I’m not someone who gets around to typing up long, thought based posts very often- especially not spontaneously. I have a journal for that. But today I want to give you a thought based post, because sometimes I do a lot of thinking and floating about inside my own little mind bubble (it comes with the territory of being a creative writing student).
These past few weeks I have had a couple of disappointments. Anyone who has been consistently reading this blog will know that I have been trying to get myself into a position where I can truly call myself “healthy”. Not one where I merely look healthy, but am functionally
healthy. And let me tell you: it is harder than you think. Having peace of mind, and
physical wellbeing are things that many of us take for granted. I’m one of those people who never quite realise how good they had something until said thing has flown off, to migrate to somewhere warmer and sunnier than Britain. Right now, I am struggling with acne breakouts due to my body beginning to sort itself out after a long period of being not quite right (sounds counterintuitive I know, surely it should be the other way around? Well, if you want more info then take a look at my post here: http://ecstaticallyem.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/if-youre-healthy-then-why-do-you-get.html
). I’m coming to terms with the fact that (and I think this is my first time sending this out into the interweb) I probably did and still do to some extend have an eating disorder. Just because my disorder wasn’t focused on becoming “skinny” (ironically, it was focused on being healthy), doesn’t mean that it wasn’t dangerous. And so at this moment in time, with my acne triggering an impulse control disorder I have, my attempting to complete essays, meet deadlines, and basically organise my life- I am having to do a lot of picking myself up, and carrying on.
Example: one of my closest friends was in a production of what is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays last week (Midsummer Night’s Dream if you’re wondering). I was not doing so well on that day. But I went. And it was one of the best nights I have had this term.
Second, more immediate, and also more daunting, example: Tomorrow is my early morning gym class. I love this class. I’ve been going every week for about a month or so now. I try to make a point of not wearing makeup in the gym. I have also had a fairly massive breakout on one side of my face (and no, it isn’t due to my bedding, my phone etc. I am dab hand with my anti-bacterial gel, and washing detergent precisely because I thought of these causes myself). Up to one hour ago, I was more than possibly going to cancel this class. I was definitely
going to cancel this class. It is filled with girl who are glowing with health and fitness- at 7:45am. Many with amazing skin (its something I genuinely cant help noticing). But then I spoke to my flatmate, and realised that not going maybe wouldn’t do much for my morale. I am
considering taking a week off from intense workouts during Easter, but right now I feel like I need to confirm, if only for myself, that I can do this. There is a fairly high possibility of seeing people I know when I don’t have my protective layer of concealer on. And that scares me. And maybe tomorrow morning I will bottle it and stay in bed, because I’m only human- but I have to accept that perhaps for a while acne is going to be part of my life. And that makes me want to try to do this all the more. And so, to round off this post, I have some tips for you (and myself). Which shall hopefully help you master The Art of Picking Yourself Up & Carrying On…
Talk to someone in person
I am incredibly lucky to have known one of my flatmates since I was about four, and she is one of my rocks. She has been through the acne, and she gets it. And she is one super-strong lady. Talking it out, saying things out loud, and having someone there, can really help. Maybe not even talking to them about the thing bugging you. Sometimes it just helps to be around someone you care for and trust, and chatter.
Ring someone- not necessarily to talk about the issue
Same as the above. Ring someone just to talk about something happy. Hearing a familiar voice and laughing with them is always a great way to pick yourself up.
Brush your teeth and wash your face
You may have a different thing you like to do, but for me this is an instant reset. It makes me feel refreshed and as if I am slightly more capable of handling what the world is going to throw at me next.
Get hold of some good YouTube videos and blog posts, some podcasts, or watch your favourite film
I have to admit, I actually love listening to podcasts. I make sure these aren’t in any way related to what is getting me down: they have to be about something I love, or something completely random, or something empowering (queue TED Talks and In Our Time)
Shake up your routine
My plan for tomorrow morning is to shake up my routine just a little, to make this feel a bit easier. Instead of going from gym straight to uni to do some independent work, then straight to lectures- I shall be heading home, getting ready here, having a late breakfast, and then heading out into the world again. This links up to…
Reduce stress, and take it easy
When I get in tomorrow morning, no one else will be here thanks to 9am starts. Which means I’ll be seizing this opportunity to eat a chilled breakfast, maybe read a magazine, listen to a short podcast, or do a meditation video. Anything it takes to reduce my stress. I’ll also be trying to just chill and relax a little more during the day, to keep those stress levels down.
Take it one step, one hour, one day, at a time
It sounds different to what you may be used to being told, but try not to think so much of the big picture; this isn’t career planning, for now it’s you trying to just gently push yourself, and trying to conceptualize the big picture can be a bit daunting. Set mini-goals. Celebrate them, and then move towards the next.
Get an early night, or take a power nap
Another plan for tonight. You can’t carry on if your batteries are all out of charge. It’s impossible, and I know it’s unhealthy. Once I’ve done on my laptop, I shall be unplugging and heading to bed early. Sleep helps us to heal physically (needed for my skin in that respect), and I a good night or nap’s worth can make the next day (or next few hours) seem a lot easier.
Don’t forget how important you are
When something is really getting you down, take a step back and ask yourself how important it really is. Ask yourself if, in the grand scheme of things, this is something you really care about. Or if it matters more than all of the amazing things that could happen if you brush it off and carry on? At the same time, don’t forget to give yourself space. If you need downtime, take it. Even if you don’t think you need it, take it. A big part of being able to keep plodding along, is to keep yourself charged up. Each and every day, take a few moments to yourself. If like me you’re dealing with something quite immediate, then find somewhere quiet-ish, and just take a few deep breaths, and bring yourself back to now- instead of the little worry storm going on above your head.
Pick an affirmation
Final thing, and feel free to call it cheesy, is to choose a sentence from below, and repeat it during the day. Keep it for the week, or change it up day to day…
Everything is working in my favour
I can do this
Today, I will be…..(kind, compassionate, powerful, calm etc.)
Today is just one day, I have many more to come
I am amazing
I am prepared to succeed
I can make this a great day
I believe in myself and my abilities
I can handle anything
Good luck with the week to come guys. I hope that whatever you are having to pick yourself up from that you can take a deep breath, and don’t forget: keep on picking yourself up and carrying on.