I like to keep Nicer Thoughts as positive as possible, because dwelling on my problems is boring for you and unhelpful for me. But I’ll come out and say it: I have not had a good mental health week.
As if the post-Christmas period wasn’t miserable enough, it’s been a fortnight of absolute faff. I moved house, only to discover the flat had mistakenly been advertised as furnished when it was in fact completely empty, leading to plenty of arguing, sofa building and some sleepless nights on the floor. My exercise regime—the cornerstone of my mental health maintenance—fell by the wayside as I waited in for deliveries and trawled John Lewis.
Then the oven door fell off on my foot (ruining my roasted aubergine dinner plans in the process). The Internet router got lost in the post, so I haven’t been able to work on Nicer Thoughts, one of my favourite hobbies. I had a tough few days at work. My bankcard got frauded. All things that, individually, I could have laughed off; combined, my anxiety levels shot through the roof.
I started to catastrophise, which is a common behaviour for many anxiety sufferers. This wasn’t just a Bad Week, the voice in my head told me: this is the end times. You’re going to get ill again. You’re walking back into the underworld. You’re going to be jobless and friendless and penniless, and your boyfriend’s probably going to dump you too.
Logically, this is all quite silly, because I have a loving family, compassionate friends, supportive colleagues, and am generally quite good at my job. If my boyfriend’s going to dump me for anything, it’s my strange tendency to squirrel weird shit under the duvet, like clothes hangers.
But, exhausted as I was, I just couldn’t help it. And then, stupidly, I started beating myself up even more—because I was too tired to exercise, too agitated to meditate. I was anxious about being anxious, feeling like a failure for not managing my mental health as well as I usually do. The further the week went on, the worse I felt. And I didn’t have the energy for my usual tricks. This all culminated in me crying on the bedroom floor this morning after accidentally smashing myself on the brow bone with a plug. So what could I do?
The answer is simple: nothing at all. When you’re truly shattered, and deeply stressed, sometimes you just need to kick back and do nothing at all. (Sorry: I don’t have anything insightful or thought-provoking to say this week; I’m too tired.)
Today, I’ve lain on the sofa, drank cups of tea, done some yoga. I’ve had a little cry and a cuddle, both of which made me feel better. Then I ate a fuck load of pistachios, which made me feel better still.
I’ve still got a shedload of things that need sorting, but I’ve given myself the weekend off to do nothing but recharge and chill. Every time my mind starts to race, I have another cuddle and remind myself of my favourite cliche: it was just a bad week, not a bad life. And if you’ve had a shitty week, I firmly advise that you find some time to do the same.
Lots of love,