Heart pounds, breathing quickens, head feels light, I can’t focus. Buildings and trees whizz by. Distractions, I need a distraction, quick look outside, the sky is a crisp blue this morning…No that’s not working, focus on your breathing. In, 1, 2, 3, out 3, 2, 1. It’s OK it’s nearly over, you’re nearly there, but then again its only going to get worse once you get there. Breathe out 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Quick get up, avoid eye contact, breathe, one foot in front of the other, that’s right. Try to drown out the chattering, laughing, moaning , grumbling, rustling, it’s OK. I can feel my heartbeat strong in my chest now, it’s impossible to ignore. BEEEEP BEEEEP, quick get out the way, the buses are relentless. They don’t even wait at the zebra!! Dash for the door, and you’re in it’s over, at least for now.
There’s always a constant chattering going on beneath the surface, I hide it well I have to admit, so well I can even convince myself it’s not happening. The truth is I can’t stop the chattering, I can’t control what is going on around me. But I’ve learnt that I can control, to some extent, how I react. I’ve tried meditation, yoga, exercise, healthy eating, medication, just about everything to ease my stress. And I’ve realised that although these things do help to ease my symptoms, I need to get to the root of the problem. To help me to build a healthy foundation and sense of self. I just really don’t know who I am, what I like, what I dislike. I’m a bit of a chameleon, constantly bending and changing myself to fit the image that I think other people want me to be, what they want to hear and see. I’m on a mission to learn what I like to do, what I’m good at, what nourishes me and what drains me.
So here’s three things that I’m working on, to help bring more peace and balance into my life:
- I set high standards for myself, half the time I can keep up with the daily morning yoga routine, 4x a week gym sessions, morning smoothies, reading on the commute, travelling at the weekends, seeing friends, singing lessons, keeping in touch with friends and family on FB Instagram and snapchat, wedding planning… the list goes on. And half the time I crash and burn and can’t even lift my head off the pillow when my alarm goes off. Biting off more than I can chew always back fires in the end. I’ll beat myself up for only doing 6 out of 7 early morning yoga sessions – ridiculous I know. So rule no 1 is to give myself a break, when things don’t go the way I planned I’m giving myself permission to smile and say that it’s OK!!!
- Also I’ve recently learnt that it’s OK not to do things that I don’t want to do. It might sound crazy and it’s completely common sense. But I constantly over-commit myself, I’m a yes man, I will jump at any and all invitations. Plus I really love my friends and family and they live ALL over the world, so I spend most of my weekends travelling to see them. Don’t get me wrong I love it. But sometimes I just need to recharge my batteries and clear my head. So for the rest of the year I’m committing myself to at least one ‘me weekend’ a month. A weekend where I can do what I want, I don’t have to see anyone (though of course I can if I want), just to do whatever takes my fancy, be a bit more selfish and look after me!!!!
- Doing things that I don’t want to do, makes me feel better. Now at first this sounds like it contradicts my last point. But bear with me. I can spend hours, days even procrastinating, putting things off, cleaning, making dinner, washing up, getting out of bed, having a shower… those kind of things. But once I do them I realise it’s not that bad, and strangely I actually quite enjoy hoovering and taking out the trash. So whenever I feel like I don’t want to do something (that I know will make me feel better) I’m going to count to 5 and just do it, without judging how I feel about it.
I’m starting this year with the intention of being kind to myself and building a better relationship with, me! I hope you’ll join me on this journey and share with me your thoughts on bringing peace and balance into your life.