With all the bad stuff going on in our lives and the world, it is easy to forget that we all have a lot to be grateful for. This ties in with my reflections over the last years, and how positive I now feel about the future.
2 years ago
2 years ago I was not in a very good place. I had been signed off work with depression/low mood and we had moved from London to Scotland without any plans regarding housing or employment. At this point I was very much crying every day, getting upset for every little thing or nothing in particular. Everything became a real struggle, everything stressed me out and I found it difficult to to the simplest of things such as cooking and food shopping. Most days were spent at home, not doing anything at all apart from waiting for Helen to come home from work.
I was lucky to be able to make 2 fundamental changes: move away from London and eventually resigning from the police. It is so clear now that this had such a negative impact on my mental health, with the job that I did being the main culprit.
What has also become a lot more important, which we have both recognised, is the need for me-time. This can be anything: reading, listening to music and drinking coffee. It simply means doing all the good things that you love to do, that makes you tick, that you’ve stopped doing because you’re too stressed or there is just not enough time in the day.
Exercise had gone out the window completely. I went from cycling/running to work with several yoga and gym sessions in the week to doing absolutely no exercise. I am now going to the gym on a semi-regular basis, and I make sure that I get as much time outside as I can, be it gardening or walking or simply drinking coffee in the garden.
Looking back I believe I have always been anxious but have managed it well, and as we know anxiety and depression always go hand in hand. When this all kicked off I was crying several times every day, often for no reason. I was prescribed anti-depressants which really do help, and I am now also having CBT sessions as well as seeing a counsellor every week. There is definitely a change in perspective happening which means I am now feeling a lot more hopeful, happy, energised and excited about the future.
Work and home
I enjoy the work that I do and I no longer dread going back to work after a few days off. Where we live outside Glasgow is so much nicer than where we were in London, and it also has a garden. Going from a small flat on the second floor in a house between the 2 flight paths into Heathrow (yes this means there was a plane over our head at least every 30 seconds) to our current place is magical (and quieter).
I have so much to be grateful for! We all do, and I believe we need to make a habit of recognising this. Rather than complaining about all the bad stuff, which brings you and everyone else down, appreciate and acknowledge what you have. If its not what you want then you need to have a serious conversation with yourself/those around you and bring about changes. Simple. But very hard.
I hope you all have a great week. Practice being grateful.