Be kind to yourself for the benefit of wellness and mental health

Trippin’ on Life: Falling Back to Leap Forward

This post is brought to you by a hellish week. 🙇

The Monday started off fine, but I wasn’t nearly as productive as I had hoped to be. 

Still, I got shit done. 

And then Tuesday hit, with the case of the Mondays showing up a day late, bringing along with it feelings of self-doubt and anxiety. I started to fall behind at work, with my blog, and in my daily routine.   

You see, I’ve been feeling off for the last few weeks and dark thoughts have been slowly creeping in. 

Our mental states have been tested since the beginning of the pandemic, and for the most part, I’d like to mine’s held up fairly well. But having spent nearly a year in an on-and-off-again lockdown, with the cluster-fuck that is COVID-19, the pressure has reached its boiling point.

The truth is, I’m struggling to keep my mind right, and I feel guilty for admitting it – there are so many far worse off than I.

Still, being restricted from life’s pleasures is taking a toll. 

I miss friends and family members; watching the hockey game at the bar with the boys; playing in squash tournaments; and the energy one can only experience during a live concert. 

And if I’m being honest, some of those restrictions are of my own making. I’m allowing myself to be consumed by work and personal ambitions and not putting enough effort into cultivating important relationships. 😞

Not to mention, 2020 was an incredibly hard year on my partner.

From the loss of her mother and dissolving family affairs to being attacked by a maniac in broad daylight and a painful surgery with glacial rehabilitation, it couldn’t have gotten much worse. 

As a sideliner to the main event, my purpose is to provide support, and sadly, there are times when my skinny frame can’t handle the load. Which adds an additional layer of stress and hardship to both our plates. 

Which can only lead to an inevitable breaking point – this past week, I started to shatter.

Practice mindfulness and be kind to yourself for the benefit of your wellness and mental health.
Photo by Lesly Juarez

Why is being kind to yourself so hard to do?

In the past, when I became overwhelmed and shit hit the fan, the automatic reaction was to blame myself – my actions, or lack thereof, resulted in a smelly shower, and I’m the one who turned the tap on. 💩

For the week in question, it was the length of the to-do list that triggered my spiral, causing an inner battle with myself:

  • questioning my ability to complete everything on time;
  • doubting the quality of my work and talents as a writer; and
  • stressing due to bouts of depression and anxiety.

But self-deflation flattens personal growth and professional development

Not to mention, it’s crushing to your mental health and wellness. Negative self-talk has zero benefit and is linked to mental illness

And I don’t know about you, but I can be awfully convincing when I want to be – and the more you say something, the more you believe it to be true. 

🗣❌ It’s important to hit the mute button on your inner voice when it starts talking shit, before its poisoned words seep into your mind.

Imposter-syndrome and self-doubt are waiting with bated breath for you to let them in, and their grip is ironcladSo, how do you stop yourself from being thrown in a self-imposed prison? 

One day and one task at a time. 

Practice patience and be kind to yourself when the struggle is real. 

There are plenty of trolls out there ready to beat you down just for trying something they’re afraid of; don’t add yourself to the list – being your own worst enemy is a cliché best avoided. 

This week, I did my best to chip away at the to-do list by: 

  • falling back on reliable productivity methods—I combine the Pomodoro Technique and Eugene Schwartz’s writing hack to keep the words flowing

  • prioritizing the important work and being honest about timelines—I try to stop setting unrealistic expectations for myself, while recognizing that some deadlines just can’t be met

  • focusing on a single task and cutting back on busy work—I keep myself moving forward by shutting off notifications on Slack and email and doing the next thing right in front of me

Now, I’m doing better. 

I’m still working myself out, but I’m on the upside of down.

Yes, some deadlines were missed, and I’m still a little behind on the Davis Daily, but I’m being kinder to myself. 

And the progress is following suit.

Balancing wellness –
falling down and leveling up

There are several quotes around failure and its necessity in the growth process: falling forward, failing upward, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work,” and so on.

Nothing ever goes according to plan, and if it does, there are hiccups along the way. We don’t always wake up on the right side of the bed either.

Life’s a bitch more often than not, and eventually, we all fall down – it’s just a matter of when and how hard it’s going to hurt. 😵

In those moments, lean on your past experience. Look back at where you started to see how far you’ve come; recount micro moments of success and leaps of growth; recall moments when you made possible what you once thought impossible.  

You might not always land on your feet, but you can always make a conscious decision to get back up and try again. 

The journey to the stars is through hardship – and failure leads to experience.

Mental health and wellness is a tricky balancing act. It’s not always about being positive and happy. As human beings, we are subject to emotions too complex to fully understand

Allow yourself to feel sadness and anger. Suppressed and repressed emotions manifest in scary ways with unhealthy results.

It’s better out than in:

  • talk it out with a friend, your partner, a colleague, or even a complete stranger on the internet (with some discretion, of course);

  • brain dump your thoughts into a notebook or audio recording; and

  • more importantly, turn your inner dialogue into a cheerleader and forgive yourself when you stumble.

Life is a slew-footing mofo when it wants to be. 

Don’t be afraid to fall back before you leap ahead – just remember to give yourself a helping hand along the way.

Onward, my friends! 🏃

The Diary of Davis Newsletter.
Photo by Aaron Burden

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