12 Sep 2018

Mind, Body and... Gin?

Recently I started a new job. It's like nothing I've ever known before. A salary, a permanent contract, requesting annual leave... an ADULT job. I've worked since I was 14 years old. That's a whole decade of working and yet the government has shoved me into hourly paid, zero hour contracts to keep me off the unemployment list. And despite being a valued member of the teams I have worked in over the years, circumstances meant that I'd outgrow the positions quickly, or I'd move onto the next postcode with my backpack.

The previous role I had, I loved. And I mean, loved. The only reason I left was because an opportunity arose which meant I could swap my zero hour contract for stability and progression. I wasn't even looking to make the move when the offer came around. But suddenly it presented itself in front of me and I was faced with one of the hardest decisions I'd ever made. Not because I didn't know what to do, but because I knew what I had to do in order to be the sensible adult I've managed to suppress for twenty-four wonderful years.

Within the first fortnight at my new office, I'd received some terrible news from home and it made me realise that I'd depended on my previous workplace and colleagues a little too much. On occasion I'd spent 60+ hours a week there, so it's really no surprise that I'd found it difficult when I received the dreaded phone call in an office full of strangers. It made me fear that I was going to retract into my dark place once again. It was touch and go for a week. The tears have been on and off. My moods were so low and even the smallest comment could set me off again. So I've really been trying to think positively and 'do the right thing'. But have you ever tried to do that without anyone familiar around you to confide to? It's tough I can't deny. Cleethorpes couldn't have felt further away if I'd tried, and that's saying something.

1. Mind. So my new approach was to stop thinking of the future and just think about today. As cliché as that may sound. Today isn't so bad. Today has gone quickly. Today I'm OK. It's much easier when you look after your own mental welfare, to realise that everything else will quickly fall into place.

There's no denying that I've lost a significant amount of weight without realising in just two weeks. Not because I'm purposely not eating well, but when your anxiety is sky high, it's difficult to even have an appetite. This is something else I've been focusing on, too. 2. Body. I started the Couch to 5K challenge and have signed up for the Yorkshire Three Peaks hike in April 2019. I'd be lying if I'd said that running is a strength of mine. In fact, it's likely I've been mistaken for an injured calf when gracing the pavements of Salford with my New Balance trainers, but bugger it. It's the effort that counts, isn't it?

Which brings me onto 3. Gin. Now, I love a drink. I always have, and I dare say that I always will. But one thing I've learned is that sometimes you should probably avoid a few bevvys when you're not feeling 100%. Sometimes all you need is to sit down with a Gordon's and put the world to rights with your girls. But other times, it might be a better idea to switch the Gordon's for a Tetley's and grab a pack of Bourbons. When you're feeling your full sassy self again, make a point of it. Put some slap on and dress yourself up to get those golden instagram snaps we all undeniably live for. You'll enjoy it so much more than ending up in some takeaway somewhere in buckets of tears. Trust me on that one.

I think what I'm trying to say is that it's OK not to be OK sometimes. Really, it is. And all that these blog posts truly are about is to help to break the stigma. To anyone that's told me to 'be strong' my answer is no. For what? Who are we supposed to be strong for? The strongest thing you can do for your mind & body is to let it all out, take a step back and realise that life is precious and if we didn't do things which put us out of our comfort zones every now and then, well... that would be a very boring existence indeed.

To anyone who feels a bit rubbish today, my inbox is always open. I couldn't thank my readers enough for all of your support over the years. That's all 47,000 of you. I love hearing from you and if I can cheer up just one person's day, well then, that's enough for me.

Stay sassy always.

Raven x
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