So how did this self help guide come about? let’s take a step backwards shall we…
Oh for the love of God! As if being awake since 3 am isn’t bad enough following a hypo from Bethany, I’ve just lost internet connection too. It’s now 5:50 am and I’ve resorted to writing a spontaneous blog post to keep my fidgety fingers and overactive mind busy.
In addition to Beth’s highs and lows, we’ve had a couple of roller coaster days here as far as Lewis is concerned, in a previous post on autism I alluded to the fact that things are not always peachy and they’re definitely not peachy at the moment! Add to this the fact that other family members have got things on their plates and you get a recipe for one shattered Rebecca.
Don’t judge me, I don’t mind supporting other family members, not one little bit, in fact I’d hate not to, but with wafer thin mental health and spinning so many plates it does inevitably wear me down.
I was messaging back and forth with a dear friend only last night and we came to the conclusion that we are both strong women, not that we felt strong; in fact we were both feeling quite broken at the time of messaging one another. I joked that if there was a way to tap into our nervous energy we could probably power the UK for a year! Obviously a mild…okay, huge exaggeration but as I gave advice on making sure she had some ‘me time’ to recharge I was reminded of the irony, as once again I was offering advice I should be taking myself.
Why do we do that? Worry ourselves to the bone and put everyone first, even if we’re close to empty?
It isn’t just me and aforementioned friend who does it, there’s a whole bunch of gorgeous people I know, more than a bunch actually, if we were grapes we’d make up a vine! So if we’re all giving pretty much the same advice to one another, nodding our heads in unison, and probably thinking ‘I really should be doing this to help myself’ then why the hell don’t we?
If you have the answer for that you probably also know what the number ‘42’ means and if so please do share!
So, as with most things, until I write something down, either on a Post-It or in my planner or in a notes app on my phone, I won’t even entertain paying attention to it. Therefore, this is a list to me and I’m hoping YOU to remind us of the little things we can do help lessen the stress, anxiety and utter exhaustion.
o Make time for lunch, no biggy, just 30mins. Set the alarm on your phone if you have to. It doesn’t have to be a la carte, plentiful or blow it, even oober healthy. Just make sure you eat.
o If you’re tired and there is a window of opportunity to nap, even if it’s just for 30mins, take it.
o Don’t get stuck in a rut. If you’re at home in the day, try to get out. Those four walls will soon begin to close in on you. Don’t let them. Even if you just walk to the local shop to buy some milk try to get into the fresh air, if it’s raining…take a brollie! If you work, try to break away from auto pilot. If possible escape at lunchtime for some fresh air, even if it’s the back of building, just find a spot to perch and breath.
o Sticking with the dreaded autopilot. Break a routine or habit, even if it’s just for one day. Dropping the kids off at school? Go back home a slightly different way. Driving home from work? Choose a day you’re not dictated to by time and drive a different route home.
o Take your vitamins. I’m not going to lie, I’m terrible at making sure I get the right balance food wise and can only imagine what a bigger mess I’d be in if I didn’t take my multi-vits each day. Of course I should be telling you to eat better, then you wouldn’t have to rely on vitamins but that’s the next stage, and there’s the perfect blog post I’d like you to read after this. However, for now if you’re at the ‘missing meals and only cooking for the children/partner stage then let’s just stick with the bare essentials for now.
o Meet up with a friend, I cannot stress how important this is. I hope that if you’re reading this and nodding, you have a friend who listens and cares about you. I have one particular friend whom I’ve known for over 20 years and I’d be lost without her. Getting out of the house is preferable, especially if said friend keeps encouraging you to meet her in cafés to get you away from those four walls! But if you’re having a particularly bad day, having them back to yours for a coffee is just as therapeutic.
In addition to this I have increased my friendship base exponentially with a number of long-distance friendships via social media; they’re my instant pen pals! I’ve met every one of them in person at least once but these are all very special to me and by the power of electronics I’ve never felt so cared for and empathised with.
o If someone genuinely offers to help – TAKE IT!
o If you need help – ASK FOR IT. This one’s difficult and I wanted to pop it into the list but I have no examples of how to do this nor have I any clue on how to go about it, I need reader input here so if you have experience on how to do this please drop a comment below, I’m sure we’d all love to read your words of wisdom!
I have actually been with people recently, spent a couple of hours with them, and two words keep crossing my mind; ‘Help me!’ Quite literally those words pass across the back of my eyes…and I haven’t a clue on how to verbalise them. Bizarre right? Please rest assured I’m not thinking that now, nor have I thought that for about a month, but it’s there and it’ll probably pop again at some point!
Hells bells! I need to end this on a positive note, quick Rebecca, think!
Fluffy puppies, cute kittens and your favourite movie cuddled up under a thick cosy blanket….Phew! Follow any one of these suggestions, follow them all, no pressure, I won’t judge you. Just make sure you do something for yourself that you would or have found yourself recommending a loved one to do. You’re giving damn good advice my dear, so why not take it yourself?
Now then, one last thing, I promised an excellent blog post for you to read if you’ve passed the not even eating or eating anything just as long as I bloody well eat stage. Vicki Montague (our lovely Free From Fairy) has written a wonderful post to help with some excellent tips on where to start with eating better and feeling better….I’m still at the pate on toast or bowl of cereal if I’m lucky stage to be fair so this is my next step, anyhoo, here’s the link you lovely person you and keep up the good work.
I feel a giveaway coming on, I’ve had a Health Kit I’ve been meaning to give to one of my readers for ages now…keep your eyes peeled.