Choosing to prioritize my mental health & my physical health.

Caring for the mind is as important and crucial as caring for the body. In fact, one cannot be healthy without the other.

Sid Garza-Hillman

Hi everyone,

I know the last post was kind of gray and gloomy, which was how I felt at the time when I was writing it. Ever since I posted that last post, I have almost felt like I have had to apologize for posting something like that, and the old me would probably either have apologized for it or give up on blogging completely. But I am not going to do that. I am trying this new technique I learned in group therapy last Monday, where I am telling myself that “it is okay!” and “so what!” every time I start to critique myself. It seems silly to be telling myself that it is okay, but I hope that if I continue to tell myself it is okay whenever I start to be critique myself because of the things I say/write, the choices I make or the accomplishments I achieve (or don’t achieve), then one day the new voice I have in my head will have more power over the negative and self-doubting voices I have.  

Last week I was thinking and hoping that next week will be better, and everything will seem clearer. I still feel more depressed compared to how I felt a few weeks ago and my anxiety level have also been pretty high, but I am starting to see a little glimmer of sunshine and hope, and every day seems to be a little bit better.

This week I have not only done some things which I am proud of, but I am also finally beginning to realize that I have unconsciously begun to make my own needs a priority and take my own needs a bit more serious.

The other day I signed a contract for work at the school where I have been helping out the last three months and think this new contract will be very good for me. Until this week I didn’t realize that I was putting too much pressure on myself, at least I was putting a lot more pressure on myself than I am able to handle right now. Before I helped in the after-school club every day of the week, while I simultaneously was working on my own school work, going to therapy and just trying to help myself feel better. For some people it might not seem like a lot of things to do, but I am now realizing that it was too much for me. in the future I will only go there the days they actually need me to be there, which will most likely be once or twice a week. After getting this new contract, I realize that I was telling myself and everyone else that I was putting my own needs first, but in reality, I was still doing what I thought other people expected of me.

Therefore, I want to make it my goal to really understand my own needs and make them my number one priority. I know you might think that this is easier said than done, but I am going to be making a real effort to start doing it. During the last 5 months, I have made my mental health my number one priority, but I read somewhere that a big influence on someone’s mental health is their physical health. I have not been prioritizing my physical health the last 8 months, and I want to change that. 1,5 years ago, I was more or less addicted to going to the gym, I felt restless and fidgety every time I had a day where I didn’t go to the gym. I was on a schedule where I was going to the gym every other day, and I spent 7 hours in average in the gym every week. Going to the gym used to my escape from my own head, but in the last 8 months I have more or less stopped going, and the last time I went was in the beginning of November. And I want that to change, I want to get back to the habit of going to the gym on a regular basis. The only problem is, that I feel super anxious about going to the gym and the fact that there are people around me, and I have been postponing it for a couple of weeks now. But not today! Today I went to the gym, I was feeling very anxious the entire morning and I was not feeling at ease, but today I chose to go.

I wasn’t at the gym that long, I spent maybe 40 minutes actually working out, but it is a start! And I realized that as soon as I got into my own little “bubble” in the gym, the anxiety disappeared, and I was able to actually enjoy myself. It is probably going to be a longer process before I start feeling comfortable with going to the gym, and I am going to start out easy. I have therefor chosen that in the beginning I have to go to the gym every Monday and every Friday for at least 30 minutes. I think this is a nice goal to set for myself in the beginning, because I know I will be able to stick to this plan.

The last thing I am going to be focusing on is my diet. And no, I am not going to be on a specific diet where there is curtain food I can’t eat. I am just going to be more aware of what I put into my body. I have actually started seeing a nutritionist to help me make some changes to my life which will hopefully stick with me for a long time.

I am really trying to be in the moment and feel everything that is happening, but right now, it just feels a bit impossible and overwhelming.

By the way, if you didn’t realize what I am proud of, then it is the fact that I didn’t let my fears and anxiety dictate whether or not I was going to the gym. I did it, even though I my mind kept telling me it would be a terrible idea and I was an idiot for even thinking I could go to the gym.

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