People like to believe in the simple things and they like to simplify the complicated things. I’m not knocking it because I do it too. It’s within our nature, isn’t it? I think so anyway. I’ll give you a bog standard scenario. Let’s say, for example, I have a problem at work. (It happens to the best of us even though I like to believe I am employee of the week EVERY week! Even the weeks I’m on holiday!) Anyway, I would break the problem task down into smaller more manageable tasks and then tick them off one by one until completion of the task. It usually works. It’s the way I go about things. Most of the time, as I say, it usually works.
The only issue is when you can’t break down a task or a life goal or any bigger picture objective into smaller fragmented mini aims. Whether it’s due to lack of resources, a mental/emotional/spiritual block or any other reason. That’s when the problem is a PROBLEM! And a PROBLEM is not what another problem needs…
Your health is your wealth
The last year has been a lot of that for me in personal and professional goals. Time constraints. Lack of resources. Mental inability to focus. Physical health issues. Emotional Strain. Spiritual challenges. There’s probably subcategories from under these headings too but you get the idea! I find myself still hovering over (or still within/under) some of those battles and it’s been difficult. The biggest lessons I have learned in my life have been through turmoil or sadness, the last year and it’s difficulties have been no different. Your health is most truly your wealth. That’s been something I’ve really had hammered home recently. Doesn’t mean to say I do everything right. It’s maybe the awareness that helps my decision making and for that I’m grateful.
Humans are fake. Robots are real.
I’ve always known that the human species are a very fickle bunch. I know they are because I am one of them. We are a species that know what’s good for us and somehow we see bright lights, money or something that the heart desires and we forget about what we actually truly need. Instead we chase what we want. We think about living in the moment too much. Imagine there’s a piece of cake in the office. A nice thick fudge chocolate cake which you could devour if asked. You see it. You smell it. You can envisage the mouthful BUT you know full well the way that you’ve been carrying on since you promised to go back to the gym (three months ago), it’s a bad idea because you won’t stop at that slice! You’ll buy a cookie at lunch. A pack of party rings after work. You might even demolish that Snickers multipack you were saving! Living in the moment is great when you can live in the moment as long as you can manage your own self-discipline. The second your own self-discipline goes out of the window… The recovery from that point is a bigger deal. I didn’t say impossible. I said ‘bigger deal’ The reason I am saying that is purely as it becomes one more thing to add to the to-do list. This lack of self-discipline and in some cases, blatant denial (whilst not really being in denial) might have really flipped the boat for me. I wasn’t sinking in the boat I was in but I was paddling very slowly in a direction I didn’t want to go in. I knew it yet I continued. Honestly, it might be one of the known reasons I have found myself in a slump. It’s not the only reason. I wouldn’t blame all of my years’ woes on my obviously human flawed behavioural patterns, however, I couldn’t sit here lying as it was a fairly substantial contributor. You know what?! If I didn’t allow other peoples’ opinions seep into my own head like a leak into the cupboard under the sink then the problems would have been manageable. Thinking. Overthinking. Keeping quiet. Hiding in plain sight. All things I’ve been guilty of.
Do you know what else I learned? People like to compare too! They don’t only simplify. They compare. People in your family. Your friends. Your neighbours. Strangers even! They look at a girl and compare her with the other girl. People compare children. Strangers compare passengers on a bus. It’s never ending! Listening to comparisons had temporarily malfunctioned my inner reasonable settings. I was so unreasonable with myself to the point I was unreasonable with others. That shook me. It shocked me. Now I think about it, it hurts me! I am the kind of soul that likes to believe in the best of people and unless you give me good reason not to give you that initial respect, I always will give you that, at the very least. I prefer to give everyone a base level of respect as judging others is only a trapdoor for the way you can feel about yourself at a difficult time in your own life. Similar to how a bit of bacteria exposed to more bacteria can become a big bacteria, that’s how I think about negative thoughts. Whether they are targeted at myself or someone else, it’s a problem that’ll be a bigger problem and we humans, we do not need to create any more problems!
What’s the point?!
Where am I going with this? That’s a good point. I guess… I don’t really know? You’ll have to forgive me on that one, although, I have a fair idea. You know like on a golf course. I don’t have a rough idea. I have a fair idea. This post is half rant and half help. I’m bending your ear (or boring your eyes) and helping you at the same time. How? I’m glad you asked. Well, you see, in amongst the physical health and mental battles I realised that the two are so closely aligned, it’s like your arm and your hand. Your arm pretty much gives you strength and your hand helps you pick things up, grip onto things. I always knew the two (mental and physical health) were pals but I never knew how south that friendship could go. We could bring in emotional health too ( I guess). Although, in my personal opinion, the stronger you are mentally and physically, the better you will deal with your emotions. The pair of them really kicked my ass! The physical feeling of something as simple as a vitamin deficiency combined with a mental fragility due to feeling stuck in a rut, it was a hard combination to break through! I wasn’t diagnosed depressed. I wasn’t thinking dark thoughts. Nor did I want to. That I must clarify. They are issues I wouldn’t wish on my enemies but just because I wasn’t diagnosed with depression or anxiety it doesn’t mean that there weren’t troubles in my life that could cause bouts of either. In my own head, I was quite simply (and unnecessarily) stuck in a ruddy rut and all I saw was a tunnel. I kept digging up until… I stopped digging. I then sat in this tunnel until I heard or felt something and then I would move a bit. (Obviously this wasn’t a real tunnel) It took a few tears, a good load of vitamin/dietary supplements and soul searching to feel somewhat good again.
People don’t get it
The world either gives too much sympathy or doesn’t understand to help you at all. Every individual has a specific set of circumstances and you can’t promise someone a solution that worked for you as a certainty in working for them. There are universally recommended ideas such as positive thinking, good dietary habits and exercise, all of which I recommend. Greatly recommend. Even so, not everyone can eat the same foods or do the same types of exercises. I stopped looking for solutions at one point without giving up. I know that sounds contradictory but what happened was, I stopped looking for answers or new ways to feel better and I kept doing things I already knew had worked in the past. I kept at it without really focusing on it and then fell into a path that worked. I realise that I now like walks in busy city centres and not parks. I like tomatoes and leafy salads not bell peppers and sweet corn. I like positive thinking at night because it relaxes me instead of hyping me up, making me lose focus in the day.
I needed help from within
Whatever you have to do, just believe in the process. Believe that you can get better and you will! Podcasts helped me. Talking helped. In particular, I personally really enjoyed listening to sports people talking about overcoming injuries and losses. Laughing definitely helped. Travelling to other cities helped. Cooking at home helped. Lots of things helped. When. I. Let. Them.
Don’t get me wrong as there were hours, days and sometimes what felt like an age where I was whinging to myself or to a guy on a bus. I would overeat carbs when I was tired of carbs. I’d drink soda when soda wasn’t what I craved. I’d stare at blank bits of paper, blue/grey skies or seemingly happy people wondering how they have what I want. I looked like a right miserable sod. I sat on buses. I took trains to places I didn’t want or need to go to. I made self loathing jokes. I cried over spilt milk. Literally. I punched a pile of clothes. I kicked a door out of frustration. I ate a lot of cheese. I never hurt anybody else. It was always things or me, myself.
I feel better now. I’m healthier thankfully and also happier.
I make breakfast muffins now. I drink water like I breathe air… Okay, that’s an exaggeration! I shadow box at home sometimes when I feel stressed. I stand trading a few jabs, a right hook (or twenty two) and a spicy uppercut with my shadow. It’s fun. I look like a plank doing it… That’s not the point. It’s especially useful on days I don’t have the time to go exercise properly. As an alternative, I jump around the house and shadow box for a bit. Even in my pyjamas should it be necessary. Haha. That’s funny. That’s ACTUALLY pretty funny. What can I say?! It’s what I do. It keeps me away from feeling blue so WTH!
If you want to get through the tough times… Tough it out by being kind to yourself and allowing yourself to heal. There is no point whatsoever in beating yourself up (I know that’s a bit rich of me to say after all those shadow boxing confessions but I don’t actually hit myself) when it only beats you down. You need to lift yourself up. So find a way through persistence or patience. Whatever works for you. Once you find it. Use it. Life isn’t forever. Don’t waste your time worrying on things you can fix. Fix them.