Hello everyone – first off, it’s great to be back writing for you all again. I know it’s been a minute since I last posted on here but that’s because I didn’t feel like I deserved my voice on here for a while.
For those who’ve not read any of my posts here before – I’m Kirsty-Louise Card and I’ve been a blogger here on Cysters, pretty much since the start but I’ve had some time out and to be honest, I’ve missed you all.
We’re all here because we are battling some form of a chronic condition that weighs us down some days and for the last year – I kind of lost myself. I used to be this powerhouse of determination and self-control, but for a long time, I kind of lost all of that. I’ve been through a lot in the last year and trying to balance everything got very difficult for a long while to the point where the control over my PCOS symptoms had to be let go. It’s no one’s fault, and I certainly need to learn that it wasn’t mine. Life just gets that way sometimes but now I’m bouncing back and coming back here to you, right where it all began is just one of the steps I’m taking into caring for myself a little better and it’s actually working so I thought I’d share my advice with you.
1) Do NOT just stand right back up like it didn’t happen…
Taking a mental dive is a lot like passing out – when we come around the first thing we want to do is stand right back up like it didn’t happen but if we do that, we get dizzy and fall again. So don’t try and dive right into your self-care routine by doing everything all at once. Taming the hormonal cocktail that controls our minds and bodies isn’t easy and as much as we’d like it to snap right back into place overnight, it’s just not going to snap back into place so quickly. I found that if I ease into things two weeks at a time, I’m more likely to stick to it.
For example, if I have stayed away from my diet in a while it takes at least two weeks for my appetite and sugar craving that come with the glory of being insulin resistant to snap back into place for me to live a normal life that isn’t ruled by my ‘I need cake and must eat it now’ monster that lives in my head. Two weeks of being strict on myself before adding any exercise really ensure that I’m not going to want sugar every five minutes.
2) Socialise… on your terms
Stop feeling guilty about not seeing your friends when you aren’t feeling yourself – if they are any kind of friend to you they will understand why and they will be ready for you when you are ready for them. Trying to pick yourself up off the floor when there’s a crowd around you is a little daunting, don’t you think?
There is a huge misconception that socialising, exercise, a better diet will make you feel better when you’re down but sometimes it’s just another thing to add to a very long list of things you think you should be doing when in fact, it might just be using up the last of your spoons. Don’t burn out trying to get better because it will make getting up again so much scarier.
3) Sometimes by helping other people, you’re hurting yourself
This one is something I’ve struggled with a whole bunch. I’m the type of person where I will do out of my way to help other people who need it but I’m super bad at remembering to look after myself as I do that. If you’re tying all of your problems up in a bow and tossing them to one side while you help other people sort their sh*t then it’s a bit like throwing a ‘Grow your own toy’ into a bathtub… it’s only gonna get bigger.
The people who you love may need your help from time to time but what use are you to them if you’re unwell or burnt out? You can’t help them then and that’s been a bitter pill to swallow sometimes. I’m only just starting to learn to not allow myself to fall victim to other people’s issues – I have my own stuff going on.
4) Have an outlet
Venting is an important part of keeping all that noise in your head to a minimum. Whether it’s physically blowing off some steam or writing about what’s bothering you. You need to do something. Sometimes having an outlet, whether creative or active, can actually make you feel more in control of your feelings.
Have a set time and a set amount of time for when you go and do your thing – that way it will limit the amount that what’s on your mind will disrupt the rest of your life. It’s like that saying goes, if it’s not going to matter in 5 years don’t spend more than 5 minutes stressing about it (obviously 5 minutes is quite a short amount of time to process what we have to deal with BUT you get the idea).
5) Take some f*cking responsibility
It’s always easy to blame everyone around you for your bad habits like ‘oh well you shouldn’t have given me that’ or whatever. The fact of the matter is my honey, they didn’t make you do anything. You did.
Also, while we are on the subject of responsibility, don’t dismiss the way you treat others as being ‘just a bad mental health phase.’ We all have them – doesn’t mean you can get away with not making amends for your behaviour.