The next test: Putting what I have learned into practice.
February 25, 2018
I feel like I have undergone a change in the last few months. I have matured a lot and generally become much calmer . I feel like my perspective on life has shifted and I find it far easier to step back from a situation, look at it rationally and react accordingly.
I feel that yoga has been HUGELY responsible for this. You may laugh, roll your eyes, say "oh god" or many similar reactions, but I genuinely believe it and really could not care less about sounding like a cliche. And do you know why? If you haven't given up already I'll tell you. It's because when you really suffer from anxiety you are willing to try anything that might make it better. You will cling onto that hope that there might be something out there which will stop the obsessive overthinking, the constant self-doubting, the inability to let things go and that horrible feeling of panic or being overwhelmed in the pit of your stomach. I really let go of any inhibitions or cynicism, and I invested my belief in yoga.
So how has yoga helped me? Just breathing?? Seems ridiculous to some, but although my interest in yoga began in the form of how it could benefit me physically, I have found myself (through conscious effort initially, and then with time more automatically) embracing the breathing, as well as the calm and quiet that it brings me. I am a girl whose mind usually operates at a 100 miles an hour because I try to do too much at once. Yet somehow I can actually switch off with yoga, and focus entirely on what I am doing and the calming effect it has on me is incredible.
So now the real test begins. The next big project at work. How much have I really learnt? Because you see, projects in my line of work are all encompassing. I have become used to having to kiss goodbye to my life for a few weeks. I become a shadow of my former self, my life is all about the job, and small things like washing my hair, doing my nails, food shopping, loading the dishwasher, or cleaning my flat become huge victories. Its not really a fun or healthy way to live. It can be horrible and make me feel very out of control, and when you are a control freak like me that is a real pressure point. Long days of non-stop emails and phone calls (in and out of working hours), no real time to stop and breathe or have even a few mins to yourself, is really tough. Now I am not a parent - that much is probably clear. Nor am I sitting here saying poor me. Plenty of people have manic lives and work very long hours and I am well aware of that. I am also grateful that my life is not permanently chaotic right now. However, my point here is that I think it has taken me until now to realise that managing my life at stressful times just takes more preparation and organisation than lazy old me was prepared to admit.
Up until now I had pretty much just accepted that during big projects life is destined to be chaos. However, this time around I am trying something different. In the lead up to this project (bearing in mind that it is my partner's 30th birthday soon and we are going away to the States two weeks before that) I have done my absolute damndest to be more organised. I have made more of an effort with keeping on top of errands at home and in prepping for Lee's birthday and my holiday. (I have realised that it is not actually the demanding nature of my job that stresses me out - I know that inside out by now - but the affect it has on my personal life and my ability to switch off and just do the most basic everyday tasks).
At work I have also found myself calmly taking more ownership and control in stressful points, and I have surprised myself with how easily I have done so. The biggest test will be whether or not I manage to stay calm as things get busier and more demanding. Not to mention the question of whether I can get through the project without crying at my manager (standard).
I know it won't always be easy, but I know that staying in control of my life at times like this is also down to me and I shouldn't totally let it be controlled by my job. Some things can wait until tomorrow. Of course, there are some things you do have to be prepared to accept in busy times, but when it comes to your personal sanity, you just have to be strict, take the time out, call that person back in a few minutes, because you know what? It's no one's life on the line.
It's Sunday night, its 10pm and its probably too late to do my nails, right? FFS have I learnt nothing?? I'll let you know how I get on, gulp.
If I'm not back here in a few weeks, send help....