As I sit here on the eve before I fly to America for 4 weeks of speaking, events and meetings; I find myself reflecting. 

I've been anxious this week which equals no sleep but a really clean house. I found myself wondering why I'm so anxious. I expect so much from myself. This week I have my last major assignment due for my degree, going away for 4weeks, a couple of night terrors and just had the best 2 weeks of my life. So I decided to become curious. 

I checked out what I had been doing for my mental wellness. I realised I fell short for a few days. Simple things like not eating well (having lots of sugar and processed food which is a trigger for me), ignoring my usual sleep hygiene patterns (no mediation) and actively fighting my tiredness to stay awake, watching scary movies before bed and forgetting to take my medication. To some people this will seem irresponsible or easy to do. For me as someone who lives with this illness, my mind likes to play games with me (keeping me on my toes). At first I feel ok not doing my routines. Then on the second day I get confident and tell myself maybe I have "beaten it" this time. Already that thought should raise alarm bells for me. We cannot control/beat the illness but we can manage it and learn to live with it. By day 3 I was crying on my bed uncontrollably not knowing how I was going to get through the week and do everything I needed to do before I go away. 

So at that moment my husband said to me "Ste what do you have written on your foot?". At first I looked at him weirdly and said what? Then I looked down at my foot and saw my tattoo "One step at a time". (I know it's cliche  and writing it down made me vomit in my mouth a bit too hahaha) I was getting lost in the story, trying to figure out the why. It doesn't matter. I needed to sit with the feelings and let my body go through the process of settling back down. 

Needless to say, after making a conscious effort to get back into my routine I'm feeling like myself again. The message my body gave me (just in time before my speaking trip away) was to ensure/remind to always look after myself!

Live, breathe, embrace; 


Tenille Westerhout