Me Too.

Anger. Sadness. Depression. Anxiety. Insomnia. Fatigue. Panic. Everything that I have been combating the last few months. In no way am I writing this to generate a huge response… , I feel that I just need to get how I’ve been feeling and WHY I have been feeling this way out there somewhere, written down, even if no-one see’s this at all. I just want to let this go and satisfy the initial aim of getting a blog, which was to share my experiences and treat this as a safe space and like my diary. I’ve been back and forth about letting this go live, this has been sat in my drafts for months! I’m even scared this is going to be too strong a topic for my blog. But this is real and these are my feelings that I have slowly built back up to being strong and positive, one day at a time.

In April I was signed off work for one month due to anxiety and stress. Unlike every other time my anxiety has kicked in, I knew the cause of this episode. My workplace. Or more specifically the Chairman of my workplace. Or even MORE specifically – the Father of my direct boss. I work in a family office and PA for the Daughter who is inspiring and motivational, hence this was a very tricky and difficult situation. I do not want to go into details as they are crude and really won’t make for a pleasurable or insightful reading experience but my work environment was all wrong. He was sick, often had toilet accidents (yes number two’s included!) and had a potty mouth that made me cringe and feel uncomfortable – this is not something I go to work for.

I pride myself for working hard and trying my best, but in this environment, I was tense, angry and frustrated. There was no room to even think in my own mind as it was just filled with degrading and disgusting comments that nobody should be subject to. Comments about my appearance, about sex, about my body – even though he was sick and apparently didn’t know what he was saying, this is still inexcusable and measures should have been put in place to protect employee’s from this behaviour.

After a few conversations with my direct boss (his daughter) and being signed off by the Doctor – I think she saw how serious this actually was. I had lost myself, I was emotional and angry and felt that she should be accountable for my welfare. I was left in an office with this monster when she chose to hardly ever show up (I don’t blame her, I question how she is still sane when bought up with a Father like hers).

One month off work did me wonders. I caught up on sleep. Walked a hell of a lot. Lots of time to think my own thoughts instead of my mind being possessed with anger and negativity. I’m so proud to say that I am through the other side of this anxiety hurricane I was experiencing. I am back to work (Yes with the same company!) My boss has taken measures to move my office so I am away from the chaos. There was definitely some settling back in issues and I was super nervous to return to work but 3 months on and I can truly say I am so glad that I found the strength to push through and speak up. My mental health suffered being in that awful environment and it is super scary having honest conversations (especially when blood is thicker than water!) but I was true to myself and made it through the other end.

Now.. onwards and upwards!

Charlotte xoxo

Introducing New Habits

I’ve been feeling so ‘bleurgh’ recently. That is the only word that sums up how I have been feeling for the past month.  I  feel very vanilla and I don’t know why. I’m lacking oomph in everything, my diet, my workouts, my appearance, I just feel so bleak. All I want to do when I feel like this is sit in bed and scoff chocolate and biscuits. Yes I know, throwing myself a pity party and feeling sorry for myself. I seem to have acquired a double chin and a bloated belly, my mood swings have been crazy lately, bursting into tears many times in public for no reason whatsoever – my boyfriend said to me the other day “who are you and what have you done with my girlfriend Charlotte”. I’ve been selfish with other peoples feelings because I’ve been more concerned with making myself feel better, no matter how I do it, I have literally wanted to rip peoples heads off. The poor guy in Pret yesterday even got a glimpse of my dragon side because he was eating his food too loudly….. (in my defence there really was no need for him to be slapping his lips like that).

Oh the joys of PCOS.

I have been thinking for a while that I need to change things up, I do really need to start taking care of my body and implementing a routine that is going to nourish my body and support my PCOS, this last month has spurred me on to take action because I am honestly so fed up of feeling like this.

I have been doing a lot of research and on Monday 15th October I am going to be trying the Ketogenic diet . A Keto diet (according to the information that I have been reading) supports PCOS. The Keto diet is essentially well known for being a low carb, high fat diet where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. Usually when you eat something high in carbs your body will produce glucose and insulin, so now (if done correctly) my body will burn fat for energy.

I know you need carbs in your diet to provide energy, and with my busy schedule I am certainly not going to be cutting them out completely. Therefore, I am going to be eating 20-30 grams of carbs a day, 60-70 grams of healthy fats a day and a moderate portion of protein a day. I am not saying that I am going to love this diet but with how I am feeling I am going to give it a go and give it a good chance.

As I am going to be starting a new ‘diet’ (I HATE that word), I also thought that I would introduce some new lifestyle habits and report back.

  • Drink 4 litres of water a day (I am going to be peeing every 5 minutes!!!) This may seem like a lot, but I drink 3 and bit litres already and want to up this!
  •  Aim for 7 hours of sleep a night. Last week I had 3 nights in a row where I was asleep for 9:30pm and oh my god did I feel better for it. Some nights I know this isn’t possible as i’ll be at my boyfriends and there is no way that he will be going to sleep that early, but I am going to aim to get 7 hours sleep at least 4 days a week.
  • Read  more as a hobby rather than aimlessly scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. I feel good when I read, so why not do more of what makes me feel good?
  • Meditate a little every day – even if this is only 3 minutes. I use meditation as a last minute tool for my anxiety and it does calm me down.  I want to reap the benefits of this daily.
  • Organise myself for the week ahead at the weekend- I am going to use a Sunday afternoon as time for self-love, self-care and organisation. I want to organise my outfits for the week, my meals and my diary so I know exactly what I am wearing, what I am eating and where  I am going! This should save me from doing this in the week and hopefully free up some time for those early nights.

I also tried a Circuit class with my Mum last week and I loved it so I am also going to be adding in one circuit class a week to my workouts. Working out makes me feel so good (YAY for endorphins!) At the moment I go to the gym before work and it is solidified into my routine so working out 5 times a week is not difficult for me. But I want to be doing workouts where I feel GOOD about myself after, not just hating life on the running machine, doing it because in fact, it is easier to get to the station from my gym in the morning then from home.

I am going to aim to incorporate the following workouts into my week, listening to my body if I need to rest and not giving myself a hard time if I don’t feel it.

  • 2 x Bodypump classes a week
  • 1 x Circuit Class a week
  • 2 x Cardio Sessions a week
  • 1 x Weights/Resistance workout a week
  • 2 x rest days

I tend to do Cardio on a Monday and Friday, Bodypump on a Tuesday and Thursday (sometimes even a Saturday if I’m feeling it!), Circuits on a Wednesday, rest on a Friday and Sunday … I will most likely combine the weight session with my Cardio session on the Monday, so I need add in 1 more cardio sesh over the weekend which is doable.

Anyway, I am going to be taking on these new habits from the 15th October 2018, I will be taking note of how I am feeling, what I am eating, how much I am sleeping and hopefully this can help me to find my sparkle again.

Charlotte

xoxo

I Tried a Gong Bath!

“What an earth is a GongBath?!!?”… were my thoughts exactly when I had an email through my inbox notifying me of the event. In a quest to manage my anxiety and make myself feel positive I am trying just about anything that claims it will ‘reduce stress’ and ‘promote relaxation’.

A Gongbath is a form of sound therapy  – basically a gong is played in a therapeutic way to bring about relaxation. I need relaxation alright so I thought “why not, lets give this a go!”

The session was hosted at the Montcalm Marble Arch – London. Mats, duvets and pillows were set out for each participant – I walked in and first thought I was attending a group napping session! There were some lovely touches which made the 45 minute session seem more substantial, vegan protein smoothies, provided by KIN Nutrition to refuel afterwards and also coco chocolate energy balls which were delish!

The instructions for the session were simple.. all you had to do was lie on your back with your eyes closed. The gongs are then played very softly increasing the volume as the session progresses. The temperature also dropped as the session went on, hence the need for the duvet…I was shivering at one point!

The sound of the gong is meant to lull you into an ‘effortless state of relaxation’, rejuvenate you and be transformative in unblocking emotions. These benefits sold the session to me, I thought I would be walking out a new woman!

In reality and in all honestly I struggled with the session, I found it so hard to relax, my eyes kept peeking around and my mind definitely wandered. Don’t get me wrong, some people when I spoke to them after the session, found it amazing – one person even fell asleep because they were so relaxed! I just feel as though my brain is too busy at the moment, I felt calm but I know that I did not truly immerse myself in this experience, my ‘to-do’ list seemed to be far more important to me and I just could not clear my mind! This is something that I really need to work on, I need to be able to switch off at times and the fact that I just could not do this worries me.

I think one reason for my struggle in the Gongbath session is that I am relatively new to meditation, I do not meditate daily and I use it as an ‘if and when I need it’ tool.  I use meditation as a coping mechanism when I am already at a terrible stage, with tightness in my chest and the inability to breathe. Those who were more familiar to meditating probably appreciated the experience more than myself. I definitely would be up for trying this again though, I think now that I know what to expect I would be able to let myself relax more and really let myself cherish the experience.

Writing this has sparked a thought … maybe if I introduce meditation into my daily routine I won’t use it so much as a last minute technique for managing anxiety, maybe doing a little daily will prevent me from having to do a lot when the panic strikes, when my chest is at the peak of tightness, when I can’t breathe and when my heart rate is up to 20000 bpm (Just kidding, that’s impossible!)

I suppose as they say, doing something is better than doing nothing, so let me try and adopt this mentality!

Any tips and thoughts on how to make incorporating meditation into my daily/weekly routine are much appreciated.

xoxo

 

 

 

Photo by Manja Benic on Unsplash

 

 

Anxiety.

I honestly feel like I may be having a heart attack. My anxiety has been that bad over the past couple of days.

Today is the 4th day I am suffering with lots of worry,  an extremely fast heart rate and a tight chest. I’m not sure how much longer my body can cope with this.

My anxiety is definitely at its all time peak and I am knowingly having to take myself aside and calm myself down. I have been finding that the app Buddhify has been extremely helpful, in calming down my breathing and heart rate. There are so many options of meditation and controlled breathing exercises, so even if I am at work, I can take myself off for a few minutes so that nobody sees I have gone missing.

I’m not particularly sure what has triggered this surge of anxiety, I think I have got to a point where life has caught up with me and I am really worrying about the future. Will my money troubles stop me from getting a mortgage? Am in the right job for me? Will my hard work ever pay off?  What if I miss an opportunity because I am in the wrong place that day?

I do remind myself that there is so much more to life to spend precious time that I will never get back to worry about the above but I do believe you need to have a balance of reality and positivity.  I try and brush my troubles and worries aside and tell myself that life is too short and look at lovely quotes on Instagram and Pinterest and try and kid myself that reading those will make everything ok…but in reality that really isn’t going to solve my problems, or debt issues! I need to face these and solve them.. and THEN believe that life is too short and start living.

I think I may have even solved my question by writing this post… Having this realisation four days ago triggered my anxiety. I just need to learn to cope with it.

Life is definitely a journey and each year I can say I do learn so much about myself, but the more I learn the more I look back and think.. what were you doing Charlotte! I want to scream at myself, I wish I could go back and change things.. but I can’t.

So time to get on with it I suppose!

 

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash