doing my usual of wanting to run away and get a new job. Which is a bit daft when you think about it as I’m about to start a new job under the restructure. So my goal then is to do nothing (hard sometimes) and sit and wait to see what happens next. However I have a meeting with my mentor at the end of the month to look at my competencies as while I need to give the changes a chance I don’t want to miss out should an opportunity arise and it’s something I’ve put off for quite a while.

Day 2 was to do something constructive to improve a difficult situation. I started the day off in a bit of a bad mood (again due to work). My response was to simply get my head down and learn what is needed to do to deliver a training course next week. I also made sure that the volunteering and job shadowing opportunities I needed to book were up to date so I ended the day feeling much more positive

Day 3 – think of 3 things that give you hope for the future: I met up with one of my peer group friends from my development course and we talked about development, career opportunities and ways to save money. Plus all the usual catching up over coffee chat. I also know that I now have about 15 months left before I’m debt free. And I’ve been building on all the questioning and talking I’ve done over the year to build new friendships.

So today is Day 4 – Set a goal that links to your sense of purpose in life. This morning I had no idea how to do this one but then I spent the morning in a focus group about women’s networks in my part of the civil service and getting a group of women on board in helping me set one up for my office and it reminded me how much I enjoy moving people forward in life and giving them ways to feel empowered. I have some action points to do which kind of fit in with setting a goal as the goal is to ultimately have a successful network in my office (which holds 2000 people so a big ask).

It’s been quite fun doing it so far. I’ve not enjoyed work much this week, mostly because it’s the first one back after 2 weeks annual leave and I’ve been quite tired plus I’ve had quite a bit of learning to do. I’m ending my working week feeling quite inspired because using these optimistic goals has helped me focus on what really matters and take actions to take my own life forward

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On The Up #mentalhealth #wellbeing

There’s been a big difference already since the last post. Now I’ve admitted (to myself as much as others) that I’ve been struggling with my mental health and taken steps to put into action some support I already feel much better.

Everyone handles their mental health issues in different ways but for me I need to be active and so on Monday I went back to work. I’m no good at sitting at home, I just brood on stuff and make it worse.

I’m a big believer in positivity and that positive thoughts breed positive actions and I’ve found that by thinking positive this week and talking to people about changes that need to be made that events have turned up to help me do just that. The universe is listening.

I had a really good chat with my manager who is turning out to be really supportive. I’m ambitious so we’ve been looking at ways to stretch myself without making myself ill.

I’m actually looking forward to my next gym session. Until Sundays induction I had never been in a gym (always done exercise classes) as I found them intimidating but this one I think will work for me. I’ve kept up my 10,000 steps in between and feel really well within my body.

And then lastly (it is only Wednesday) our sports and social club have started a ‘staycation’ event over the summer basically offering lots of little events that you can do. I’ve signed up for 3 walks around the city centre and some crafting. One is making book marks and the other is teabag paper folder. I have no clue! But they sound like fun. I’ve not done neither of these things before and it actually fits in with my 4 point plan from the occupational health consultant.

So a big turnaround from this time last week when I found it difficult to leave the house and I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.

There’s been a big difference already since the last post. Now I’ve admitted (to myself as much as others) that I’ve been struggling with my mental health and taken steps to put into action some support I already feel much better.

Everyone handles their mental health issues in different ways but for me I need to be active and so on Monday I went back to work. I’m no good at sitting at home, I just brood on stuff and make it worse.

I’m a big believer in positivity and that positive thoughts breed positive actions and I’ve found that by thinking positive this week and talking to people about changes that need to be made that events have turned up to help me do just that. The universe is listening.

I had a really good chat with my manager who is turning out to be really supportive. I’m ambitious so we’ve been looking at ways to stretch myself without making myself ill.

I’m actually looking forward to my next gym session. Until Sundays induction I had never been in a gym (always done exercise classes) as I found them intimidating but this one I think will work for me. I’ve kept up my 10,000 steps in between and feel really well within my body.

And then lastly (it is only Wednesday) our sports and social club have started a ‘staycation’ event over the summer basically offering lots of little events that you can do. I’ve signed up for 3 walks around the city centre and some crafting. One is making book marks and the other is teabag paper folder. I have no clue! But they sound like fun. I’ve not done neither of these things before and it actually fits in with my 4 point plan from the occupational health consultant.

So a big turnaround from this time last week when I found it difficult to leave the house and I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.

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 183 Frustrations #365daychallenge

Today has been a bit of a frustrating day after a relaxing weekend. I woke up to the sound of my neighbour having some kind of argument with slamming doors. This was about 6am and he’s normally so quiet so a bit unusual. I also could only hear the one voice so intriguing as well! Sadly he’s not been there long and I don’t know him well enough (as you never see him) to get any gossip.

So I didn’t wake up too well. Then the bus was delayed by 10 minutes. It didn’t really affect anything in getting to work but along with having to go back home before I caught the bus as I’d forgotten my locker key it added to my negative mood. Sometimes I feel a bit anxious going into work. It stems from a previous job and so I often go into the city centre early and spend 20-30 minutes having a hot drink sat somewhere first. Usually this means I get to work unstressed and not rushed. However it didn’t work today and I still felt really anxious until about lunchtime.

Then my conference call to discuss data I need for my job has been put back 2 days. To top it all off my  outlook for emails has been really slow and keeps crashing. All in all I’ve spent most of the day counting the hours down until I can go home again.

I did get some encouraging texts from my friend today so that made me feel a bit better. Sometimes there are days like this where we feel everything is not awesome and nothing seems to work. Sometimes it’s okay to acknowledge that and let it run it’s course. For me it doesn’t usually last too long and so I don’t fight it.

To quote Gone With the Wind – Tomorrow is another day… (and tomorrow is my late working day so if nothing else I’ll get a lie in #positives)

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 🙂