I should, I should, I should

I’m struggling.

I’m not struggling.

But I’m struggling.

Make any sense? Nope. Not for me much either and that’s the daily battle inside my wonderful but spinning and overwhelming head of mine.

I should be struggling but then again what if I’m enjoying parts of lockdown, no no I should be struggling, I should be sad and upset and I am but then again I should be happy and grateful and thankful to be alive, I am but I don’t know how I feel some days? I should be more this, I should be more that. I shouldn’t feel this, I shouldn’t feel that. I shouldn’t read that, that’s too much, too soon, too fast. I should be tired, I should be resting, I should up and doing something every minute, no I should be doing fitness or workouts, I should be eating less and exercising more. I should be being productive every day and starting isolation project number 284. I should be doing incredible things, I should be making the most of every day, wait no no, I should be on the zoom calls as well, to work, if I can, to family and friends organising activities and plans. I should be being useful, I should be doing my bit for the community, go out and help right? I should be part of that group, I must, I should, or to help from indoors, everyone else is? I see it on tv, online and in the media, I can’t be on the frontline like all the incredible key workers and NHS staff so I should be doing something, I should be being productive, I should be doing more, more, more! I should be being helpful, I should be making a difference, I should, I should.. I should.

What’s wrong with that paragraph? I should/I should/I should..

It’s not, I think or I might or I would like, or I might try that or even I could do this, I want to do that or someone saying to you in fact, you might like to think about trying this or that?

(Ooh that all rhymes! Sorry, off topic! Brain fog/going on a tangent moment!)

So, stop and be kind to yourself. Yes, yes I know what you’re thinking!(especially those who know me well!) How can I say all this when I’m one of the toughest and at times, the most unkind person to my own self and self esteem? True. Very true indeed. But that doesnt mean I can’t try to get better? I can’t try to work on myself and I can’t try to be kinder? It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work and there is ups and downs and good days and bad. But if you don’t try you’ll never know right?

Because constantly saying and putting “I should” in front of statements is actually really unhelpful and think about it, why are you saying it in the first place? Why are you putting all this unnecessary pressure on yourself. Who are these statements actually from? When you say to yourself that you “should” do something, this indicates that you’re not doing something that needs to be done. The truth of it really is that telling yourself what you “should or shouldn’t” be doing does not make you want to do it anymore than you did before. But by constantly saying what you “should” be doing all it really does is cause you unnecessary anxiety and stress at a time where we have defiantly enough stress going on already!

So try and change the “I should” for something else. Like what then? You may be thinking? Well how about.. Rather than saying “I should be doing more, I should be being more productive, I should have started a project by now or done a,b,c!” Which I know myself I struggle with daily at the moment! Anyone else feel the same? Instead try to say to yourself: “I want to do something productive because it will give me something to do, to focus on and feel I’m still achieving despite isolating. But.. (and this is the important bit!) I must remember that everyone’s productivity is different as everyone’s lives are different, everyone’s battles are different; so I need to focus on what I can do, what I can manage and whatever that is and however I go about it is absolutely ok.” Now that’s a bit more of a mouthful than “should” obviously, but it’s also a much more healthier way to encourage yourself and get back on track! I’m working on it. But as with everything it is a working progress!

As well as this I just want to add in a very apt photo below which really relates to what I’m trying to say and although this blog is about my life, my experiences and my story, a young 25 year old woman living with complex chronic illnesses but trying to live life to the full the best she can, this particular post is aimed at everyone and I hope you all can relate and if you just take one thing from this, take the words from the picture below and even if you don’t need them, there might be someone you know who does.

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