Sunday, 29 January 2017

30 Day Challenge: December/January Reflection & February Annoucement

Top - Bershka
Leggings - H & M
Shoes - Zara ( on sale right now! )
Bag - Primark ( similar )
Fishnets - Claire's

Hi everyone! So my last challenge update was back in December where I announced my challenge for that month, Journaling, and then proceeded to drop off the face of the earth. I am glad to say that although I didn't mention it again on the blog, I was in fact still  invested in the challenge and doing it almost everyday. And it was brilliant.

The challenge itself was sparked by a time of anxiety for me, something I at the time classed as over-thinking. I had begun to over-analyse everything I did and said to the point where every action had to have an in depth explanation behind it in case someone asked and I was forced to explain myself. The aim behind the challenge was to help relieve that anxiety and need to chronologically explain everything with scrutinising eyes. Whatever was to be written in the journal was to be left in the journal and that was to be the end of it. That way I could move onto the next day with a clear mind. Easier said than done eh?

Finding the time to write was an easy hurdle to overcome. Every night before I go to bed. I tested the idea of carrying a small journal around for a day or two but the images of losing that journal and someone finding it and reading my most vulnerable thoughts was a little too much so I put that idea to rest.

Finding the energy to write then was a difficulty in itself. Each night I'd settle into bed to write and be hit with a brick of tiredness and suddenly I'd have no energy or desire to even pick up the pen and put it to paper. And when I did start writing there was so much writing that I could be going anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour so my motivation to continue suffered too especially when the a lot of things were seen with self-deprecating eyes. "You're crazy. You're just thinking too much into this. Normal people don't need to write down thoughts to get on with their lives'

They say the pen is mightier than the sword and I was putting it to he test to overcome this anxiety ridden person I had suddenly become. That was another reason why I chose to continue this challenge into January as by the end of December I felt things had actually gotten worse, not better like I hoped.

I began to rely on writing in my journal so much that when I didn't get to write for a day or two, I'd hold unto everything I wanted to write down instead of dealing with it and moving on. I became fixated in the idea of 'If it doesn't go in the journal it cannot be forgotten' and therefore would continue to be scrutinised in my head and grow a billion legs.

For the month of January then I tried focusing on dealing with the issues at the roots of my anxiety, dealing with them and using the journal as an aid to record the journey and end result. It didn't fix anything but things had started looking up.

I finally managed to bring up how I have been feeling with my GP. I'm not a self-diagnosing web-doctor reading sort and try not to label myself with illness without professional input. What I had been calling over-thinking was actually signs of anxiety. Anxiety. My GP gave me two options: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or a referral to talk to someone. I chose to go with CBT as I feel like my level of anxiety at this stage is something I can handle. Equally the idea of talking to someone, something I actually have wanted to do in the past feels a little scarier when you have an issue to delve into. I'm not sure if this is denial about my anxiety or not but we'll see.

All in all the December/January challenge which I plan on making a lifestyle habit has been good for me in helping me identify and begin to deal with my anxiety. We all suffer from times of anxiety and depression etc some worse than others and we have to find our own ways of dealing with it and improve for the better.

Did you take up my challenge to do this Journaling with me or do you already journal? How has it helped you?

 So what's in store for February you may be asking? Well in my last post ( which you can check out here ) I touched on how disorderly things were beginning to feel and instead of falling into a self-pity hole for myself, I'm going to call on an old challenge to stop whining and do something about it. How am I going to do this you ask? I had one comment on the said post from a lady called Rin. As much as I loved reading and responding to your comments, her's stood out for me for a lot of reasons. I could relate so much to what she was saying and found the way she dealt with her sitiuation very helpful. I've taken on her example and instilled them into the 5 simple changes and new habits I plan to enforce in the month of February to bring bring more routine to my life. This is not a srtict day to day complete plan just little changes here and there.

1) Sleep

Sleep. I love to sleep, there's no doubt about that. And I get enough sleep, sometimes too much sleep but not effective deep sleep. The rest you get from going to bed before 11pm and after 1am differ in it's benefits more than you'd think. I want to reap those benefits of getting a deep, good night's rest. 

I did a sleep challenge a few months ago and it went well so I think it's it's time for me to reboot it again. If all goes well I'd love to be settling in early and rising up early to get the most out my days.

2) Exercise

My Atheltics Club trains five times a week and whereas before I'd have made it to a Monday gym session, Thursday evening and the odd weekends, I haven't trained consecutively for a good while now. I cycle to and from work which amounts to about 5/6 hours a week, I've become so used to my route and it's different gradients that some days I feel nothing at all.

So for the month of February, the plan is to exercise three times a week, either with my club wherever possible or at home. I'm thinking of testing out a few workout apps while I'm at it and reviewing them from best to worst. Would that be something you guys would be interested in?

3) Meditation, Yoga & Journaling

In keeping with the journaling challenge, I will continue through to February and also add meditation and yoga to that. Meditation is something I do regularly anyways during the day from a previous challenge so it'll be nice to make more time for it and yoga is something I haven't done in awhile so it'll be nice to go back to it on days in-between exercising. I want to continue to work through my little anxieties and overcome them. 

4) Blogging & Work

There's so much that I want to do this year in terms of blogging and in work, and I know I keep saying that but I'm going to make it happen  I'm making it happen. I've started my new blog series Pretending To Be An Adult Being, which documents my time so far having moved out of the family home, working until I return back to college and all the little bits of adulthood you learn along the way. It's actually second to my Skin Deep series which I did very early on in Albatroz & Co's life. That series looks at basically me and how my values, ideals and perceptions of myself have changed from a very different time to be a better person I can be proud of.

I work mostly evenings and without college to take up my day time, I have a lot of time on my hands, at least for now and it's about time I put that to use. I could be doing shoots for posts days in advance as opposed to rushing to get it done the day before or that very morning. It's time to build my self-discipline up again and start getting sh*t done.

5) Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

So I've avoided it long enough. I'll take on my doctor's advice and start on some online CBT courses to work on this anxiety. I've no idea where to start other than typing CBT into google. I haven't even gone as far as that. If you know of any good courses online or books, I'd love to hear of them. You can message me on any of my social media platform or link me below in the comments. Much thanks in advance.

That's the start to finish on the challenge situation. I am excited for February and cannot wait to see how it pans out.

Do you set yourself monthly goals or challenges? What has been your latest and how's it going? Let me know below in the comments!

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Till next time my pretties xxx

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