Guys, I have been stressed.
I’ve basically hit the ground running since we’ve touched down on English soil, and I have been feeling very overwhelmed.
So much so that I deleted all social media off my phone for ten days and basically re-evaluated my entire life.
Okay, it probably wasn’t that dramatic, but you get the idea.
There are a million and one things to sort out, figure out, think about and do that I just don’t know where my head has been at. During the world trip, I was so excited to get back to the UK and finally put all my carefully crafted ideas into action, but now that I’m actually here, that bubble of excitement has burst big time, and reality hit me. In the face. With a chair.
It’s hard enough as it is to leave those blissful three months behind, that amazing time I spent with my dad and the incredible memories we’ve made. I’m going to put all the keepsakes and photos we brought back into a photo album/scrapbook at some point, but that’s a task for another time – especially because we’ve got one more travel adventure coming up this year.
With times being a little bumpy at the moment, my mental health has had a few low dips, but instead of wallowing in them and turning into a self-pitying mess, I am actively working against them.
Now, I’m aware that the following steps might be very mundane to some. For me, however, they require actual work on myself, on a daily basis. Stopping your negative thought-habits from happening is a task, as I’m sure anyone who’s ever tried to change something about themselves knows.
So, here are my little construction work areas and how I’ve been trying to become a better person.
Being more grateful. I am very good at taking things for granted, I shamefully admit that. But in recent months, I have been trying to be more grateful in everyday life. For the roof over my head, the instant (hot) water from the tap, the food I get to eat every day, and the money in my bank account. I really do believe that even this most basic form of gratefulness makes a huge difference in how we perceive our daily routines.
Mindfulness. I have been starting my days with a few simple stretches and a moment of just being, and I am ending them by checking in with myself and writing down how I have been feeling and why. This has given me a good idea of what is bothering me the most at the moment, and I found that the more days I start in a mindful way, the less I am feeling low and anxious in the evenings.
A change in attitude. The amount of times I caught myself thinking, “I can’t be arsed to do this” is alarming. I thought this about everything: Meetings, calls, appointments, coffee dates – you name it, I couldn’t be arsed to do it. Whilst there will still be times where I’m dreading something (you will never hear me saying anything positive about dentist appointments, for example), I’ve made a conscious effort to switch my basic approach and attitude.
For example, instead of thinking of a meeting or call as dreadful, I am grateful for the opportunity to grow my business and build relationships with clients. Instead of being annoyed at having to get my eyes tested or my smear test done, I am thankful to be able to look after my health (and it being pretty good so far, touch wood). Being consumed by negativity is all too easy, but this really has a positive impact on my outlook on life in general.
Social media usage. As I said, I deleted social media off my phone for ten days, and have since then implemented a rather strict usage schedule. I won’t allow myself to scroll through my feed straight after I woke up, and I’m not picking up my phone during short breaks I take anymore. Instead, I’ll have a morning, lunch and evening scroll (not before bed, though!) and that’s it. I have also been contemplating how I want to use my platforms in the future and where I want to take them. I shall report on this again at a later time.
Environmental changes. Now more than ever am I making a more conscious effort to help the planet where I can. I wrote a blog post back in January where I said that environmental awareness was going to be one of the biggest topics in 2018, and whilst I have been making smaller changes throughout the year, there is definitely room for improvement. I am taking my own bags with me whenever I pop into town, my dad got me not one but two Keep Cups for my birthday, and I am shopping more consciously, too. I don’t want to give in to fast fashion anymore and will choose quality over quantity, both in clothing and beauty products.
I’m not going to get it 100% right, I don’t think anyone really does. Whilst I know there will be days where I “can’t be arsed” to do something, where I don’t carry a mindful attitude around with me and where I will need to buy a plastic bag, I reckon the most important part are the baby steps. If we all took some steps in the right direction, we’d already make a huge impact: On the way we treat ourselves, each other, and the environment around us.
’til next time x