I’m very keen on self-advocacy and campaigning for our own rights. It’s like basic self-first aid. We have the right to push for our beliefs and values and to be treated kindly, and the way we would treat others, and this should start with ourselves. I’m not talking about demanding an Instagrammable lifestyle, feeling that life is only bearable if we can have all the things. This is the self-entitled, gimme stuff of the wildest dreams. When I talk about self-advocacy, I mean the things that I know many people still have trouble with. Being kind to themselves, giving themselves grace, patience, and not pulling themselves down at every opportunity.
And I mean loud and proud
As some of you may know, I have Parkinson’s Disease, and I tried doing an easy Level 1 Hatha Yoga class a couple of days ago, and it nearly feckin killed me.
Now, I remember a time when asked to step forward on the mat, I couldn’t lift my left leg without picking it up with my hands, so we’re not quite back at that point. I’ve lost none of my flexibility, just a lot of strength. So, I’m going to be working on that, and going back to yoga more often, because I’ve realised it’s totally necessary for my wellbeing.
Yes, but what’s the point of all this Paula?
The point is, recognise how far you’ve come. It’s so tempting at this time of year to reflect back and think you’ve done bugger all, or maybe only made tiny steps, but you have every reason to be proud. My tiny step forward on the yoga mat was a big physical achievement I never thought I’d make.
I would really love it, if instead of thinking what’s wrong with us, we could start thinking what’s right with us….that’s a great way to build on resolutions you might be tempted to make….
Today is National Read a Book Day
What better excuse to take a few minutes out of your day and get stuck into one of your favourites for the sake of it? Or for self improvement? To learn a new skill, to remind yourself of something you used to love doing, but stopped, and you can’t remember why? My favourite escape when I was a kid was to read. I didn’t realise that I was autistic as a child, so reading was my refuge, and I would read till all hours, because I was unable to get to sleep and anxious as a result. So, I’m going to recommend some books, and let’s see if there’s anything that fits you here.
Self sabotage – the scourge of anyone who ever wanted to do anything, ever.
It’s your conscious mind, vs your unconscious mind.
It’s the part of you that wants to be fit and gawjuss, vs the part of you that wants to inhale Nutella straight from the jar. You with me? Good. Keep reading.
Be awesome – top 5 tips for being positive
Have you noticed that when you’re not feeling positive, you stop noticing? Most likely not.
I remember coming out of a phase of depression some years ago and being surprised at hearing birds flying overhead in Leeds city centre. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d heard them, and it’s because I’d stopped noticing. I’d started to delete elements of my surroundings and developed tunnel vision.
When I heard those birds, I knew I was waking up again and it was time to notice things, REALLY notice them.
So since it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, here are my top 5 tips for positivity and what they can do for us. They’re listed in no particular order, so you can prioritise for yourself.
In my last post, The Stories We Tell Ourselves, I gave you a general overview of cognitive distortions, or, as I like to call it, how we like to chat shit to ourselves (OMG, I’m so professional, I swear I’m qualified. Look, you can trust me with your mental health, honest). In this post, I want to go into a bit more detail about the types of cognitives distortions we may experience and that hold us back from allowing us to enjoy life as much as we can. There may be one thing that stops us, just puts the brakes on a happy life, and we know what it is, but we refuse to stop the behaviour that causes it because our faulty thinking tells us that behaviour is more important than anything else.