I am starting to feel as if we may have reached the correct dosage for my antidepressants. It’s only taken 3 months and lots of ups and downs, but I have actually felt pretty good for most of this week. Probably not a definitive end but definitely some firm steps in the right direction.
So, with my mood feeling like it is under control, I still have some real areas of concern that I feel strong enough to at least look at – if not tackle.
SLEEP – SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICTION – FOOD CHOICES – EXERCISE
You see, I have come to the conclusion that all of these things affect each other. When one is out of balance ALL will be impacted. Of course, the above mentioned mood is also associated and impacted but with my mood feeling okay – now is the time to consider what that impact is.
Sleep or unsatisfactory amounts and quality, is a huge negative in my life. So much so that I fear I may be developing a sleep phobia. Sleep has always been my stress reliever, ever since I was a child. I went through a stage, when young, where I broke my arm and injured a few more bits and pieces. I always remembered going to the hospital for cast changes (I was in plaster for 3 months) and coming home and sleeping for hours. It restored me and I needed it to be able to continue on with my life. But now ….
I know all the things I need to do to improve my sleeping habits and I actually do SOME of them religiously but my loneliness and desire for connectivity is driving my social media addiction. Which is in turn, making me less connected in the real life interactions that come my way in day to day life.
I am actually feeling uncomfortable writing these thoughts down at the moment! Surely a clue to their importance and truth.
I know there is a knock on effect when it comes to food and exercise. Sitting at a computer leaves me with no sense of real time and I actually have alarms set on my phone to remind me to eat! Once sucked into the vortex of social media, convenience food and bingeing becomes my modus operandi, if left to my own device. This in turn effects the way I shop for groceries – looking for the easy fix meals which are notoriously full of sugar and fat. I am learning that it is not about self control – or lack of. But rather, it is about habits! Yes, habits! Learning and practising new habits is the key for me and it is not easy!
The same knock on affect happens with respect to exercise. I loathe exercise. I was a sporting person the whole of my life and was good at it. But it has taken me 57 years to work out that I only played sport for the social interactions and not for the healthy, fitness and sense of well being that I now desire.
So I sit at my computer, feeling tired after a night of poor sleep, looking for that connection with people I so desire, eating crappy shit, with aches and pains and swollen feet, hoping for a better nights sleep later that day! So as my psychologist says to me …. How’s that working for you? And of course my answer is …. It’s not!
Change is scary and therefore not my friend – or so I tell myself about a hundred times a day! But what if change IS my friend? It will still be scary but I have learned that scary does not always mean bad. Obviously, big change is required here but I am guilty of setting myself up for failure by making sure that the change I attempt is so big that I can do nothing but fail. I become my own self fulfilling prophecy – where the only result possible will be to fail.
Starting today, I am endeavouring to make some small changes in the hope that I will be able to create good habits to build on. They are as follows:
- Keep a sleep diary.
- Remove social media apps from my phone – only able to check on my computer.
- Write a list and stick to it when shopping for groceries.
- Do something outside of the house every day.
There you have it – 4 tiny, manageable changes on which to build. Of course, most professionals say it takes the average person at least 66 days to break a habit or form a new one! But I have nothing to lose because the other way wasn’t working for me – was it?