Saturday 27 May 2017

My Mental Health Goals

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I'm not a very goal oriented person usually. I'm more of an ' I'll just do my best, and that's all I can do' kind of person. Which if you ask me, there is nothing wrong with that at all. Try telling my teachers that though! Ha! Most assume that because I'm predicted an A that's what I'll get at the end of the two years of A levels. Not taking into consideration any personal or emotional factors which may hinder my success.

What is success anyway? Like seriously. Am I only worth the letters on a piece of paper? Is my value just a percentage or success rate? I'm a figure at the end of the day, to my college. The more people who go to top universities, the better the college looks. That's all they care about at the end of the day. At college, they consistently set us targets and goals to achieve. Most of which I ignore and forget about.

I will always do the best I can on the day. That means sometimes I will underachieve and sometimes I will overachieve. That's just how it is, but I will always do my best. Nothing becomes before my mental health and wellbeing. Although I do not like educational goals, I do think it's important to set goals relating to your mental health. *Segway into the point of this post* Which is why I thought I would share with you, a little update on how I'm doing with my mental health and what I'm hoping to achieve in the future.

1. Have a weekly pamper session 

I neglect self-care a lot. Like seriously. I don't really have a skincare routine, and I don't look after the rest of my body much either. One of the things I really want to find time to do is paint my nails. I can't remember the last time I did it, to be honest. I want to dedicate a small portion of my week, even if it's just half an hour on a Sunday to apply a face mask or paint my nails. This will seem such an insignificant thing to most but for me and my 24/7 work schedule taking time out for myself, with no purpose, is imperative. 

2. Keep smashing the stigma around mental health 

This kinda feels like one of those targets teachers set when they can't think of anything else to say. I already do a lot to help educate people and smash the stigma around mental health, but my job is never quite done. There will always be more people who need to know about mental illness and have their misconceptions put right. Like the rest of the mental health blogging community and so many inspiring volunteers out there, I need to not give into the fight and power through till physical illness and mental illness are equal.

3. Ask for help when I'm struggling 

Admittedly I have got better at this, but it is still something I really struggle with. I tend to bottle things up until the situation is really bad before letting anyone know I feel like I'm not coping. This is not something I would recommend doing. If you have symptoms of a physical illness say a UTI, you go to the doctor when they first show up. Otherwise, if you leave them, they just become worse and harder to treat. This is the exact same for mental illness. Getting to the problem early makes it easier to deal with in the long term. I learnt this the hard way.

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4. Lower my expectations of myself 

I have high expectations of myself and so do the most of the people around me, including friends, family and teachers. I equate my happiness to success and my success to happiness. So if I do well, I will be happy, and if I am happy, I will be successful. I'm slowly coming to the realisation this just isn't the case at all. I could do well on a test or essay, but it doesn't make me happy. Likewise, I could be happy but didn't get the grade I should have got in the test. But this doesn't matter, as long as I do my best. I can't do well all the time. I can't get full marks on everything I do. I need to work on realising this and easing my inner perfectionist.

5. Keep the OCD bully at bay 

OCD has definitely taken a back seat in my life in recent weeks. Through CBT and EMDR therapy I've successfully been able to overcome some of my worst compulsions and face my biggest fears. OCD has slowly but surely been taking up a smaller and smaller part of my life as I progress through recovery. OCD is still there. I think it always will be. Once upon a time, it roared now it's more of a little squeak. I want to continue to work through the rest of my OCD compulsions, so it has little to no impact on my normal day to day life functioning. I want my life back, free from OCD.

There we have it, five little goals I've set myself to achieve over the upcoming weeks and months. Who knows if I will achieve them or not. But as I keep saying, the only thing that matters is that I do my best. 

Recovery is not a linear process. It's more of a rollercoaster. Sometimes there are highs and sometimes lows, but nothing lasts forever. It all comes to an end eventually.

What are your goals for your mental health? I would love to know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, as always X 

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