One Thing I'd Encourage You to Do

The last few months have been rather tough. Between balancing my studies, working part-time, moving flats and a surgery, it’s been a pretty busy two months. And sometimes, it’s left me feeling a bit deflated. The UK weather hasn’t helped either!

I let myself feel down and upset, frustrated and tired. It’s important to feel those feelings and there’s nothing wrong with experiencing them. However, I noticed that I was feeling these negative emotions more than I was the positive ones. I didn’t really want to get up and start my day, starting tasks was difficult, and I felt a little lost.

After having numerous conversations with different people, I realised that although there are plenty of things in my life that are out of my control, there are coping mechanisms I can lean on to help with the stress and worry of them. For instance, I’ve started keeping a diary again. I wrote in one every day from the age of 10 to 17 (the number of books I went through was impressive, looking back!). It dwindled when I got to uni with the entries being few and far between and I think I just got out of the habit. I’ve made a conscious decision to start my morning writing in my diary, even if it’s just for five minutes. I write about how I’m feeling, what my plan is for the day, and what happened the previous day. I make sure that I write some positive things in the entry in between writing down my concerns and worries. I find that this helps me to focus my mind and prioritise what needs my attention.

Today’s entry will consist of having my surgery wound from September be re-dressed, and how it’s been getting me down because recovery has been very slow. My recovery has not gone to plan and I know this has frustrated me and has caused me to feel isolated and upset. I feel behind and a bit stuck. But a positive is that I’m in less pain today. And, I think the highlight of my day was when I was walking home and someone stopped me in the street. I asked if she was okay and she replied saying she wanted to ask me about my hearing aids because she was nervous about getting hers. She must have noticed that I had mine in when she was walking behind me. It felt good to reassure her and let her know that, whilst it does take time to adjust (and to not put a time frame on this), it has improved my life and people are really supportive. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. She walked away smiling after spending a few more minutes chatting, and I was so glad she approached me to ask about my experience. It made my day.

It’s important to acknowledge the good and bad, to feel the feelings we might not want to, and the ones we wish others and ourselves to always have. I’m not good at talking to people about how I’m feeling or what’s going on in my life – I find it difficult to reach out in that way (although I would hope I’m getting better at it because it’s important and I’m trying to be more open). However, it can be much easier to write things down so you can acknowledge, process, and reflect upon the situations and feelings you are navigating. It’s something I’d encourage everyone to do.


Voices of Hope wants you to know that you do not have to do this alone. Click here to 'find help' - it's not weak to speak!

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