It’s never too late for new resolutions

It’s a beautiful, frosty, sunny morning, I have the day off work and I hadn’t factored writing into the plan for the day, but I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that with some chill time on my hands, writing is what I feel like doing.

I was going to get up early and head out for a walk this morning. I miss chilly, morning walks to the station and I miss being out early enough to pick a super fresh croissant up from a bakery. I never thought I’d say it, but I actually just miss commuting in general. Reading on the train is one of my most favourite things and I will never again take for granted that divide between personal life and work life -That time to mentally prepare for the day and then wind down after it.

I’m not out walking, because we have an IKEA delivery due any moment. I’m so excited! This is our last delivery for the time being and our weekends spent building flat pack furniture may soon be behind us. Then, it’s just a matter of finally unpacking the last of our boxes and getting this flat set up just the way we want it.

Today I’m looking forward to going room by room, cleaning and dusting and hoovering and also hopefully getting organised as I go. What else is there to do with a day off work in lock down?

The last couple of weeks I’ve felt my mental health slipping if I’m honest. I went into the New Year resolving to keep to a strict routine and make the most of my day, by keeping work to work hours and making full use of the me-time either side. I lasted all of a couple of days before I let that slip, in spite of calendar reminders and booked virtual fitness classes (that it seems can be way too easily cancelled or forgotten).

So, now I’m resolving once again to do all of that – But starting by getting up at the same time every work day, getting some breakfast and a cuppa and then heading out for a wander. I’m hoping forcing myself out for a walk will help boost those endorphins people talk about, help me to mentally prepare for the day ahead and leave me feeling energised and determined. Watch this space.

Much ado about nothing

I’ve been feeling melancholy and I can’t really put my finger on why.

This bit between Christmas and New Year is always a funny one. This year it feels weirder than ever.

Over the long weekend I felt like I actually switched off from work for the first time in forever. With the lines having been blurred between work and home for a while now, it’s been hard to relax properly or create proper down time. Especially while stuck at home. It felt really good to forget about everything for a bit.

But now we’ve hit Chrimbo Limbo again and I feel hit by the impending doom of another couple of months in lock down. The news gets gloomier all the time and it seems more likely than not that the new restrictions will be here to stay for the time being. I’m looking ahead to a couple of months of days exactly like today and I’m not excited about the prospect.

I feel re-energised after my switched off weekend and now I want something exciting to look forward to. I want to make New Year’s Resolutions which involve a travel bucket list and saying yes to more stuff, when in reality I probably need to resolve to be grateful for what I have and stay positive and learn to take things as they come. There are resolutions that I actually stand more chance of keeping during a pandemic – get fit, spend less money in bars and restaurants, learn a new language, read all of my books but they’re not resolutions I actually want to make right now.

It’s not just that though, it’s also that I miss my family and I actually kinda feel a little home sick for the old house. Which I can’t deny, no matter how much I love our new home and the cute Christmas tree we put up Christmas Eve and my new book shelves.

I do feel better today already simply because one of my besties shared a voucher with us for free Hello Fresh meals and now I’ve yummy dinners to look forward to all of next week.

Work drew a lot of my focus today and that felt good too. I do enjoy my job and throwing myself into work would probably help. A break is good for the soul, but a return to routine is always good for me too.

All of that said, maybe I just feel blue, because it’s a kinda blue time of year. And maybe I’m totally over-thinking it. And maybe I’m feeling sorry for myself at a time when I should be counting myself lucky to be healthy and employed.

That’s it. I’m done moping. One day at a time from here and I’m going to keep busy, switch my anxious brain off (except when it’s needed for actually important stuff) and focus on the positives. We’ve got free food arriving at the weekend. What could be better than that!?

Early Days

My first day alone at the flat, I felt poorly all day. Whilst I’d usually be able to suss out whether it was in my head or not, this time I really wasn’t sure. People don’t talk enough about the physical symptoms that come with stress and anxiety. I know my body well enough now that I will go whole days feeling sick and headachy and knowing it’s just my mental health that’s not quite right. I was so physically tired too that, on this occasion, I ended up concluding that it was probably a bit of both – Partly in my head and partly my body saying ‘please, just sit still for one moment’.  

I put too many towels in the washing machine and had to hang them on an airer over the bath to dry, because they came out so wet. I fell asleep after eating lunch on the sofa and nearly missed the door when the clothes rail was delivered. I spent the whole day battling against tiredness and anxiety and whilst I got a lot done in the end, I never felt fully accomplished and the tasks ahead of me felt increasingly daunting as time went on. 

Day three at the new flat and the negative thoughts came raining down. I found myself doubting whether Dave and I were going to be happy after all. I felt like a failure, because there was so much sorting still to be done. I told myself I’d be an even bigger failure if I didn’t get out of bed, in the shower, on a bus and into town to do my Christmas shopping and yet just the thought of doing that made me want to curl up under my duvet and never appear again. It was my final day booked off work and I felt like the pressure was on to get the most out of it.

It took me finally grabbing my journal and writing everything I was feeling down to realise that I’d been doing just fine: At a time when my emotions were all over the place, bit by bit I was making this new home our own and for that I knew I should be proud. And anyway, since when was being super productive the only way to make the most of a day off work!? Sometimes all you need is a proper chill out.

New, unfamiliar environments are big and scary, always. The first few days in a new home are never easy, no-matter what anyone might tell you. Now over one week into living here and (setting aside all that’s going on outside of our little new home bubble) I feel content here. Everything is a bit of a mess. The place is littered with boxes and with furniture still on order, there’s not really a place for anything yet. The kitchen is the closest to organised and even that’s not completely sorted. BUT the new flat feels lived in already and if you ask me, that’s the most important thing of all!

New Home, New Chapter

They say moving home is one of the most stressful things you can do and yet somehow I am never fully prepared for just how much it’s going to take out of me. I feel like I’ve moved a lot since I turned 18. 3 uni-rooms and now 3 different homes with Dave (and we’re not even on the property ladder yet!), but I still don’t feel like I’ve got it mastered. 

My shoulders hurt more than I ever thought they could. My feet hurt like I’ve walked a marathon. My lower back aches and my hands are like sandpaper and that’s just the physical stuff – We were so organised and yet I’ve still felt overwhelmed and mentally exhausted for over a month straight now. The only things getting me through are Dave, tea, chocolate and Disney films. 

The new home is well worth all of the aggravation though. 

Dave and I have been on the hunt for a property to buy since July of this year. We got hunting the minute house viewings were allowed again and we didn’t stop until just over a month ago. I doubt we’re the only people who had to hit pause on the hunt in the end and put our house shopping plans on hold until 2021. 

So, we’re still renting, but we’re in the area we’re looking to buy in and we’re planning on keeping our ears to the ground. I know we’re going to be so happy here and I feel very lucky and extremely grateful. Here’s to Chapter Six!