Me Time

Putting people first. Being selfless. It’s all something we aspire to do. It’s something we aspire to be. 

I don’t want to generalise but the community of those who are experiencing or have experienced mental health issues seem to all have the same thing in common. Helping others. So much to the point that they neglect their own self-care. Others happiness is put before their own happiness.

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I am one of these people. You probably are too. But now, I see things in a different light since seeing myself breakdown and witnessing myself lose interest in my own self-care.

There’s nothing wrong with being selfless. Don’t get me wrong. Don’t misinterpret what I am saying.

But there is a difference between helping others and helping others to the point that you do not help yourself.

I met a woman at work who was stressed with her job. She has anxiety, depression and is on anti-depressants. She explained to me that she feels the need to help others, and not herself.

She feels guilty if she has ‘me-time’. 

At first I thought “Wow. This lady is me”.

I explained to her how similar of a situation I was in. As I was giving her advice, I realised why do I not follow my own advice?

I advised her to carry on helping others if it made her happy, but for every two or three things she does for someone, take some time for herself.

The problem is not helping others, it’s the guilt we feel when we do something nice for ourselves. We are programmed as humans to feel bad when we treat ourselves.

This is how the cycle starts. We feel like we are restricted to being all work and no play. How can we help this?

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  1. Help others whilst helping yourself.
    It may be that a friend is in aid of some cheering up but you’ve already had a really stressful day and just want to relax. So, relax with them. Watch a film, go for dinner, paint your nails, go to the gym. Do something that will not only cheer them up, but will also contribute to helping yourself and your mentality.pexels-photo-919436.jpeg
  2. Work hard, play hard
    We hate having time to ourselves because we always feel like there’s some job that we should be doing. Work hard, get your jobs done in the day and leave the evening to relax. Earn your time. If you cannot sit there without thinking of something you should be doing, then treat it as a transaction. You’ve given your time in the day to be productive, your reward is relaxing. pexels-photo-544117.jpeg
  3. Say No
    This will be hard for some people. It is probably one of the hardest things for us to do. When we are overworked, stressed, or tired, we still feel like we have to keep going. Someone asks us to do something and we feel like we have to do it because we owe them as their friend. Sometimes this may be the case, and we want to help them, we may get a reward of feeling good after we have helped them. But when we just want to be by ourselves, this just feels impossible. Know that it is okay to say no when you don’t feel up to something. Just like you want to be a good friend to someone, if they are truly a good friend to you, they will understand if you are burned out and just not up to doing anything other than getting in bed with your favourite TV show. You need to remember that your mental health is just as important as others. We need to break this obsession with not allowing ourselves time to relax.

Never feel bad for putting yourself first.
Work hard, play hard, and love your life.

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Bath, Spas and Cocktails

One thing I’ve learnt since coming to university is how to be more positive.

I surround myself with people that make me happy and ignore those that bring me down. And this really makes all the difference on your mood.

Once you get rid of negative people, you feel so much more free and in control of your life. You can start living your life for yourself and stop living it through someone else’s desires.

I visited Bath with my classmates and lecturers and it was honestly one of the most fun experiences I have ever been a part of. It was just like going on holiday with your friends for a week, not once did I stop and think I was on a university trip.

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I visited Macdonald Hotel Spa and Thermae Bath Spa, toured the Roman Baths, visited Bath’s most famous sites, somehow managed to spend hundreds of pounds in and around the millions of shops they have, as well as going for dinner and drinking cocktails every night.

It sounds unreal, right? Too good to be true.

When I say it out loud, yes, it sounds too good to be true.

But why can’t it be true? 

We have set ourselves up to expect the worse. Especially those of us who suffer from mental health issues.

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When something is going good, we are are so happy yet so scared at the same time. It’s like we cannot enjoy it because we feel like it is a dream, like someone is messing with us. Why would life let me be this happy for nothing?

But it was real. No catch. No unexpected turns.

I drank, I laughed, I socialised, I toured, I relaxed, I shopped, I was happy.

And it would not have been the same without the people I was with.

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I see everything I do now as a lesson, an experience.

Sure, Bath was like a holiday, it was fun and made me happy. But I view it as a way of showing me that good things can happen, you can have nice things for nothing, as long as you make it a positive experience.

I could have chosen to sit in my room all day but I didn’t.

I got out and explored. I decided to treat myself to that cake, I chose to add that extra pair of shoes to my basket, I wanted to go out with my friends, my lecturers, to meet new people.

Always say yes to new things, even if you do not feel up to it, or you’re scared. Sometimes it is okay to have time to yourself, but never miss an opportunity, it could be one of the best decisions you make.

Surround yourself with good people, make memories, take pictures, appreciate the views, admire old buildings, walk the ground that has been standing underneath your feet for so very long.

I am so very grateful I got to see such a historical and beautiful place, but even more so grateful that it has enhanced my view on positivity.

Bath has symbolised a way of living for me.

Go out. Explore. Laugh.

Positivity breeds positivity. 

Get rid of those negative people and start fresh with a new group that brings you up when you are a down and appreciates that life can be beautiful.

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