Being Good Enough

You shouldn’t need proof in black and white that you’re good enough. But when I received my dissertation mark the stress of the past few months felt worth it. The sleepless nights leading up to results day did not.

It’s one thing being stressed about a project. It’s another agonising over it once it’s done. Not because you don’t think it’s good enough but because you know your feelings of not being good enough will remain once the project is over.

I cannot hold onto achievements. I think that’s something inherent in the human race. Positivity lasts a second while we can dwell on the negatives of a situation for days, weeks, months.

The imposter in me is strong today. It believes that this mark is a fluke, that all the hard work I put in counts for nothing. Maybe it even got mixed up with someone else’s. These ideas almost sound delusional. And I’m sick of feeling time and time again that I’m not good enough only to be presented evidence that suggests maybe I am to then immediately begin the cycle again. The cycle where the “not good enough” part represents 90% of my time and the “maybe good enough portion” equals 10%.

So I want things to change. And here’s how I’m doing it.

Write a positive affirmation

I know, I know. Positive affirmations sound wanky and like they’re not going to work but let’s just suspend belief and give them a try, okay? I’ve dedicated a page in the front of my daily journal to look at every day with a few lines to remind myself of every day. Writing down that you are good enough and that you deserve happiness is a good way to refresh those thoughts even when you wake up feeling the opposite.

Share your successes

I’ve always been really embarrassed to admit when I’m doing well. I think this is partly because I hate boasting anyway but also that I often feel that I’m not worthy of my successes (hello impostor syndrome). So I’m trying to get out of that habit as it only stands to reinforce my negative feelings. Now when I do well I’m trying not to shy away from telling others.

Work on traps of negative thinking

My biggest downfall is overgeneralising situations. If something bad happens once, I find it very hard to do the thing again and not think that something bad will happen this time. This is really hard to stop doing but just being aware that this is a pattern I tend to fall into has been a hugely helpful way for me to do something about it.

Do you fall into these traps? Have you found ways to combat it? Let me know in the comments!

Rachel x-x-x

 

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Staying Positive Monday to Friday

It’s Monday morning and I’ve got the day off. I woke up early, had a coffee and immediately sat down to get on with some uni work. I’m feeling positive about the week. It’s going to be a good one. I’m going to eat well, exercise and be really productive.

The hours are ticking and while I still feel good, there’s a slight feeling in my chest that I was a little too positive about this week. I’m at placement Tuesday until Friday, I might not have time for the gym and I won’t get much dissertation done this week. Actually I’m not feeling so positive anymore.

Within three hours of waking my positive attitude has dropped. Now I feel like the week is going to be a chore and I’ve got caught up in that same old cycle where things only seem good when I’ve got time to myself.

Here are some ways I’m trying to break out of that mindset:

Watch Your Language

Use positive language to keep a positive outlook. Try not to say that you won’t have time, or you can’t enjoy yourself this week because it’ll be a self-fulfilling prophecy and you’ll go from the start to the end of the week in a negative mood. Think about your week as an opportunity rather than a hard slog, set goals and take control of the week rather than letting it take control of you.

Don’t Pressure Yourself

Some weeks you’ll have more free time than you will during others. Naturally this means we don’t always have the ability to do everything we would in a week, but we don’t always see it this way. I like to set goals like going to the gym three times a week but sometimes that just isn’t possible, so instead I’m trying to be flexible and tell myself that it’s alright if I don’t always make it to the gym. Putting excess pressure on myself just means I’m less likely to achieve my goals.

Find Small Pleasures

I find that I go through life desperate for Friday evening when I can have two days of reading, sleeping and doing whatever else that I want to do. But I really don’t like this idea of ‘living for the weekend,’ because I don’t want to live my life spending 5 days a week dreaming about the two days I’m going to get off. I want to enjoy every day. That’s why I’m trying to ensure I have something to look forward to every day, whether it’s a meal out with friends or just a nice soak in a hot bath.

Start Your Day Right Every Day

When I have days off I take time to eat breakfast, put makeup on and just generally look after myself. It’s quite the opposite when I have a busy day where I rush up, giving myself half an hour to get ready, skipping breakfast and dashing out the door. Deciding to take your mornings before work slower can really help set you up for the day mentally and help you have a more positive mindset. I find that I feel so much better on the days where I’ve taken time to eat breakfast and listen to music on my way to placement in comparison to the days I down a coffee and walk there in silence.

What do you do to keep a positive mindset throughout the working week? Let me know in the comments!

Rachel x-x-x

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Negative Nancies Need Not Apply

Bloggers love nothing more than to declare the blogging community ‘unsupportive’ and throw around that old chestnut ‘negativity’ like there’s no tomorrow.

When I first started blogging, I tried to insert myself into the mental health blogging community. On the whole I found the people were welcoming and I was so motivated by what others were doing that I wanted to succeed myself. Quickly, I began to forge real friendships with people from lots of different communities (shout out to my fave Whatsapp girls), and I truly felt supported by them.

Nowadays it seems like everywhere I look, people are berating the blogging community, accusing it of not being supportive enough. A community where people like Jemma at Dorkface has spent a whole day promoting others through her Twitter account, where Bethany from B,Rambling features her favourite posts of the week in a Monday Medley, where Queen Beady routinely shouts out her favourite accounts on Twitter and Instragram.

When are we going to stop complaining and start recognising the enormous amount of support in this community that’s happening all of the time?

I’ve always felt like Twitter is a positive place on the whole. It’s people retweeting other’s selfies with ‘yaaas’ or a ‘damn girl.’ It’s retweeting posts that you love and want others to see.

Maybe it becomes harder to see the positives when you become so intertwined with social media that you confuse it with your own self-worth. Suddenly you have 3,000 followers but you don’t have the tight knit community that you felt like you had at 500 followers. But if you’re following the right people, you’ll see that support is a huge part of the community, and it’s everywhere, every single day. I can’t scroll down Twitter without seeing someone retweeting someone else’s post or sharing a list of their favourite blogs.

The blogging community isn’t negative at all, at least not from where I’m sitting. There are always going to be cliques in the blogging community, it’s human nature. But you don’t have to be part of one to feel the positive effects of the community. Just being yourself is enough.

(P.S. if you’re not following the people I mentioned above, what you doing? Get following!)

Rachel x-x-x

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Resolving To Be Happy

For a long time I thought happiness and positivity were synonymous. I thought it was impossible to be one without the other and that I needed both all the time.

Not a relevant photo, but cute.

There are no set determiners to tell us when we will finally be happy enough. Hitting your pageview goal will make you happy but then it will make you want more. Getting a good mark in an essay will make you feel great but soon you will be just as worried about the next deadline. Novelties wear off. Happiness wears off and it’s just not attainable to live in a constant state of happiness.

It was only recently when I read Camus’ quote on happiness that something finally clicked in my brain.

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.

This quotation really resonated with me. I spend a lot of time doing what I think will make me happy in the long term and rarely focus on what will make me happy presently. Why?

Because we’re constantly told that we ‘need’ to be happy. We’re told that goods will make us happy, being thinner, eating well, doing social activities, drinking alcohol, not drinking alcohol, wearing makeup, not wearing makeup, will make us happy. And blindly, we go along with it. Maybe I don’t speak for everyone here but I know that I do this.

So in 2017 I’ve decided that instead of looking for happiness, I’m going to acknowledge that I’ve already found happiness. I just need to spend more time doing the things that give me happiness. Maybe it just sounds like a case of semantics but I firmly believe that changing my perspective on happiness will make me happier, both short term and long term.

So instead of New Year’s Resolutions I’ve made a list of things to do more of:

  • Challenge myself (blog, uni, confidence, everything – I actually love challenging myself to do things, it genuinely makes me happy).
  • Go to the gym (Purely because of those amazing endorphins that it releases).
  • Write a diary (I always forget to do this and I always regret it so I know writing a diary will make me happier.
  • Be a nicer person (Because being nice and sharing love makes me truly happy.

There are loads more things than this that I can think of but for now, these are the main ones. What truly makes you happy? Do you find that you’re constantly searching for happiness?

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It’s easy to forget just how important it is to love ourselves, especially when we’re struggling with a mental illness.  Chloe from Chloe Metzger has some top tips to help you love yourself that little bit more.

LYOUR

Loving yourself in the deepest depths of  a mental illness can feel impossible. I know, because I’ve been there. When the demons in your head are the only thing you can hear and they’re adamant that you are worthless, the lowest of the low and not to be loved. It’s because that’s their horrible little hobby, to tell you these lies. It is possible though, even when you’ve lost hope. There are things that you can do to love yourself a little bit, even on your worst days.

  • Try and think of some of the good things you’ve done/do in your life, write them down for when you feel down. Not sure you can manage? Ask those closest to you what they think the best things about you are.

  • Take the time you need for yourself .

  • Try and do something you enjoy every week, because you deserve it.

  • Leave positive notes around your house (particularly the mirror).

  • Try and decorate with things that make you happy/you love – I like to try and have a space full of motivating postcards where I work.

  • Don’t be afraid to get help – if you feel you need some extra help, don’t be afraid to ask. There is nothing wrong with needing extra help for your mental illness, like life the illness can change.

  • Surround yourself with positive people – I’m a firm believer that the people you love can make or break your day. If you’re struggling to love yourself having someone who loves you can really help.

  • Listen to your body. You know your body better than anyone else, so listen and look after it.

  • Remember you are not your illness.  I’ve gotten mad at my illness so many times and hated myself in the process. When you’re mad imagine the illness as a person, remove it from yourself because ultimately it’s not your fault.

?? Chloe blogs at Chloe Metzger. You can find her on Twitter here!

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