My Not So Secret Diary

My Anxious Mind

My Anxious Mind

I’ve struggled this week. It always starts in the same way, I feel a little more tired than normal. I feel a bit vacant, like I’m detached from everything and everyone, almost like I’m watching my life happen on the TV, going through the motions, but not really here. I know I am sensitive and anxious but I am a lot better than I used to be. In fact it is more of a surprise when I feel unusually low, there were times when I felt like it all the time. I know I’m on a bit of a downward spiral when things begin to get to me a little more than they should, and when I say that, I know that I shouldn’t let them, I know not everything is meant to offend or upset me. I just can’t seem to shake them off and things get through whether I want them to or not. On days like this I find everything harder, whether it be seeing purpose in what I do or thinking I am a rubbish Mum. I hate feeling this way because I know I am lucky, I have a lovely husband and kids, a dog and a home. I know many people don’t and feeling like this almost makes me feel self-indulgent, although if I could stop myself feeling like it, I would.

Yesterday my middle two had a bit of a disagreement. Much as I try to encourage them they aren’t good at talking to each other and I find it really sad. On this occasion they both decided to make their points, clearly trying to get a reaction but instead woke the littlest one up. I know they didn’t do it on purpose to annoy me, but that’s what it did and instead of reacting as I should and being calm, it just upset me. I felt like a failure as a mother because of their lack of communication and respect for each other. I know they are tired, they just started the new school year and a lot is being asked of them, but I don’t think I ask a lot from them, just really a bit of decency towards everyone else in the house. Maybe that is too much to expect from 14 and 16 year olds? Later when my eldest came home, a similar conversation occurred between him and me. Again I know he is tired, but do you know what? So am I! He always seems to be on the defensive with me, and it makes it hard to have a proper conversation with him.

Instead of seeing these things as just the little hiccups they are, I take them to heart, worrying about what I could have done to help the situation, and feeling like a lot of it is my fault. My mind whirs and I can’t keep my thoughts still, it’s almost like I need something to worry about at this point, and soon I was skipping about between worrying about money and replaying over and over something my mother-in-law had said to me earlier in the day.

Meditation helps, but when my mind is chaotic I find it hard to focus. Running helps, but on days like these I struggle to get out, feeling like people will laugh, that they’ll all be looking at me, that I am stupid for even thinking I am a runner. So I curled up under a blanket with my husband and tried to lose myself in a book. It was hard, my mind was busy and it kept wandering off, but I kept at it, and although I picked a lot of fault with the book, it did help focus me and stop the chatter in my head.

Any one else get days like this?

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday Night Yoga

Tuesday Night Yoga
What a beautiful sky over Newquay!

Tuesday nights are Yoga night for me and my daughter. It’s really nice to have an hour or so to ourselves, ‘girlie time’ - although to be clear, I wouldn’t mind if my boys came too, it’s just nice to have peace and quiet and time for ourselves.

Yoga is something I’d wanted to do for a long time, but I allowed myself to be put off by social media stereotypes. Looking on Instagram everyone was super lean, strong and flexible and I was a Mum, and not a particularly bendy one at that. My opportunity to start doing yoga regularly came unexpectedly as during my last pregnancy I suffered from bad hip pain. My midwife suggested yoga as a way to help the pain I had, as well as to help manage my anxiety and just give me some time out. I was lucky and quickly found a class nearby which I could attend in the evenings, once a week. I was so nervous going to the first class, and waited in the car outside to see the sort of people walking in, just to make sure I wasn’t the only inflexible one. Once inside I realised that no one there was interested in what I was doing, everyone was actually just there for themselves, and once I’d come to terms with that, I actually began to enjoy it.

One of the many benefits of joining a class during pregnancy is that there is no pressure to achieve, or push yourself, I didn’t have to be thin and I didn’t have to be flexible. It is just a time of quiet introspection and gave me a really lovely grounding into the basics of yoga. Breathing techniques learned in class helped not only during my pregnancy, but also in labour, and after to settle my little one. In fact I still use them now, as my yoga teacher recently said, your breath is a great way of letting go.

Getting back into yoga after little one was born was fun, and I found a mother and baby yoga class which we started when he was almost 6 weeks old. Gaining confidence there, I began to practise on my own as well and began to try to push myself in ways I had never done before in my life. To start with I still worried, even in the gentle classes I was in, that I wouldn’t be able to complete the class, and I’d fall or embarrass myself. I was always concerned that if I did too much in the day, I wouldn’t have enough left to do the class. It’s been three years now, of fairly consistent yoga, and sometimes I go for a run and do an hour of yoga in the same day. It gives me confidence in myself and what my body can do, and I know there’s still a lot more that I am capable of.

So Tuesdays are a dynamic vinyasa flow class. If you’d asked me a couple of years ago what that was I would have had no clue. Perceptions of yoga vary from person to person, with many people assuming that yoga is merely stretching. This class is not that. This is a full body workout that works up a sweat, while the intention the practice is based on focuses your mind. Our theme at the moment is balance, balance in your body and balance in your mind. It might sound overly sentimental, but if we can balance our thoughts, and our minds, then we are half way there aren’t we? Managing to hold a headstand in a room full of people, (some also on their heads), I feel like I’m getting there!

Thanks for reading! xx

Treadmill Run

Treadmill RunTreadmill run.

So today is most definitely a treadmill day. It is pouring down outside, not that that would always stop me, but I also have a poorly little man. Said little man is currently snuggled up on the sofa with an episode or two of Peppa Pig so it is the treadmill or no run.

Now I know that treadmill's are often seen as boring and hard going compared to running outdoors, and I do have to say I prefer the fresh air more often that not. But, and it is a big but, I find they really work for me when I'm trying to do any sort of speedwork training.

I've been using apps since I started running, the first being couch 2 5k. I progressed on to 10k and now in the midst of training for a half marathon, am using the half marathon version. It is a fab way of not having to think about your training, beyond scheduling days for running and days for resting. After that you just run, sprint or walk when it beeps at you. I don't think I would have been able to run a half marathon without the training I did using the app and I'm hoping it will work well for me again this time. This will be my fourth, I ran my first in May this year, having only started running last year.

I guess the difficulty for me, and for a lot of people is that my mind gets in the way. I've often said that my body runs better than my mind does. Whether it is stepping outside the front door or stepping onto the treadmill, it often seems like such a challenge to run for a set amount of time. Indoors, there is nothing to distract you. I listen to music normally, or a podcast, but this morning disaster struck when the battery on my speaker went flat! I could hear my phone well enough for the interval timers but turned off the music, worrying that my phone battery would too go flat. Suddenly my 40 minute or so run seemed like a mountain to climb, which is ridiculous because I have run for longer. Sometimes there is no arguing with my mind though. I find distraction works quite well for me, and soon enough I was counting my footsteps, my breath falling into rhythm again and I began to relax. It is funny what an effect such a small thing can have. Before I knew it, I'd completed my run, 4 miles in the bag, and was somewhat warmer than I'd been in the beginning.

It never fails to amaze me how good I feel after a run, regardless of whether it is indoors or out. I wish I could bottle that feeling, it would make getting out there so much easier.

Thanks for reading!
Much love x

Sunday Morning Run

Sunday Morning Run
Running from the Camera!

Most evenings I go to bed with the intention of getting up and going straight out for a run. I know on the odd occasion that I achieve it, normally for a race or a Parkrun, that I will feel great when I get back, and that I'll know my exercise is all done for the day so nothing will get in the way of it. In reality though it is much harder for me and a lot of people not to put things (excuses) in the way. I got up and put my running clothes straight on. Being a Sunday morning, I am quite pleased with myself for that achievement. However, my lovely husband suggested making me a bacon sandwich before I run which I couldn't say no to. That appears to be turning into a full cooked breakfast and it is now just after 11am.... things aren't looking good for the run! A little later we are going to my Mum and Dad's for lunch so I should really run before. It might be too late when I get back. The difficulty is, that now it's a little later, all our neighbours are out and about doing Sunday jobs in their gardens and washing their cars which means they are likely to see me running. Now, I've got over the fact of people seeing me in lycra, running races will do that for you, but I can't help but feel it looks attention seeking if I run past people who don't know I run. I'm pretty sure that it is my anxiety talking and that my neighbours don't really care what I am up to. But still... it crosses my mind. It might have to be a sunglasses on and earphones in run, because if I can't see or hear them, they can't see or hear me! 🤣🤣