Thursday, 13 February 2014

Still here - Confidence boosters 101

As one person commented on my last post, it looked a little bit like I might give up blogging for a while. I wasn't too sure myself as things have just felt so HARD of late. Lets see, the short list... we've had parents struggling with their health (and we are half a world away), we've been trying to buy a house for like EVER, and last year, I finally got pregnant but then miscarried just on the 3 month mark. Gah! Add in the smaller things like accounts, Christmas, a BIG cold, broken boiler, mortgage documents etc and it has felt a bit like we are dodging cricket balls thrown by an bowling machine. Whilst blindfolded. And naked.

The unrelenting nature of "stuff" has meant I haven't feel much like writing blog posts and putting myself out there. Now I'm sort of arising from the ashes, starting to feel like doing MORE. This is a good sign eh?  It has made me think about what one needs to do to get ones confidence up when it feels like it has been trampled into the carpet. This is a topic for everyone, I'm sure. In my current situation it has been life stuff, but sometimes it is work bullies or a bad relationship, and that requires additional armour. At least I could retreat and regroup because I work for myself.

Here is what I noticed has helped so far:

Giving oneself a break - beating yourself up does not help. Some of you, like me, might be familiar with the idea that, if beating oneself doesn't work, then it is clear you need a bigger stick. Yeah, still doesn't work. Much wasted energy, no improvement in mood or situation. It took me until I was about 40 to learn this, and I still do it, though now it is cunning and sly and sneaks around so I don't notice it straight away. It is easy to spot though... listen for the word "should". The stick appears at about the same time.

Being really kind to yourself. Sometimes you need a giggle at the telly (sadly, Friends re-runs still do it for me) and an early night. Sometimes you need that for 46 nights in a row. You can't speed it up, all you can do is let yourself do it.
Friends meets Boardwalk Empire. Image here
Do something you are good at. I felt better when I picked my knitting up. I'm pretty good at it, and am now teaching myself some fancier stitches. Getting into that, especially since it didn't matter how much I did, has helped. It is nice to admire ones handiwork and go - "I did that!"

Do something for someone else. I have a little niece to knit for, and that is neat. Also, being a good listener, smiling at strangers, cooking dinner, doing the dishes. They all count.
Bootie mark 1. Too big. Growing required
Put stuff in order. A bit of clearing out, or filing, or food planning, or even just matching your socks up. It helps you feel like you can make a difference, that you have some power. It is simple, but actually, so is that neuron in your brain that needs reminding that it is capable of doing stuff.

Treat yourself like a dog. Ha ha! That means proper food at the normal time (no matter how much chocolate you've had already). A daily walk, kind words and a game of chase the stick (or something else equally enjoyable).

5 things list. Instead of a never ending to-do list, have a today list, and put just five things on it. Or three things, or just one. And do it. The never ending list can be hidden from view until you are ready for the next thing. Make the thing a one job thing. "Call Kelly" = Yes. "Redesign summer range and choose fabrics and trimmings" = No.

What's your pick up tricks? Do share! These things are really things we should talk about often, don't you think? Far more helpful than moaning about the rain (OMG the RAIN!)

My good news is we are very close to completing on the house. VERY close. I'm not giving out any info until it is done and dusted, but if you could all send some good wishes our way, that would be appreciated. Ahhh... can't wait!

Shona x 


16 comments:

  1. Thanks for this post. I certainly needed this reminder to be a friend to myself rather than my worst critic.

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    1. Glad to have helped even just a bit.

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  2. Sorry to hear how rough things have been for you lately. Your post is such a well timed, useful reminder of how to help pull yourself up from the doldrums, thank you! I think it's partly the time of year and the unending bad weather, but it seems everyone I speak to, myself included have been struggling a bit at the moment with what life's throwing at them. I've been beating myself up for not getting enough things done and your '5 things' sounds like just what I need to do to achieve things in manageable chunks! Thanks again and best of luck with it all!

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    1. Thrilled that it an idea has logged with you, and sorry to hear that you've had a rough time too. It does, as you say, seem to be that many people have had a rocky road of late

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  3. All the good wishes and many hugs! Love as ever xxx

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  4. I'm sorry to hear you have been having a tough time. A good bit of advice I was once given when everything was overwhelming is to 'just be' 'don't think, don't analyse, don't beat yourself up, just be'. Eat properly, sleep, and most importantly be kind to yourself. You find that the time comes where you can face things and cope and move on.

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  5. All the things you have said are such good advice and are things that I have learnt the hard way in the past few years. I think being kind to yourself is such an important and overlooked thing, trying not to feel guilty about treating yourself as you would treat a friend. Listening out for, acknowledging, and then moving on from shoulds, ought to, must etc is also important. I have found some mindfulness exercises really helpful. I am sorry that you have had such a tough time, I hope things are starting to improve.

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    1. You'd think we would be taught to watch out for the "shoulds" and their cousins. They don't do anyone any favours!
      I'll feel a lot better once our house is sorted - the stress of that has been the hardest actually. Thanks Katie-Em

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  6. I'm sorry to hear things have been so awful for you - it sounds as though you've been having a rotten time.

    My pick-me-up: diamante. A bit of sparkle makes everything cheerier.

    Are you coming to Vintage Nostalgia this year?

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    1. Ohh yes, a bit of diamante! Shoes do it for me too.
      We won't be doing a stall at Vintage Nostalgia this year, but are planning on coming as punters on the Saturday.

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    2. I shall look out for you! I'll probably be somewhere near the beer tent/ cocktail truck...

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  7. I'm so sorry you've been having a hard time. I'm the guilty one for saying I thought you had given up the blog *Ducks rotten tomatoes and veg* :( I just love it so much and you were my first vintage inspiration, and still are! I just love your style, your tutorials and sewing stuff. I've just missed your blog I suppose. I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to make you feel pressured to blog on top of everything else, please forgive me? :(

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    1. goodness no, I didn't feel pressured at all! On the contrary, it is lovely to be appreciated! There is a sea of vintage bloggers out there, many of whom photograph better than me, do their hair better than me, go to cool events more than me - so much so it is easy to feel a little left behind - even if I'd been blogging lots and writing well! The fact that you've missed me and you've told me so is quite wonderful!

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  8. Sweet dear, from the bottom of my heart, I'm truly sorry to hear that life has been throwing such substantial curveballs and storms. I can relate to many of them (including having family members struggling with health issues on the other side of the world) and really commend you for speaking so openly about some of these heartbreaking issues that you've been battling lately.

    I admire your strength and really appreciate that you shared some of the wise steps and measures that have helped you pull through as of late.

    With all my heart, I hope that every single day from this point onward is better than the last for you.

    ♥ Jessica

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  9. I missed your voice. So sorry for your losses, and I feel your pain in some ways. Thanks for the reminders to be good to yourself. Much needed and good timing (for me anyway).

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  10. Great post. I'm glad you are practicing self-care. That is so important! These are all great reminders for everyone (and those booties are SO cute!). I'm praying for all sorts of good news for you now and always! ~hugs~

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Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love hearing from you, even if I don't always have time to reply

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