Thoughts On… A Week Of Self Care + Self Protection

The beginning of this week is feeling a lot more peaceful than last. The vital things causing panic last week have, for the most part, been resolved and I feel in a place to be exercising gratitude in a genuine way.

Most importantly, my financial security is no longer hanging in the balance. Last week, I was very stressed out about money – which I explained in my previous post – and, funnily enough, as soon as I finished articulating this and let out all my stress, the solution came to me: I could increase my fee-free student overdraft. Because really, the issue wasn’t that I had no financial security at all, the issue was that my student funding had been delayed. So why not increase my overdraft in the meantime? It meant that I could decrease my hours at work without feeling guilty about it and it also meant that I didn’t have to borrow money and make it somebody else’s problem. This realisation pulled me away from the martyrdom of working every non-college day and made room for better self care and a more peaceful day-to-day life.

Admittedly, I was very nervous about asking my manager for a reduction in my hours. Upon my employment with the company, I perhaps wasn’t completely clear about the amount of work I was willing to do – I just stated my days of availability. Then when I saw that I was being allocated 4 shifts a week, I was worried. But thankfully, the manager I spoke to was very understanding and easy going about it. I’m still working slightly more than I’d like – 3 shifts a week – but it’s much better than before. And honestly, because I’m only at college Tuesday – Thursday, it gives me something to do between Friday and Monday. 4 days is a big gap to fill – even if I am revising. If I was doing nothing over the weekend, I could easily see myself slipping into lethargy at the absence of a routine.

My next intention was 20 minutes of meditation daily to quell my overactive brain and heart palpitations. I skipped a couple of days but for the most part I kept to this intention. Something I’ve found lately is that a big part of the mental chatter going on in my head is self-criticism. I thought this is something that I more or less eradicated during my week of self parenting, but it’s not exactly coming from me. It’s like I’m imagining the way my Mam or Dad would respond to things that I do and I’m hearing them disapproving of me. It’s weird. For example, a couple of days ago I had planned to clean my room at a certain time and ended up putting it off to briefly prioritise something else and my Dad’s sarcastic voice came to me: “Yeah, yeah…do it later”. Like he was laughing at me and I was failing at being responsible and that nothing had changed… And I have changed. I’ve grown and I’m happy and proud of the woman I’ve become. But to my Dad, I’ll always be a silly, disorganised little girl, always trying to get on top of things and never quite managing it. Which is actually hilarious considering he is a heroin addict who has had a multiple periods of unemployment in his life. I don’t know if this is a new thing or if it’s always happened and I’m just more aware of it now. When I was practicing self parenting and challenging my negative self talk, it was relatively easy to diffuse the negativity and counteract it with rationale and positivity. But because the negativity is now coming from a place that is almost more deeply-ingrained, it’s really difficult. And it’s tiring. But writing this has helped. Reminding myself that my Dad isn’t, and never was, in any place to be judging me for trying my best, has helped. I think continuing to write about it in this way and meditating daily will help.

I’m really excited about next week’s post. It’s on self reliance and as someone who’s struggled with having too much dependence on others in the past and also having a disposition to submission – it’s something I’m really looking forward to exploring. I have a keen interest in psychology and I find the roles that people fit into and the accompanying behaviour so interesting. My next post will be longer because today I’ve been blogging hungover which I can’t say I recommend!

Thanks so much for reading 🙂

– SMUT. ❤ xxxx

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