Yah I know, I’ve been quiet this week. Between buying a new computer (I got a big mo-fo of an iMac!) and working my arse off, I’ve not had a real lot of time to myself this week, and sadly that means this poor blog has to take a back seat for a bit.
Mostly at the moment I am dealing with a high stress time at work, what with trying to juggle multiple projects to be finished by the end of the financial year (June 30th in Australia) and a colleague turned food-stalker who will not leave me alone about what I am having for lunch and how delicious it looks compared to her diet shakes and Chinese herbal weight loss “remedies.”
Of course, with rising stress levels, comes higher anxiety levels, but lower self esteem. I am lucky these days that after years of working on my self esteem, depression and anxiety issues that I can recognise them for what they almost always are – symptoms of overwork, not enough sleep and un-resolved problems. I am far more resilient to these down times than I have ever been.
But they are still there and take some work to sort out and get back on track with my emotional health. Where normally I have confidence in myself, during the down times I tend to second guess things, or be very harsh on myself again.
I have learned that those times are not the time to cast judgement on myself, or the world around me. That I need to just settle back and let myself get out of that frame of mind before I make any decisions on how I feel about people and situations and myself. There are a few things I can do that are immensely healing and are part of taking care of myself in those times.
Music really means a lot to me. I have a folder in iTunes of music that I know makes me feel good. I have a list of videos on YouTube that do the same thing, most of them Craig Ferguson dancing around like an idiot to some cheery tune. It’s what Craig does best.
I know being around water helps me. I am lucky, I live in a river city, and within 10 minutes walk of the river itself. Or I can travel for about 45 minutes and be by the bayside.
Sleep is important too. If I can catch up on decent sleep (more than the 4 or 5 hours per night I have been getting on average), I know it works a lot towards undoing all the negativity, anxiety and stress.
Self esteem and a positive outlook are not things that you just get and never have to worry about struggling with again for the rest of your life. It takes a lot of work to build them up, to work through depression, bad self image and anxiety, and then you constantly have to be topping up that work, honing it, working on keeping it alive. But that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person if you do slip up from time to time. You WILL slip up from time to time. You WILL have times that the black dog of depression gets you in his teeth, and that circumstances lead you down the path of feeling bad about yourself. But with work and support, you become far more resilient and conscious, and able to pull yourself up or find help to do so, back into positive, confident, happy you again.
Do you struggle with stress, anxiety, depression, poor self esteem? How do you work through it to get yourself in a better place? Do you recognise it when it sneaks up on you?
Let’s talk about it in the comments – knowing you’re not alone is one of the best tools you can have in your good emotional health toolkit!