Getting out of the comfort zone

Getting out of the comfort zone

It’s so easy in life to stay in your own comfort zone and not rock the boat too much. I did it for years and stayed in my bubble and let my anxiety fester into every aspect of my life, until I became so limited on what I could actually do. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) has been a huge help to me and I am finally getting out, enjoying life again and having plenty of new experiences.

This time last year I was just going back to work from maternity leave and I was feeling especially vulnerable and overwhelmed at the prospect. I was still in the middle of a battle with postnatal depression and anxiety had creeped into every aspect of my life. It was exhausting to constantly being in a state of fight or flight (usually always the latter) and I was becoming increasingly limited on what I could do in my day to day life. I was becoming a recluse and my enjoyment in life was dwindling away and it was feeding my depression. It was vicious cycle and I felt like I was fighting a losing battle.

Something had to change and that change would only come about if I changed. I needed to change my though processes first and CBT was a great stepping stone. CBT taught me so much and helped me question my thought process. I started off small just at first doing the food shop and then gradually built up. I faced my fears, proved my thoughts wrong and exposed myself to a new way to see things. I made sure once my CBT sessions stopped that I continued to read my book and put what I was taught into action when I felt anxiety creeping back in. It’s not always easy, but I have now been able to witness the benefits and I now have proof in my own mind that it works.

CBT has taught me how important it is to get out my comfort zone, not just to do the normal everyday things in life, but also giving me the courage to then try new and often scary things. The scariest thing I’ve done has been blogging as I’ve always been very self-conscious and aware of other people’s opinions of me. Blogging has left me exposed and it has really put myself out there. I’m not the best at spelling, grammar and am forever worrying that what I am writing is rubbish, but with support I feel I’ve found something I love, it gives back to me, helps me grow and it also gets me to try new things. I have found a passion, something that gives me so much and I also feel I am able to give back and hopefully help others.

The last 3 months I have really built myself up and got out my comfort zone on many occasions. Once you start the feeling can become quite addictive and I am forever accepting invitations to new and scary things I couldn’t imagine myself doing a few months ago. I am no longer scared and constricted by what I can and can’t do and it’s opened up a new world for me. Since I have started getting myself out my comfort zone everything else in my life has improved, my confidence, my depression, my anxiety and my overall wellbeing. I am getting new opportunities everyday and I love the feeling of excitement my life now brings.

Except new challenges and remember that you are the only person coming between making them a reality.

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram

Accepting the past and moving forward

Like many people do I do struggle with accepting the past, my mistakes and the whole what I could have done differently struggle in my head. It’s human nature for us to over analyse and wish that we could change things. I for one have a few things from my past I wish I could change, mistakes I wish I hadn’t made and people I wish I hadn’t hurt through my actions. I am very aware that I am not perfect, will never be perfect and will probably still make mistakes in my future. I am trying to learn to let go of anger and sadness that my past has caused me and move on with my life in a positive and happier way. I have a tendency to beat myself up and be very hard on myself, especially when it comes down to my parenting, but for me to be a better parent I need to learn to let go of these feelings.

Postnatal depression was a real kick in the teeth for me after years of working to be the best parent I could possibly be to my first born. I took the diagnoses as a criticism of my parenting and was incredibly hard on myself. The guilt manifested and made the problem much worse, but at the time I couldn’t see that. I know I haven’t been the best parent at times, but then I also know that I loved them dearly and did the best I could in the situation I was in at the time. We are our own worst enemies at times and often our worst critics. Anyone looking through my Facebook or Instagram at the time of my diagnosis would never have guessed anything was wrong and would have been led to believe I had a happy, perfect little family. Social media and our outside face is not a true depiction of reality and we need to remember that we are not alone in our struggles. Everyone I know closely in life has their own struggles, battles and issues daily, as does everyone in the world. We need to be more conscious and forgiving of this. Someone’s actions one day don’t always depict a true reflection on an individual. Usually when we feel attacked in any way we become defensive and push that onto someone else, we criticise others, compare ourselves to others and even try to out do each other.

I am gradually learning to let go of my past. I am no longer blaming myself for things I can no longer change. I am giving myself a blank slate and starting fresh in a happier, more stable and positive mind-set.  I am a great parent, a loving wife, a loyal sister and a wonderful friend. The people I surround myself with are people I love, they understand me and they do not judge me. I have learnt to let go of friendships that are one-sided and others that are toxic. I accept others for their flaws and work my best at understanding their flaws as I hope they do with me.

Accepting the past and moving forward

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram
Keeping a positive mind-set is not easy and something I've always struggle with. I have learnt over the last few months skills through CBT on how to keep positive and not let the negative thoughts take over.

Shutting down the negative thoughts

Keeping a positive mind-set is not easy and something I’ve always struggle with. I have learnt over the last few months skills through CBT on how to keep positive and not let the negative thoughts take over. For some reason us humans especially women often hear a negative thought in our heads and never think to question it and we perceive it as fact. With CBT you learn to question these thought and recognise them, as sometimes they are so quick it’s hard to even pin point them until you become aware. When ever I have a negative thought like for example ‘I’m a rubbish mum’ What I do is question it, what is the evidence that I am a rubbish mum? How can I disprove it? It’s working wonders for my mind-set and it has shown me my life through a new set of eyes.

On Thursday I went to a workshop at The British Library in London ‘Turn your passion into pounds’ hosted by Vicki from the multi award-winning blog www.honestmum.com and Jessica Huie (MBE) a PR goddess. The evening was packed full of useful information and the panel of ladies giving advice was 5 star. It was so lovely to hear the passion in these ladies voices, whilst they told us their stories of how they started up on their own and became a success in their own right.

I left buzzing with excitement about the prospects of my website and blog, how I plan to grow it and how I can make it work for me. I have been thinking heavily on the workshop and why I have always had such a limited view of my abilities. I am forever questioning myself, when the only person who is holding me back is me. I am constantly held back by my own self-doubt, fear of failure and other people’s perceived opinions of me, but if I don’t try I have just failed anyway, so sod it, lets give it a go.

I will be continuing to push myself out of my comfort zone and not let the negative thoughts try to ruin my dreams. I’m passionate about what I do and want to help people, whilst I help myself to overcome mental illness obstacles, that limit me from achieving not only normal day to day things, but also my dreams. Any negative thought you have, shut it down, don’t believe it and do what you want to do. Life is too short and too difficult as it is without listening to these horrible little negative voices in our heads. We own our own happiness and we have the tools to succeed in life.

My aspiration is to have a website full of motivational posts, help and advice on postnatal depression and reviews from products I actually love and enjoy. I am ready to go and I am no longer scared of the prospects of my future.

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram
Little moments of happiness week 3

Little moments of happiness week 3

I’m onto my third week of little moments of happiness, where I try to focus on what little things have bought me happiness this past week. I was expecting this past to be particularly challenging with having my daughter off school for the week and my husband working 12 hour night shifts 7 days straight. This week went surprisingly well and not only did I manage to keep everything together I also enjoyed every moment with both my children. I really hope this means that I am turning a corner and that the happiness continues.
  • A very hectic, but enjoyable lunch with a few friends and children, whilst the children played in kids area. We spent over three hours chatting away and Tristan only rugby tackled his best friend once.
  • My appointment with my new psychotherapist went really well and it’s something I think that will really help me.
  • I’ve been approached to do a collaboration for a new app which teaches you tried and tested techniques to manage stress and how to optimise your coping mechanisms. I’m really excited to try this and also review it and will be sharing with you a discount code for a months free subscription.
  • I went back to work. I was waiting for the anxiety to build up and the sleepless nights start to follow with the anticipation of going back to work, but my anxiety seems to have disappeared. I’m hoping it’s to do with my antidepressant increase and it stays this way. Anxiety has plagued my life so much it’s like a ton of bricks being lifted from my shoulders. It was great to get back to the routine of work and get away from my home.
  • Meeting up with my sister-in-law and watching our children play. We had a great couple of hours watching Miss J run around like a manic and Mr T’s big cousin was playing beautifully with him.
  • I took both children to Tescos and came out with everything I needed and managed to stay sane in the process. Both my children decided to sit in the trolley (even though Miss J is almost five) and were well-behaved. A trip to Tescos would normally fill me full of anxiety with only one child with me.
  • Me, my husband and Miss J had a great game of Star Wars the other night with my daughters new lightsaber. unfortunately for my husband it was girls against boys and get got a bit beaten up.
  • Mr T has been suffering with his teeth the last few days and on Saturday night he curled up in my arms and slept like a newborn whilst I watched TV. It was the most amazing feeling his weight on me, snuggled in close.

This week I am back to work three days a week and plan to start back at the gym. I am feeling positive and motivated.

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram
How to get my motivation back

How to get my motivation back

I am guilty of lacking motivation and at times I’m certain I am just lazy, but I know that isn’t true as once I do get inspiration to get motivated I don’t want to stop until that task is finished. Getting motivated isn’t something I have really been trying to tackle recently and also breakdown why it’s such an issues for me. The more job’s I have to be done the more anxious I get and the more I put them off. It’s a vicious cycle and I think the emotions from not completing task often making me feel even more unmotivated and I start to blame myself. I am trying to teach myself how to get motivated, organised and feeling the benefits of having a clearer, happier head.

Here are some of my tips I use to get motivated

  1. Envision the finished result and what emotion will go with it. I am guilty of sitting on my bum on the sofa, scrolling through Facebook thinking about doing a task that needs doing without actually doing it. Not only does this cause anxiety for me it also makes me feel down, depressed, upset, guilty and worthless. If I can complete a job that needs doing the emotions that go with it at much more encouraging and they keep you motivated for the next job.
  2. Tell yourself that you can do it and don’t be afraid of achieving your tasks and goals. We can change who we are to some extent and there is no reason why you can’t be a motivated, organised and positive.
  3. Rest is appreciated when you have completed a task that has been hanging over your head. Look forward to enjoying a cup of tea once you’ve completed your task.
  4. Try and figure out why you are lacking motivation. Sometimes it’s as easy as being over tired, hungry or even thirsty. Don’t feel guilty for taking a nap if you can, otherwise it’s just a wasted, unmotivated day.
  5. Sometimes you need to put the phone down, the tv off and limit the distractions around you (unfortunately you can’t turn the children off) to get a clearer understanding of the task that needs completing.
  6. Don’t get overwhelmed. Sometimes it can feel like you have too many things on a list to even contemplate starting it. Write a list and order it, by just writing a list can help by being able to visualise what needs doing and it’s so rewarding ticking them off.
  7. Turn off the negative voice. I know how hard it is, but don’t let it win and keep you in your place, unmotivated, lazy and sat on the sofa, anxiety rising as your head runs through the never ending list of tasks to complete is not helpful.
  8. Be mindful. The best thing I have learnt to do for myself recently is to practice mindfulness. Sometimes it’s helpful to stop thinking about what you haven’t done or what does need doing, but to focus on the present moment. Take a step back, notice the sounds, notice the feeling in your body and try to re-centre and refocus.
  9. Set achievable goals. Make it easy to start and gradually increase. If that means going to one gym class a week, not snoozing the alarm or getting one load of washing done everyday. There is nothing quiet like the feeling of completing a task or goal and if you didn’t manage to complete one of these goals, then look back and try to figure out what helped or hindered you.
  10. If you have a particularly difficult task or goal that may take some time to complete, then try to remind yourself throughout why it matters to you and the value of the goal at hand.
  11. Are my expectations unrealistic. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be a perfectionist, whats the point of having a spotless bathroom and a dirty disgusting kitchen, sometimes just do as much as you need to do before moving on to something else.
  12. Talk yourself up. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself a bit of a pep talk or practicing some affirmations to help you achieve your tasks and goals.
  13. Don’t let a set back throw you off course. We all have days where everything is a bit more of a struggle, but remember you need to refocus and not dwell on it. Brush yourself off practice some affirmations and start again.
  14. For bigger goals try making a goals board with lots of lovely visual inspiration and then hang it somewhere you will see it all the time. Add pictures, affirmations and drawings and remember to keep looking at it and adding to it when you need to as it’s great for motivation.

Read my blog post on S.M.A.R.T goals by clicking here. Motivation is key.

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram