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.

pexels-photo.jpg

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?

pexels-photo-541518.jpeg

 

  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.

sea-beach-holiday-vacation.jpg

Advertisements

How to be happy.

So the title of this post may be a bit misleading…

In my opinion, there is no real way of being happy.

Personally, I don’t think anyone can always be happy. It’s impossible. There is not one person in this world that is constantly positive every minute of every day.

There is not one person who never thinks of giving up, even if it is for a split second.

There is not one person who wants to just stay in bed and feel sorry for themselves, even if they do end up going out.

It still crosses their mind.

Being happy, for me, is different than being positive. 

Thinking positively contributes to your state of happiness. Right now, I would not say I am happy. I still have days when I wake up feeling like absolute shit and bad thoughts cross my mind and I don’t want to do anything. To me, things like this do not scream happiness. But I can wake up, think all these things and still remain positive.

This then takes away the overcrowding negativity that is trying to creep in. I still would not describe myself as happy, but I am not letting these things control my life.

I used to be a pessimist. One bad thought, that’s it. The world’s over. Done.

Now? That’s changed. It’s crazy how much your mood can change just from changing your mindset. You are in control of your emotions and your thoughts.

pexels-photo-208165.jpeg

  1. THINK POSITIVELY
    I know how hard this seems, especially when the world is going to shit. But try it. Just give it a chance. Bad grade on a test? It’s a lesson, a chance to improve. It does not make you a failure. It is allowing you work on your skills to become more successful. Let’s try another. This time a bit deeper. The loss of a loved one. 2017 saw a huge amount of my loved ones be taken from me. This is the hardest thing in the world to try and remain positive about. How can you possibly find a way to make this a good thing? First things first, cry. It does not make you weak, nor does it take away from your capability to be ‘happy’. Cry and let your emotions out. Show your grief and your love for this special person. Then, instead of mourning the loss, celebrate their life. Make them a memorial garden, a memory box, write a song for them, whatever you want to do to honour and remember them. This way we are minimising the negativity of the situation and turning it into something inspiring and positive. Little things like this will really help improve your mood.pexels-photo-374101.jpeg
  2. WALK, RUN, DANCE
    It doesn’t matter if you’re walking at 0.1 mph, just do something. Get up and exercise. It will boost your endorphins, automatically improving your mood, and if you are working towards a goal, such as losing weight or gaining muscle, you will automatically feel more productive. Not only this but if you are starting to become fitter, you will see these improvements and therefore feel better about yourself anyway. There are so many positives that come out of physical activity, so get out of the house, or even off the sofa and do something.pexels-photo-257360.jpeg
  3. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE AND INTO NATURE
    I cannot explain the beauty of nature. It is mad how one view can change your mood. I have recently been leaving the house and getting outside, going for long walks and appreciating the environment around us. I am lucky enough to live in the Peak District, surrounded by gorgeous views and tranquil walks. Once you step foot outside, just keep going. Don’t stop. Stick your headphones in and walk. Walk away from everyone else, walk away from your problems. Once you find somewhere to sit and just take in the world around you, you will automatically relax. It is so peaceful. It is the only time I like to be alone with my thoughts. They become positive thoughts. It shows the world is good. The world is beautiful. Life can be beautiful.pexels-photo-89909.jpeg
  4. TAKE UP A HOBBY
    Work towards a goal! This cannot be emphasised enough! Pick up an instrument, learn a language, start doing Pilates, start baking. Whatever it is, working towards something greatly improves your mood. You will feel like you are accomplishing something, little by little everyday, proving to yourself that you are capable. It is also a great way to take your mind off any shit going on in your life. Check out this article on further help and ways to keep your goals.pexels-photo-922702.jpeg
  5. LAUGH AND SMILE
    Laughing is infectious. Smiling is infectious. Instead of deciding that you are feeling shit today, choose to be happy. Someone says something funny? Laugh. Someone says hi to you? Smile and say hi back. Say good morning to someone, be that lovely customer when you order a coffee. You never know what someone is going through, being happy on the outside not only makes their day, but you know that you have contributed to that. Faking a smile is different, and will probably make you feel worse. Try and find the authenticity in yourself, there is a smile waiting to spread, you just need to let it out.pexels-photo-433495.jpeg
  6. GIVE, GIVE, GIVE
    Donations, charity, volunteering, even a good morning text to an old friend. A little goes a long way. There are others going through so much, just like us. They may be feeling the same and need a little pick me up. I get such a buzz out of giving and helping others. I participated in Sober for October, and raised money for those suffering with cancer in honour of my auntie. I regularly travel up to Wood Green Animal Shelter to give donation boxes to the cats as they are short on supplies, I surprised my Dad coming home from university and then told him I am taking him to see Foo Fighters. The joy out of helping others is a feeling you cannot describe until you experience it yourself. I must say however, never do a good deed expecting it in return otherwise you defeat the point of even doing it. You will end up back at the start ‘I gave them a lift to their house but they never offer me one’. I used to have this mind frame before realising, don’t do something if you are expecting something in return. Otherwise you make yourself miserable overthinking about why they haven’t returned the favour. Do something good for the reward of feeling good.

As I said, we are always striving to be happy. It is a journey, not a destination. Make these steps different rest-stops during your journey of positivity and happiness.

pexels-photo-533658.jpeg