Today I wanted to talk to you all about challenging yourself in a HEALTHY way. I think that anyone with any type of mental illness has fallen victim to punishing themselves and setting themselves too high a goals which they cannot achieve. I know personally my goals were ridiculous, to be friends with everyone and to be happy and bubbly all of the time. So in the end I was exhausted and wearing myself out and my anorexia got stronger and stronger until I felt oh this is great, I am losing weight finally something I can be good at. Of course in time I found myself as unhappy as ever and so I entered recovery and have been trying to find new ways of challenging myself that do not include unachievable goals or physically and mentally harming myself.
This next week marks a very important week for me in my recovery because my parents left for France yesterday evening for 10 days. I got ever so anxious yesterday and when I get anxious I scream because I don’t let the thoughts come in. So I am just sat with an anxious feeling and I have no idea why. But yesterday was one of the easier times where I could link my anxiety to a big event and sometimes I can’t do that. So, after I had calmed down a little bit I thought to myself… This is a REALLY BIG positive step. I am challenging myself from being away from my mum so I have to take care and responsibility of my own recovery. This is a huge positive and healthy challenge because I am not going to be punishing myself and I have set myself an achievable goal and if I don’t quite manage then no harm is actually done. I am still going to feel accomplished because being away from my parents is already half of the challenged ticked already.
So I wanted to share with you a few other little challenges that I have/want to achieve. I do lots of planning of these kinds of challenges and it makes me feel SO GOOD once I have finished them. Like I didn’t know I could have such a confidence boost just by doing my favourite hobby regularly or doing homework tasks set by my therapist. You will see these goals are not entirely food related but some are because I like to have a mixture. The one thing they all have in common is health and well being related. Here are my goals:
- To make my friendship bracelets whenever I have a few spare minutes in the day
- To give in my job application forms (already done this one!)
- To go horse riding as regularly as possible. I love horse riding but sometimes it’s a lot of effort to make myself go. Just because my negative voices are very loud and recently I seem to have lost interest in nearly all of my hobbies. But horse riding is something that actually makes me feel good about and it is a challenge to make myself go so that is why it is on here
- To put effort into my mindfulness practice and to do it at least three times a week
- To go back to college in September (That’s a huge one and I have knots in my stomach just thinking about it!)
- To make the effort to have lunch out with any family member each week. This is an important one because I have found that I absolutely love having lunch with my mum. I can talk to her about therapy and any worries I might have and because it is at a time and day that we have planned to have lunch then I can plan what to say and I find that very useful because if we didn’t do that then there wouldn’t be another time that I feel more comfortable talking to her. Because at my house it is busy busy busy!
- To make sure I keep writing to my pen pals
- To make sure I look after myself. Wash my face, put a bit of make up on, use my perfume, use my favourite shower gel and body lotion. Hand cream and foot cream. When I was deep into my illness I wouldn’t do any of this. My hands and lips were completely cracked and bleeding because I refused to look after myself. Now I wake up feeling like I want to get out of bed and have a nice day just because it feels a bit nicer being in my skin.
- To walk my dogs everyday
So those are all of my goals and challenges to make me feel like I have a purpose to my life and I am not just floating around doing nothing. I have ambitions and I want a proper life and hopefully my goals will help me towards that. What are your personal challenges/goals? I would love to hear them.