Firstly, an apology if my blog goes particularly quiet over the next couple of weeks! I am in the middle of a month of continuous work, deadlines, presentations, essays and assessments. It feels like the amount of work is growing by the hour, and I’m still not sure I am going to even finish it.
Some of me thinks that I am coping with it just fine; setting my alarm at 7am, writing some essays before getting ready for the bus, a lecture in the morning, more essay writing, lunch, seminars/lectures, off to work, and then getting back home at about 10pm, and probably try to squeeze in half an hour of revision when I get back. But there’s only so long you can do that, it isn’t sustainable to push yourself that hard all the time, and before long, things are going to start to crumble.
When I get stressed or anxious, I always get stomach pains and feel sick (which only heightens my anxiety due to my emotophobia!) I am my own toughest critic. I feel that I have to push myself in order to prove myself. Everyone else has the same amount of work and they are handling fine, so I should stop being so silly. I try and tell myself to stop it, and that it’s all made up in my head, but I think this only makes it worse.
But why push yourself so hard that the only consequence is that you are just punishing yourself further? Everyone is an individual, it doesn’t make me weak that I suffer from stress and anxiety, and I don’t ever need to justify to myself that my symptoms are actually real.
Mental health is an illness, it is real, and it is something that you can’t help. The most important thing is to just to try and help yourself to feel better. But sometimes, this is easier said than done, it takes time, and at that present moment, you can’t actually see a way out. You feel trapped and it is all becomes too much…
But I think, for me, the best thing to do is focus on one day at a time. I need to take a step back from life and focus on trying to make myself feel better. This might just be taking a day off from uni, not setting my alarm to get up or just sitting quietly with the TV on for some background. It can be draining and it can cause a lack of focus or attention, where everything is just too much and you need to take a step back from everyday life.
Then you can move onto other ‘me’ things until you start to feel a little better; watch a little bit of TV, have a bath/facemask, bake some cakes, read a chapter of a book. Something purely for yourself. Because that is a really important thing, as it is so easy to take the burden of other people’s worries and stresses. You then get so caught up trying to help them, that you forget to look after yourself.
I’m writing this, as though I’m giving tips to others, but I really need to be taking note of these myself! But if I had to give myself just one bit of advice when I struggling with it would be;
Don’t push yourself. You are strong and I am proud of you. Keep doing the best that you can do, as that is all anyone can ask. x