You may have noticed February has been a relatively quiet month on the blog. There’s been a few reasons for that. It’s not been a great month.
But you know what? I’ve (just about) made it through February, which got me thinking: why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to thrive? Sometimes it really is enough just to survive.
I think it’s really important that we talk about our feelings. I’ve been looking into working with a thrivetalk.com online therapist to discuss the stresses I’ve been feeling. It’s amazing the mental health support and advice that is available directly from our phones, and maybe if you’re also a twenty-something with anxiety this blog post will be of help to you.
So what’s been happening in my world? Well, behind the heavily edited Instagram photos I’ve had a tough time. My health has been poor, and because of this I’ve found it hard to keep on top of everything. I’ve never been good at relaxing: I see ‘self-care’ as a fancy way of saying ‘doing nothing’. And doing nothing makes me stressed. Stressed that I’m not pushing myself hard enough. Nervous that I’m not keeping up with work. Anxious that I’m missing out on things I can’t quite put my finger on.
You see, when my physical health fails me my mental health suffers too. I’ve felt low and anxious, but struggled to reach out to anyone. When you live in a social media bubble, it’s hard to admit when things aren’t as rosy as the pictures may suggest.
Anxiety is the devil on your shoulder. Deep down, you know the logical answer to everything, but anxiety makes you assume that a throwaway comment from a friend means they hate you, and a minor blip at work means you deserve to get fired. It’s a little voice constantly second guessing not only the meaning of your actions, but everyone else’s too.
Anxiety is exhausting.
Most of the time I am that effervescent, colourful and confident individual you see on Instagram. But right now I’m not. And that’s OK.
The fashion these days is to read lots of self-improvement books, and to constantly post about all the goals you’re achieving. The fashion is to thrive. Just existing isn’t good enough; we have to excel at all times. But if you’re like me and you’re just surviving? That’s fine too.
To all my readers who are struggling: ignore the social media pressure, stop fretting about what you should do, and instead focus on what’s going to make you better. That’s what I’ll be doing too.