OK, hands up who else is officially ready for a festive break? *puts up own hand*
This year has been pretty great, but I am so ready to slow down. And with this in mind, I’ve decided to slow things down here on the blog too.
When I thought about the things I have planned for the Worthy Humans Unite Facebook group and looked at my current schedule, I realised I needed to make some room. To do this, I plan to reduce my blog posts here from two a week to one.
I think this will release some pressure and give each post a little more breathing room too, so you’ll find a new post here every Sunday.
But now, onto today’s post – December’s Monthly Mindscape. The picture I found is from Taryn (@quietwilderness) and portrays anxiety, dissociation and stress perfectly – and these are all things that come up for me when I don’t slow down, so the timing feels pretty perfect to write a fictitious scene with this picture as inspiration.
Let’s see what we get eh?
Her heart skipped a beat, paused, then thudded back to life in her chest. She felt winded but was able to catch her breath without anyone noticing. She rested her hand on her chest hoping the warmth would ease the pain.
Doug from HR was telling a story that had everyone laughing. She smiled so wide, she thought her jaw might lock. Suddenly she felt her head begin to spin, but this wasn’t a light-hearted ‘I’ve had too many gins’ spin, it was an anxiety spin. When a break in the conversation presented itself she excused herself and headed for the bar.
“Tap water please.” She said to the bearded barman. She knew alcohol would only make things worse right now. It was her office Christmas party, but instead of having fun, her mind was reeling off a list of things she still had to do before Christmas.
Gifts yet to buy, family conversations yet to happen – they were all steamrolling their way through her head, cancelling out any witty repartee that might have been hiding in there.
She caught herself staring at the swirls on the carpet and realised that she couldn’t feel her body. Her mind had detached from her body completely. Floating somewhere else, it apparently didn’t need the warmth and comfort of skin and bone.
No, it was far too preoccupied with what might happen. Or, sometimes (just to mix it up) it would ruminate on what had already happened. And just like that, she found herself recalling that meeting with her manager at the start of the week and imagining what she should have said.
By this point her body had started to walk away from the bar – if her mind was going to abandon her body, her body sure as hell wasn’t going to stick around and wait. Instead, it made a beeline for the door to get some fresh air.
As the cold December wind hit her skin, she stamped her feet and rubbed her hands on her arms. Her mind was being called back to her body, just in time to tell her that her feet were killing her in those heels.
She sat on the bench and closed her eyes. Resting her hand on her belly now, she focused on breathing deeply, remembering the technique she learnt in therapy.
Her heart-rate began to steady and her chest pain eased. In that moment she decided that tomorrow she would look at her to-do list for Christmas and take at least three things off it. She decided to book her last few days of holiday so she could finish work early.
She decided it was time to slow down.
Thankfully in real life, my anxiety has calmed down lately, but I know this time of year can be incredibly tough for so many reasons. And if you’re going through a tough time, please try and slow down if you can. Reach out for support, take something off your to-do list and breathe deep… you’ve got this.
Something I really like about this time of year however is the opportunity it gives us to reflect. And this is exactly what I want to cover in this month’s newsletter, reflecting and planning ahead. I’m not much of a ‘resolutions’ person, but I do like to think about how I want to feel in the new year and consider a few goals to aim for.
The newsletter will be going out next Sunday (December 28th) and will include a guide to help you reflect and plan for 2019. If you want to receive it, make sure you’ve subscribed to my monthly musings.
Until then, I hope you all have a well deserved rest over Christmas x
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