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The words 'growl and go' were reportedly one of Shackleton's favoured expressions, and whether or not this is true, I've come to love the phrase. Do the whining, then do the thing anyway. Suits me down to the ground, and believe me, over the coming months I'm going to have some amount of growling to do. But I'll go. I know not where this journey ends but I damn well know where I need to start. Time to growl and go. Previously ii. Failure tastes bitter, acrid. Like bile clinging to the back of the throat. There is only one way to get rid of this taste and that is to take the lessons of that bitter failure and use them to engineer success. I made the mistake of misidentification last cycle. Yes, food is a problem area for me, but no one can make a difference in any way on drained batteries. That creates plenty of growling, yes, but very little go power. I will recharge. I will do better. One: Recharge Will a torch work is the batteries are flat? No, it will not. Sure, you might get a few minutes of dim, flickering light, but nothing substantial, nothing bright and truly illuminating. So why do I expect to be able to function fully when I burn my batteries out and don't let them recharge? I can't. It's that simple. I need daily recharge time in order to reach even basic performance levels. Walk the gorge (20-40mins, depending on the route taken) - A particularly secluded part of the closest park. One that, in the right conditions, can feel like stepping back in time to a primordial forest. Read (30+mins) - And sit in my little reading nook to do so (unless the weather remains in the 20s, in which case taking the camping chair out and sitting outside is advised). No electronic distractions, just me and a book. Stretch (5-10mins) - Simply put, being achy makes me crabby. Stretching myself out and letting my body reset goes a long way to helping that. At most that's an hour and twenty minutes a day, every day, dedicated to ensuring I don't lose the plot completely. A small price to pay for improved mental health. While ideally I aim to do all three every day, there will be no penalties attached to this goal for the time where this is not possible. This isn't something that can be steered by brute force, and there are absolutely circumstances where I will not be able to do everything on that list. Two: Moderate Socialisation I dislike how disconnected I am, both here and offline, but I also know this is not an easy fix. Trial and error is the only way forward, and even then something that works one week might not work the next. For this cycle I am going to impose the following: Update a minimum of three times weekly: Monday with a rough plan for the week ahead, Thursday as a mid-week check in, and Sunday with a weekly summary. It forms a rough sort of structure, but nothing so constrictive as to start causing stress reactions, which in turn leads to: Learn to forgive myself for not being as active: Part of my constant issues here are that I manage to make social stress for myself out of nothing by managing to convince myself that it's the worst thing not to have just the right reply to someone's post/thread, causing a delay in responding, often resulting in radio silence because I don't ever think I can say the right thing. then comes the guilt. Safe to say that isn't healthy, and it needs to stop. This is stepping back without fully withdrawing, and if it means I spend some time sitting quietly in the shadows, playing the lurker, not feeling guilty about it because no one can be 'on' all of the time and that's perfectly fine, then that's what will happen until I get my shit together and learn how to people. Think positive: It's so easy to get lost in the negatives, and I frequently do. So every update I make, I will add at least one positive thing to it. Again, there will be no penalty attached to this (not least because I have no idea how that would work effectively). Three: Food This will encompass most of what was in part one. The ingredients list remains the same, and every effort must be made to stay as true to that possible. However there is a certain flexibility permitted in response to a new waste policy at work that results in stupid-cheap food if I'm working a back shift. Obviously common sense must be exercised here, and thankfully this new policy does not include my department, so I don't need to worrying about 5p cheesecake's haunting me. As a result of this, the planning aspect has been dropped as I never know what I will come away with. Some nights are better than others. Some things, however, will remain the same. No dairy. No junk. Reliance on pasta and rice for carbs should be kept to a minimum. No snacking at work. Burpee penalties will be enforced. Four: Movement This one was a little tricky for me to work out. So far we have daily walking, stretching, and burpees. That's a good start, but I desperately need to get some kind of weekly exercise routine started up again. This is going to be interesting to make work, given my current state of mind, because if I set rigid targets and fail to meet them, that is most definitely going to add to my anxiety. But I can't actually do away with them altogether because if I'm not working towards something then I tend to drift. So, after some thought, I've decided it might be better to focus on some slightly 'bigger picture' kind of goals rather than the 'do X thing Y times a week' kind of thing I've previously tried to stick to, just to relieve some of the pressure. This does make enforcement a little trickier. There is no minimum or maximum to what I will do weekly, instead there is just one question at the end of the week: Have I contributed effort to achieving my goals? If yes, then great, I keep going. If no, well, I guess we'll see what happens if such a thing arises. Really, this whole 'goal' is me figuring things out as I go along, my hope being that I can use the results from these four weeks to help form a more solid kind of structure that will not work against me. The 'big' picture goals: ...as always, I have basically no idea what I'm doing, but here I am doing it anyway.
Mal: I had a good day. Simon: You had the Alliance on you, criminals and savages... Half the people on the ship have been shot or wounded including yourself, and you're harboring known fugitives. Mal: Well, we're still flying. Simon: That's not much. Mal: It's enough. The last two months have been interesting, to say the least. But I'm still here, I'm still flying, and I'm still feeling relatively positive. This will be a very KISS challenge. Due to the last two months, I've gained a bit of weight (comfort eating; less movement). My body is also feeling really stiff and weak. I potentially have 2-ish months before any further treatment, and it's time to fix things rather than wallow in it. Goals: 1. Stop eating like an asshole I'm not going to make a bunch of little rules behind eating, since I then tend to use the letter of the law to circumvent the spirit of the law. I know how to be a healthy eater. I just need to do it. No more excuses. No more comfort eating. 2. Follow the plan -Saturday: parkour and silks class -2 times/week: a more intense yoga class or some sort of strength training. Ease into things rather than overdoing. -3 times/week: flexibility and recovery yoga. -Every day, weather permitting: walk at least 2 miles or go swimming. 3. Keep my crazy under control: I just started weaning off of my current anti-anxiety med, and today I also started Tamoxifen. Tamoxifen apparently doesn't play nicely with SSRIs. So, over the course of this challenge, I get to deal with the side effects of no longer being on a med that was working, as well as starting with something that will completely muck up my hormone levels. Maybe it will all be fine.. Maybe I'll be a complete basket case. The plan is to do everything I can to help promote my mental wellbeing. I will take time for myself as needed. I will do yoga or meditation as needed. I'll avoid Dr. Google. I'll stick with healthy sleep practices, like getting off of the electronics, reading, herbal tea, etc. If needed, there is another anxiety med I can try with the tamoxifen. Misc: -Work on the core. My core is too weak for some of the silks moves. -Plan cool vacations.... because there's nothing like confronting your mortality to make you want to bucket list the shit out of stuff. It's also good for my mental health to be able to plan fun future things. -Try to be more present on NF. For obvious reasons, my last two challenges have been pretty self-absorbed. But, I don't need to be that way this time around.