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Dear Me,

Breathe little one. You are much too hard on yourself. I know it’s scary and you can feel like you are drowning, that it all gets a little too much, that you are a failure – but that is not the case.

I know you feel alone – but take a closer look around. You are surrounded. Sometime soon someone will come along who sees your light and how much you are worth even when you don’t. People who make you laugh when you want to cry. So don’t chase after or pursue people who don’t recognise your value. Don’t accept less than you are worth. Don’t panic – you’ve got a big heart and you’re extremely sensitive, odds are you’re going to get hurt more than once, but when you get knocked down, please try to get back up again and keep going.

Be gentle with yourself. Treat yourself how you would treat others, with kindness and care. Be patient – sometimes life sucks and that is just how it is, but dance away your sorrow and keep going.

I know you feel useless – there’s expectation weighing you down – but just keep going. If you don’t know your purpose yet, it’ll come to you soon. Don’t settle or be unhappy. You deserve to smile, to be happy, to be filled with joy. To be a success is to love and be loved, you’ve always thought that so don’t let what society tells you you need to be blur your priorities. Love wholeheartedly. Be there for the broken.

You are not alone dear friend. Reach out. Do not feel like a burden. You have wonderful family and friends. They love you despite the dark bits. Remember that. Keep going even when it feels like you want to stop and hide under your duvet for a year.

You’ll make it. It’s okay to be scared.

Much love,

Me.

 

Just a little letter not only as a reminder to me, but a reminder to all. It’s Mental Health awareness week so please take the time to check in with yourself. Be gentle with yourself. You got this!

Anyway, I’m away to twirl in my have-a-good-day skirt to the sounds of Shakira.

Dear Depression

I think it is about time we sat down and had a little chat. It’s been a long time coming.

I’m not a fan of yours, not at all. We’ve known each other for quite some time now but the deeper we get into our relationship the more I want you to go away. You have to laugh at the irony otherwise you’d cry. I remember the first time I noticed you’d rocked up on the scene, I couldn’t get my sentences to string together, I couldn’t keep thoughts in my head and you began to strip me of my greatest love – learning.

See at the time I was meant to thrive, to be doing my best intellectually and absorbing as much as possible, I grew disinterested in everything I once loved. My motivation dropped to zero and school became a chore, so I didn’t go. You clouded up my brain and consumed my thoughts with emptiness, until I gave up.

I’m so angry at you for making even the tiniest things like waking up in the morning seem impossible. As I try to will myself out of bed you lure me back to the faux warmth and cosiness by overwhelming me with the fear of outside.

You shroud over every aspect of my life, infiltrating everything, I think I’ve managed to lose you for a while but then I turn around and there you are. I kind of want out of this game of hide-and-seek if that is okay.

When university was meant to be a time of adventure, self-discovery and trying new things, it was instead a time quite often of overwhelming loneliness. It is hard to meet new people and make new friends when your esteem is so low it is virtually non-existent, you don’t even want to hang out with yourself so why would anyone else.

You’re selfish Depression, you want me for yourself, you crave so much attention, that you ruin all the other relationships I have. Pushing the people who love me far far away so we don’t hurt them because somewhere along the way I lost where you began and I ended; we became one.

You make me tired, exhausted, grumpy, anxious, sad-then-happy-then-sad-again, weary, angry, frustrated, impatient, scared, worried (about every little thing; from the future to ‘did I turn that plug off?’), cynical, kinda rude, scary, closed-off and so so weighed down.

But, old friend, I really do not want to be one anymore. So even though you drag me back by the feet everytime I try to escape and kick me down every time I stand up, I think I need to try.

I don’t think there is much point in me being angry with you really, that just drags me further down the rabbit hole, and that’s what you want. So I choose to be thankful. Thankful that you have provided me with the skill set to be there for people, to be empathetic and caring, to be honest and open with others because your presence only grows when I keep quiet. Thank you for allowing me to understand what it is like to pretend that everything is fine because it allows me to recognise when others are doing exactly the same. Thank you for teaching me to be vulnerable, that it is okay not to have everything altogether and to rely on other people. Thank you for allowing me to recognise how you affect the people around me.

I’m thankful for all I have learned from you, and all I will continue to learn, but you’re no longer welcome at the party so I’d like to show you (gradually) to the door. I’m aware you’re more like that pesky person that doesn’t get the hint that it’s time to go, that this will take a lot of time, but I have hope, even if small.

Not-so-kind regards,

Sophie

Spring Clean

How March got here so quickly, I am not so sure, BUT HERE WE ARE. In my head that means soon there’ll be baby lambs and sunshine (although with Northern Irish weather this is often not the case, exhibit A = today).

March is scary as flip because it means it’s approximately three months until the end of university (que internal screaming right about here). I’ll be honest and say that this is SUPER overwhelming. So many thoughts bounce about my brain ‘where will I live’, ‘what will I do’, ‘how will I afford anything’, ‘I’m going cry every day’… which only make me want to run and hide in a ball with approximately twenty blankets and avoid dealing with anything.

Obviously, I cannot do this. I must adult soon. Nothing prepares you for this feeling of what-the-flip-happens-now, and I must admit the last few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions that have made me want to hide away from everything and everyone.

Thankfully, I have people who speak sense when I do not and I got reminded today that it’s okay to feel a bit overwhelmed. The odds are others are too. It’s okay to want to hide for a wee while.

So today I decided to have a me-day.

First on the list was to tidy my pig sty. I’m not sure how but my room can go from immaculate to dump in two minutes, I really don’t know how I manage to cause so much destruction for such a small person. I rearranged my whole room, sorted out all my clothes (i.e. removed them all from the chair that they sit on rather than in the wardrobe) and threw out a whole lot of useless crap, because I am a horder and keep everything.

AND IT FEELS GOOD. THERE’S SO MUCH ROOM FOR ACTIVITIES (i.e. spontaneous dance parties).

Next up was to find a nice dress that makes me feel good. So here I am writing this dressed to the nines in my room.

And last on my list was to spend some time decluttering my brain. Because it was getting a little crowded up there.

I guess what I’m saying is don’t worry if you feel a bit like ‘AGHHHHGGHHHH’, that’s okay. Take little baby steps to make yourself feel like you’ve got a bit more control. Spend some time just doing something you want to do because uni is busy and stressful.

So I’m off to twirl about my room in my dress, I recommend a little spring clean both of your environment and on the inside too. You’ll feel better for it.

 

2017

I’ve decided I’m okay with the erratic pattern of posting on this blog. I’m extremely busy…procrastinating. Let’s see, what’s new? Semester one is finished and I’m now preparing for the final hurdle of my degree (laughs through the tears).

I’m not usually one to jump on the New Year’s resolutions bandwagon but 2017 is set to be the scariest year yet so I thought some order would be good. This blog post is therefore dedicated to me sharing my ‘goals’ (how terribly cliché) with you.

  1. Don’t panic: this seems rather silly to put down as of course I’m going to panic. I panic every day – whether I’m sitting having a cup of tea or driving down the M1, the overwhelming panic of WHAT HAPPENS NEXT hits at random times and cannot be controlled. Yet, I set this as a reminder that it is 300% okay to be worried and panicking is fine, just not all the time. (s/o to my fellow final year friends who know exactly this feeling)
  2. Work REALLY hard: It’s my last semester at uni and I’m not going to lie, I feel like I’ve completely fumbled my way through, still with absolutely no idea what I’m supposed to be doing. Every semester the familiar ‘yeah I’m going to be so organised and start prepping for assignments 16 weeks in advance’ offers security but then it’s suddenly week 11 and there are only 12 weeks in a semester and you are back to the ‘night-before’ dread and stress. CAN’T DO THAT THIS SEMESTER.
  3. Be patient: I’m quite possibly the least patient human I know, whether it’s waiting in traffic, waiting on a reply to a message… I have no time for it. Which is not good! So I need to work on being accountable, being there for people and not throwing my phone out the window every time someone doesn’t reply in two seconds (don’t worry I don’t actually do that). I guess being a lot more chilled goes hand in hand with this one, in that the control freak in me needs to sit the flip down.
  4. Travel: To be very honest this one scares me a little, it’s rather scary to think about going away off somewhere alone – BUT also quite exciting and there’s so much to see and do.
  5. Learn something new: My first year at uni was spent travelling up and down to Dublin so I didn’t overly get the chance to try things like you’re supposed to, so I hope this semester to try something ridiculous. Like salsa dancing, I mean I love Shakira, but if you know me you know I have the rhythm of a wooden spoon.
  6. Be confident: This is a big one. Possibly the hardest one. I guess confidence comes with time and patience with yourself. Having the courage to put yourself out there even when you feel like an idiot and literally just want to curl in a ball.
  7. Talk to new people: I suppose this ties in well with the confidence thing. Talking to new people is quite frightening though, isn’t it. I’m aware that I might give off the best first impression, I’ve unfortunately inherited that Northern Irish trait of being ridiculously sarcastic to the point were even I’m not sure what I mean, and that sometimes comes across like I’m mean. I’m not, promise. Just trying to overcompensate with being ‘funny’ because I’m terrified you’ll find me boring otherwise. So tone the sarcasm down. Be kind, friendly, nice.
  8. Wake up early: I’m not a morning person. I slightly resemble a mixture of an angry troll and grouchy dinosaur first thing in the morning. My friend (who is one of those people who loves waking up first thing in the morning, jumping out of bed practically singing with the birds) assures me that it only takes a few early starts to get used to it. I hope so.
  9. Get fit: Please don’t hit me for this one, I know it’s a v traditional ‘new year, new me’ one.  I do pay for gym membership, and I do go, but I suppose REALLY try hard to exercise and eat well.
  10. Smile frequently: I think I have one of those resting faces that slightly looks like you’re ready to commit murder at any point. I guess to avoid scaring people away I must try to smile much more frequently. Do things that make me smile, spend time with folk who make me laugh. YET remembering that it is really okay not to be okay.

So there we go. I’m being extremely optimistic with ten goals as in reality I’ll probably stick to about one and a half, but aim high and all that.

fullsizerender

 

The Last Few Months

It’s deadline season, which is always the time my brain goes into full on blog-writing-ideas mode, my brain is a procrastinating entity if not anything else.

It’s been a whirlwind few months, hence why I have not written a single thing (sorry). There’s been lots of change, lots of loss, lots of new things and lots of stress. Final year  has hit me like a brick to the face (I’m not great at similes, but you get the jist) and so the not-so-welcome fear and dread associated with the impending doom of adulthood looming ahead has become a daily part of my routine.

I struggled with it a lot at the start. I think when there’s so much going on you don’t overly think or deal with anything until one day, when you least expect it, BANG! Three hundred and fifty emotions, thoughts and feelings hit you and you’re so overwhelmed that all you can do is panic (not helped at all by the fact you are already a hormonal girl). You muddle on through, people probably thinking you are the most miserable human there is, complaining quite regularly, crying quite regularly – until eventually it gets a little easier to manage.

The ‘easier to manage’ part is what I want to write about today. Note I say ‘easier to manage’, not ‘yay, life is so awesome, I have everything together, woo hoo’, because for me that is extremely unrealistic. I think the easier to manage phase comes when you realise that no you do not have control over absolutely everything. That it is okay not to have it altogether. That other people are in your boat, rowing alongside you, even if they look like everything is grand.

The truth is everyone has struggles, on the outside it may look A-okay, but on the inside there’s generally always something to worry about because we are human and that is what we do. Whether it be self-esteem, loss, grief, money, looks, confidence, the future, careers, relationships… there’s always going to be something.

Yet, here is were I think the true beauty lies. It’s not in acting like I have it altogether, waking up and jumping out of bed to smile at the sun (firstly, I am not a morning person the only thing I do is growl first thing in the morning and secondly, I live in Northern Ireland, what is the sun). I think it’s in accepting that things do not work out how you think they will, that plans get messed up, that it is okay to be sad for a while and still managing to get up and face the day.

It’s in admitting that ‘hey, I’m a little bit of a mess right now’ that you realise who is there to support you. That you don’t have to be okay 100% of the time.

I will hands down admit that the most beautiful people I’ve encountered are those that are the strongest. Those that have had a genuinely crap time but pushed on through, AND then still have the time and patience to listen to my little fears and encourage me. Shout out to you.

So here we are. Admitting that it’s cool not to be cool (coming from the least cool human who is trying to be ‘hip’ by the use of the word cool). That it’s okay to be stressed and not have everything figured out. The secret is to share that stress, to talk to others and listen to others, to go easy on yourself. To treat yourself, the house I’m living in at the moment LOVES facemasks (I think the boys more so than the girls, no judgement here) so have a spa night every so often, read a book you’ve wanted to, watch a cheesy movie that you know will make you feel good… whatever your preferred niche, go for it. Take a break, you deserve it.

So – final year – I think I can handle you now.

Self Care

Ah it is now September, which means soon back to uni and back to work, and so back to blog writing. I hope you all have had a really wonderful Summer, but I can’t lie to you, Autumn is most definitely my favourite season.

Throughout the last few months, I had the opportunity to encounter and meet new people, make new friends and also reconnect with friends I’d maybe lost touch with over the years. The thing about this is that very often when meeting new people or starting a new conversation the awkward ‘Oh, Hello. What’s your name?’, is possibly the hardest sentence to get out there. It takes me a lot of courage and a lot of internal debating before I can muster up the nerve to get a conversation going.

Inner dialogue looks a little like this:

‘Why would they want to talk to you?’

‘Of course they want to talk they’re sitting there awkwardly too’

‘THIS IS SO AWKWARD’

‘You can do it… no wait you can’t….YES you can’

Of course, I’m speaking from personal experience, maybe you have never experienced this and in that case I applaud you please come and befriend me with ease, I’d be most grateful. You see, more often than not I’ve noticed (and after talking to people several times and becoming great friends) that in general the other person probably has the same running inner dialogue and is probably just as nervous meeting you too.

Which brings me to the title of this blog, ‘self-care’. For myself, the reason I find it so difficult to initiate conversation is because the self-esteem and confidence is not there. There may at times seem like I am full of confidence (fake it until you make it friend), but on the inside I resemble a terrified cat.

I think in this society somehow there’s been a development of being so humble that it has went too far, becoming a little detrimental. Being modest has went too far over the scale that you don’t even recognise the good in yourself anymore, which has led to low self-esteem/confidence, thus leading to lack of conversation-starting energy.

So, this Summer, I tried to pick up some self-care tips to try make me feel good to make life a lot easier (as it shouldn’t be difficult). Here’s some examples:

  • I bought new bed sheets (they were so pretty and they were on sale), I know this seems mundane, but my room is now a place I feel comfortable enough to relax in  and unwind.
  • Find a ‘chill’ place. A place where you can just relax and not stress out or worry. I have a little cubby hole in my room filled with pillows, blankets, books etc that is just perfect for this (in fact, it is where I am writing this post right now).
  • Try something new. At the start of the Summer I tried yoga for a few months, I went to a place I didn’t know and knew nobody who went there and even though it was petrifying at the beginning it was actually one of the best things I have done this year in terms of confidence (physically and mentally) and it helped stretch out all the worry tension in my body for that day.
  • Try become comfortable with yourself. Take your self out for a little cup of coffee, or lunch, maybe go for a walk. Do things that you’d normally do with others alone, become comfortable with your own thoughts. (added bonus: going to lunch alone means you can go to food places YOU love but maybe your friends don’t)
  • Buy a plant. I bought a cactus.
  • Hang out with a confident person. I have this friend that is soo confident that whenever I hang out with her I generally feel like I can handle anything, just because I feel like she can.
  • Find a hobby*/interest that you are good at and pursue it. Don’t do something you aren’t that great at or you struggle with in this case, as it’ll probably make you feel worse, find something you are passionate about and enjoy doing, for me that’s learning a language or drawing, and it makes me feel kinda good. Think about it this way, when someone asks ‘what are you good at?’ (or even when I ask myself that), my immediate response is ‘nothing…’, so it’s nice to have something that you can be like ‘oh, hey I’m actually…’ if you catch my drift.

These are just a few little steps I took, maybe you can think of more for yourself, if they really work please let me know your ideas so I can give them ago.

I think this post is something extremely important, for this time of year especially when things begin to get extremely stressful again, or maybe you are starting a new university, taking new classes etc with people you don’t know and it kind of scares you. I suppose just take some time out of the day away from stress and have so ‘me’ time.

Oh, I almost forgot, a link for a self- care guide is here from blurtitout.org  https://www.blurtitout.org/self-care-starter-kit/ .

*Hobbies – maybe you find the idea of a new hobby daunting because you’ve no idea of what you could be good at, here’s a few ideas as presented to you by Buzzfeed https://www.buzzfeed.com/augustafalletta/hell-yeah-hobbies-for-adults?utm_term=.nmP6K1aj6#.ejmK0EmaK.

GO TAKE CARE OF YO’ SELF.

Worth

It’s been a very long time coming, but here we go writing again. If you are an observant individual you’ll notice that this site was created in 2015, and alas, it is now 2016. It has taken me a very long time to get to now, but here we go.

It’s Mental Health Awareness week (woo!) and so I thought I’d talk a tiny bit about that. I think it’s great because it brings what usually is kept in the shadows out into the limelight.

The thing about mental health is that deterioration can happen slowly, your life getting more and more grey each day, or  suddenly appear, generally without realisation of what is going on until it’s a bit too late. It gets progressively worse, some days you’ll have good days, some days you’ll have the worst possible days imaginable.

Over this period of time, your self-worth is stripped away, the little voice inside your head tells you that you are unworthy of others’ time, effort, love… that you’re a terribly boring person and not worth listening to anyway. Until eventually you don’t feel as though you have any worth at all. And there’s no point being here.

That’s the scariest thing, when you are your own worst enemy. When you are the person that puts yourself down and tells yourself you aren’t worth it. You don’t need anyone else to because honestly you do a better job yourself.

And so you end up trapped in this ball of worthlessness, ashamed that you’ve become so low, all confidence has disappeared and you don’t know how to get out of this rut or what to do to make things better, so you don’t do anything.

I’m writing this post because I think awareness needs to be brought to mental health. I’m writing this post because there’s so many people who suffer and feel so completely alone when they don’t have to. I’m writing this post because if it helps at least one person talk to one person and realise their worth then that is all I could hope for.

You see, those who are drowning in darkness are generally the people you would least expect. They are masters in perfecting the facade of happiness, when inside they are crumbling to pieces, afraid.

It’s a very long, twisty, dark path. It takes a very long time. I know I still have days were I don’t want to move from my bed, I don’t want to talk to a single person, I wake up in a terrible mood and I go to sleep in a terrible mood. But it’s getting there.

If you’re reading this and you are feeling like everything is grey, you don’t know what to do, I can only tell you that you are worth more than you could imagine. You deserve more than how you are feeling right now, you deserve happiness just as much as the next person. You are worth the effort, the time and the love. You are worth it*.

So please do something for yourself, don’t keep it all to yourself. Tell one person. Whether you whisper it, text it, write a letter, send a smoke signal, tell a doctor, a friend, a parent, a dog, don’t carry the burden all by yourself. Take tiny baby steps, even tinier if you need. Be patient with yourself. Admit to yourself that you aren’t okay, that you need a helping hand, and that is 100% alright.

If you’re reading this and you know someone who is feeling this way, or know someone who is struggling, help them. Listen. Have a real conversation. Don’t give up it will take a very long time maybe until someone feels comfortable enough to talk, but be patient.

I’ve been challenged a lot recently with having a real conversation, not ‘banter’, but a real pouring-out-of-the-heart conversation. So I encourage you to do it too. It can be nerve-wracking to lay cards on the table, you may feel that the other person does not want to hear about your woes, but the odds are they probably need the same thing too. Lean on people, find good people who want to be leant on.

Take tiny steps.

(*this post is in no way endorsed by L'Oreal Paris)

 

 

 

Join in

I am just putting this out there – I think very often sometimes people have things they’d like to say or put their voice out there, just not the confidence or platform to say it.

So if you like, if you have any ideas or thoughts or opinions about things you want to share or say, please write it all down and send it to treasuredsoulsblog@gmail.com and I’ll try get it up on the site!

Please bear in mind, I’d like this to be a positive space – no rubbish or nastiness please.

The main focuses of the site include:

  • Everyday problems for young folk
  • Student problems
  • Beliefs
  • Social Issues
  • General encouragement

Please note, this site is mostly orientated at women – seeing as that’s what I have the most experience with – so my posts will probably come from that perspective!

Hope to hear from you soon 🙂

Hello!

Ah ha! My first post on this new site!

Welcome,

I hope to use this little space to just throw some ideas and thoughts out there that mull around in my brain so I can figure out where I’m at and see what others think; to encourage, inspire and challenge, which can work both ways.

The aim of this site is to share struggles, stresses and little wins, things it might be easy to think you’re in alone, but actually there’s some folk in the boat with you.

Before, I had an old site but unfortunately I sort of lost all inspiration and it remained gathering dust (online, if that’s possible) for several months and so much has changed so I thought why not try something slightly different.

So, here we go I suppose!

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