Mental Health · Monthly Reflection

August + September 2019 {warmth and anxiety}

August feels incredibly long ago, doesn’t it? And September went by like a blur. Each month felt incredibly different yet similar. August came with warmth and beautiful sunflowers, while September danced with falling leaves and also a bit of snow (yes, you read that right). The past two months feel incredibly different yet so similar somehow.

I had the first two weeks of August off work and it felt great. I almost started feeling bad for other people I knew were working. Then I remembered I asked for my time off unpaid – but there was still something that made me feel guilty.

Perhaps it’s because I had no big summer plans, other than a “stay-cation.” Or perhaps it’s because some people questioned why I’d forego money to “to nothing.” But to me, it was what I wanted and needed. It meant flexibility in when I could go walking or jogging, sleeping in if I wanted (which is usually never too late, to be honest), reading, tanning, freedom to visit people on a whim. So many things felt good.

Then my anxiety kicked in. I found myself panicking mid-month and all the way into September, basically all the way through to the month’s end. There were some great highlights though…

Mind

I conquered a fear when I went bouldering with my boyfriend. I felt incredibly weary as we stepped inside the facility and saw what we were going to do. We were going bouldering you see, not rock wall climbing. Bouldering has no protective equipment; it’s just you and the wall. I started to feel anxious but kept it under control.

Somehow I found myself going first and suddenly I was at the top of the rock wall. I felt proud for a brief second when I realized I didn’t know how to get back down. I started to panic and tears quickly emerged. My boyfriend coaching me in the background didn’t help because all I could hear was my own panicked voice.

I was able to climb down safely, but it was hard, and scary and when I got down I jumped into my boyfriend’s arms. I let myself cry while feeling a mixture of shock, satisfaction and adrenaline. I let strangers look at me. I let myself stand there until I didn’t feel scared to run away, and believe me, I wanted to run away. This little experience helped strengthen my mind and mental health in a number of ways, and for that, I am grateful.

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I went bouldering about three weeks ago and it scared me so much! 😳😅😭 I didn't like not being strapped in (like rock climbing). I didn't like knowing I was out of shape and my muscles were being tested. I didn't like being up there alone. And I didn't like the feeling of getting to the top. 😵 Insert anxiety! 😰 After the first time I climbed up and got back down, I cried. Yup. I did. After taking some time out to calm down, I tried the wall again and discovered I actually liked the process of climbing. Sure, getting to the top was satisfying, but the *process* started to feel enjoyable. And that's my story. It was scary and I overcame my fear… kinda want to do it again. Thanks for reading! 😘 And thanks @bigbeartrails for the adventure + encouragement. #trysomethingnew #conquerfear #risefromwithin #riseabove #mentalhealthmatters #positiveselftalk

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Body

During my best of August and September, I was walking or jogging a few times a week. At my lowest, I was eating junk food on the couch.

I rediscovered baths and the importance of being kind to my body. I had a few physiotherapy sessions with IMS and a reflexology session with the very sweet Brandace at Massage Addict. I did my best to stay hydrated and relaxed.

I slept a lot, too!

Soul

Through experiencing great anxiety I was able to begin listening to my voice within more clearly. Through talking myself out of feeling worry, guilt, anxiety, etc., I was able to tap into my deepest head and heart space. This kind of growth was a little painful but worth it! This kind of growth is so important for our mental health and I feel thankful for learning such a lesson.

Songs on Repeat

Photo by picjumbo.com from Pexels

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