Hey peeps! I hope you’re well and not reading this in the way of these memes. The countdown to Spring has started, although already since last week we have started feeling the new season approaching. [This will also bring up my SAD: don’t care what some people are saying, SAD is real for me and Spring has been a trigger for almost 15 years. But this year I am trying something new with a couple of food supplements, like 5-HTP and Ashwagandha, so fingers crossed!].
For the past 6 months, I had a bit of up and downs (who doesn’t?) and at some point, I wasn’t really able to sit down and write, never mind do research! Last year, I finally managed to find a good routine, working from home during all the lockdowns: waking up, exercising, working my 9-5, going for a decent walk as soon as I finished work, Skyping with my parents and then dedicating myself to do research and writing. Sure, it helped that I am one of those people lucky enough to be able to work from home and actually enjoy the new set-up. All this was overturned by going back to my physical workplace in August. Therefore, I went from working from home every day, then a few days a week for a few months and then back working in the workplace in the past 6 months. It has been exhausting. Yes, it is good to see my colleagues and be back in that beautiful Edwardian library and I am so lucky to even have this job. However, it is really tiring to re-create a sustainable routine, and all the contact with the public makes my work harder as my desk is just in a big room close to the public PCs so that when people have problems with the computers I am the first point of contact. This makes completing some simple tasks take much longer than if I were to work by myself or at home.
In the meantime, I also had to attend two weddings back home. I will not even go into how travelling during a global pandemic will affect your levels of stress and anxiety: it doesn’t matter if you’re vaccinated or not, there is so much documentation that you have to upload, print, show, etc, plus the various quarantine policies changing every so often. It was stressful and maddening and I still don’t get why people decide to get married during these times (I don’t get why they would do in normal circumstances, let alone when there are so many restrictions! 😬) especially when they want big parties with possibly all the alive family members and all their friends. Okay, they were good experiences, but a lot was thanks to alcohol because before and after the actual events I was on the edge with high levels of anxiety. For the last wedding, the whole month before the event I was so stressed out I could barely eat, couldn’t concentrate on much and at times I had difficulties breathing: it took me another two months after that wedding to calm myself.
But I kept being unable to go back to any kind of routine: getting up was a struggle, despite being awakened by the alarm I would snooze it and turn away in order to not have to get up. Once awake, I could go on with my day and would find joy in quite many aspects of it, but then as soon as I would be back home, I wasn’t feeling like reading nor watching new things. Felt constantly tired, physically and mentally.
And since the more tired you are, the more anxious you’ll feel and all around you it will seem like things are going wrong. Or at least your perception of things will probably be more on the negative and pessimist side. So it happens, that in that period, my laptop decided to stop working, the TV broke, while I was going out for work the house key broke into the lock and I left the door of the freezer open overnight with the consequence that the freezer stopped working for a week and had to cook all the food that was thawing to try and salvage it (then it started working again, and every night I check that is well sealed). In normal times, I would probably have laughed at all the stuff happening. But last year got me really down. One day, I was trying to send some stuff to my parents, the courier didn’t show up and I cried at work: that was the last drop, I needed a break from everything.
All throughout that time, I had one thing that really brightened my day: a daily podcast called “The Daily Pep” by Meg Kissack, “a coach, podcaster and professional rebel-rouser for fiercely creative, wildly multi-passionate & fabulously weird women”. She’s the founder of The Hummingbird Life, now The Rebel Rousers. Her 5-minute podcasts are filled with such positive energy and encouraging words, that I felt she was uplifting my spirit a little bit every time I tuned in, and every episode was helping me in regaining some sort of mental strength. While I am still in the process of improving my focus, these daily podcasts are just the perfect way to spur your creativity as well as provide light and get back some confidence in yourself.
Now, I absolutely don’t say that everybody suffering from anxiety, depression or other mental health problems will be cured by this podcast: I am sharing my very personal experience with an episode of anxiety that lasted several months and I found solace in listening to “The Daily Pep” every morning before going to work. It might not work for you, but you can give it a try.
At the same time, you don’t need to suffer from any mental health issue to enjoy this podcast: it is for the multi-passionate women like Meg, it is for those who seek a friendly (and sweary) advice in how to create good habits and a sustainable lifestyle. I started listening to this in 2020 and I feel so lucky that I found it! Meg also organises workshops to help you with your creativity and while I haven’t attended any yet, I will definitely attend some in the future.
So, it is all for today. I hope it will help you as much it helped me!
That’s all for today, have a lovely night!