Mindfulness: Starting Again

As you may well be aware from my previous posts, I’ve been struggling a lot recently with a family situation – namely, my parent’s divorce and the breakdown of my relationship with my father.

This whole situation has left me feeling pretty fraught, and the year itself has been entirely chaotic, what with twice-monthly visits to my mother, tense family gatherings and a whole plethora of other issues. In addition to that, there’s the small detail of trying to keep the rest of my life ticking along in a semblance of normality – meaning, showing up to work and giving 110%, working out wherever possible, and still spending time with the people in my life that I care about.

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As such, it’s all been a bit of a mess. I realised that one of the reasons I started this blog was not just to talk about physical health and exercise, but also mental health and emotional wellbeing. To be completely honest that side of things has been pretty absent from the blog over the past year, which speaks volumes about how absent it has been in my life. More and more however, I’m being reminded of the need to take care of myself in addition to taking care of everyone else around me. I was reminded by a good friend that I am in an entirely absurd and distressing situation, and that as a result it’s perfectly acceptable to not have my shit together. He told me that it was okay to feel depressed, and I would be entirely forgiven if I stopped acting strong for the sake of everyone else.

That conversation was all the validation I needed – sometimes we have to have courage in order to fall apart ; to allow ourselves to feel the full gravity of what has happened. And that’s okay.

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What I guess I’m trying to say is that I’m not okay. I’m no longer trying to act like everything is okay – I’m allowing myself to show weakness and surrender ever so slightly to the awfulness of the situation. But I’m not allowing myself to wallow in it, as much as I want to. Instead, I’m allowing myself more time for self care and mindfulness. As such, I’ll be bringing back my old Mindfulness series. I need a kick up the backside to actually take care of myself every once in a while, and I can’t wait to share that with you.

So please, share your self-care and mindfulness tips with me. They are much needed right now!

Lots of love,

Pippa

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13 thoughts on “Mindfulness: Starting Again

  1. I found running a huge help to release anxiety and relax and have healthy happy hormones, but also keeping a journal. Even a bullet journal is useful! Lately, I’ve started listing emotions like happy, anxiety, frustrated, calm, and ticking off how many times I feel that way a given day. There’s is something soothing about knowing that on days where I feel especially anxious, I also had one thing to feel happy about.
    Good luck to you, Pippa. You will get through this!

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    1. Thank you! I keep a journal of sorts, whether it’s stress induced list-writing, or five minute journalling in the morning. It’s a habit that really helps me, but I have to remember to stick to it. Running is such a huge help for me also, though I have to be careful not to overdo it!

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  2. The acceptance is probably the biggest challenge. It’s really hard to be everything, everywhere, giving it all – for all of the time but actually coming face to face with the problem and accepting that it’s okay to look out for yourself is a massive breakthrough. I was overwhelmed by quite a few things in July, a number of health issues had just left me feeling wiped out but I was still trying to be everything I am when things are tick-tock – as soon as I realised that I needed to make some decisions on diet, nutrition, rest, relationship to yoga/pilates, meditation and self-love, I saw a huge difference. Keep going girl! 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much for this. I’m trying to remember that it’s perfectly acceptable to do nothing, and to just relax and take some time out. It’s a struggle for me as relaxing often gives me really bad anxiety – maybe that’s why I gravitate to running!

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  3. I could swear, 100%, that this was written about me. I too am struggling with my parents’ sudden divorce. My dad left my mom after 32 years and married another women (1 month after the divorce. I have been struggling with maintaining a relationship with him over the last few years as I’ve realized he was abusive. I feel our relationship deteriorating and part of me doesn’t care. This leads to feelings of worthlessness and worthlessness makes me want to do literally nothing. It makes me hate myself. I see parts of him in myself and it makes me even more miserable. I’ve been forcing myself to practice meditation and it definitely helps. Like @Wanderwolf I also have a bullet journal which helps me a lot–I like lists rather than a typical diary–so I just stress-listmake which is actually pretty helpful to get all these stressful thoughts in my brain. In addition to that I find some kind of crafting to be cathartic so I’ve taken up embroidery. It’s nice to have something to focus on. Good luck to you, seriously.

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    1. Oh man, I feel you. It’s absolutely horrific. My dad left after about the same amount of time, and I haven’t seen him in almoost a year, only spoken to him once or twice. And even then we mostly fight. It’s a real struggle. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

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  4. Sharing how you are feeling is a strong and important step. I hope it helps.
    For me, self care is about doing the thrigs I like and the things I need: eat well, sleep well, do yoga, run, have a bath, enjoy a cup of tea, hang out with pets (unconditional, non-judgemental live), spend time with the people most important to me, listen to music or podcasts. Be prepared to listen to your body and your mind – they will tell you what they need. Good luck x

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  5. Putting on a brave face is something that we feel that we need to do, but really doesn’t help. Recently I have been reading some work by brene brown – raising strong is a good book about overcoming adversity and she has done a good ted talk ( you can see these on you tube) on the power of vulnerability.
    Things are rough for you just now, but eventually they will come right again. I’m glad to hear that you have a good friend to give you a sympathetic ear and who cares about you. That really helps! Sending you love and hope!

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  6. Sounds like you are already past the first important step, as your mate and other commenters have already alluded to: it’s okay to not feel okay. Nothing puts you under more stress than feeling like you have to try and deal with all the problems in the world on your own. No-one can do that. In the emergency services, we always remind the new recruits that it’s perfectly normal to have an adverse reaction to a totally abnormal situation (we had a bad one this week). That’s a normal way for the body to react. Indeed, when a body goes into shock, it withdraws all its energy into the vital organs and this why we look so pale and feel so clammy. Sounds like you have been doing the same thing on a longer time-frame, and that partly explains why no-one (and perhaps not even yourself) can see the pressure building or understand the damage that this stress can do psychologically and emotionally. So, yes, running is of course a good thing, but I’d be inclined to disregard anything for now that feels like an obligation. If running works, do it. If not, let the hare sit, as we might say in Ireland. It’s always there when you need it.

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