I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, consistency isn’t my strong point, especially living a lifestyle that makes routine difficult. Rather than accepting it, I’ve spent the last month looking at ways to work with my mind and introduce more consistency in to my life.
One of the things I decided, because I want to ensure I’m checking in with myself consistently and effectively (after all that was the main purpose of this blog), is to pose specific questions to myself each month for my recovery check in. It’ll make it easier to think, write and share regularly.
So welcome to the first month of putting it in to practice…
How am I feeling in this moment?
I’m tired. Yesterday, I got back from a trip to Barbados that had a shuttle to Antigua. It was more tiring than I thought it would be. After my last two trips I’d started going for a walk on landing day but when I woke up from my first nap after this one, I felt like a lead weight and couldn’t move my body at all.
I know being tired affects my mood and tendency to binge, so I didn’t force myself to get up, instead I went back to sleep for another four hours.
I walked to the gym and went for a sauna this morning but by the time I got home I was ready for another nap which I generously gave myself.
What emotions have I felt this month?
Fear, gratitude and hope immediately come to mind.
I’ve taken time to sit and be with the fear I’ve felt. Exploring where it’s coming from and whether there’s any evidence to support its claims. The ironic thing is that there is a lot of evidence from the past which validates what it’s saying, so I’ve had to acknowledge that and be grateful for the strength of character that got me through before and the wisdom I’ve gained to tread differently going forward.
I was especially grateful for my April and May rosters that gave me a good chunk of time to go to the Cayman Islands. I spent time with my mum in her new house, enjoyed a daily routine, got to the beach, did kayaking again and I delved in to what I really want the rest of this year to look and feel like. The plans and ideas I came up with gave me hope of a wonderful rest of year and reminded me about how far I’ve come. Not just from when I was diagnosed but from where I was in 2017 when my Gran passed away leaving a gaping hole in my life and 2015 when I came back to London from NYC with nothing, and from 2011 when I felt like I’d messed up my life completely.
Currently, I’m feeling content and happy. Not rushing, just exercising baby steps and patience.
How have I looked after/practiced self-care this month?
I’ve slowly got in to a movement/exercise routine again. Exercise is for my mind as much as my body and although I’ve been going to the gym and out walking over the last 6mths, I haven’t felt energised or as strong and fit as I used to. I’m turning that around slowly, not beating my body up with intense workouts but combining walking with meditation and prayer, and weights with a nice hot infrared sauna.
I’ve also been creating systems and processes for habit building. It’s helped to stop overthinking and overwhelm because I get my thoughts and ideas out of my head and have a set of steps I follow routinely. I’ve currently created one from 8am to 1pm on gym and non-gym days and continue to follow the one on landing day. It’s early days but with a revisit to James Clear’s ‘Atomic Habits’ book I’m hoping to embed new habits for new results.
What have I been grateful for this month?
As I said above, I was grateful for the time I got to spend in Cayman and the long break from work. I’m thankful for my family and just how far I’ve come in the last 12 years.
What step did I take this month that I’m proud of?
I got back on the weights at the gym. I realised I’d become comfortable hiding in the studio to do my workout but needed to step out and incorporate free weights in to my exercise routine again. I made it to the gym in Barbados too!
What quote resonated with me this month?
“Affirmations don’t make something happen. They make something welcome.”
Anything else I want to add?
I still don’t feel like I’m ready for a lot of things I’m taking steps in to, but I trust and have faith that I was born for this.