Inspiration for when you need to on an adventure!
Why I need to go on an adventure!
As you know I really suffer with my mental health, I had my first panic attack at 5 years old and since then I have been diagnosed with high functioning anxiety, depression both complex and acute PTSD and a few other things! Now I as I am classed as high functioning in the first two diagnoses, and I have a pretty good handle on them. But, as with everything I have my low days, and feel like I need to get outside and go on an adventure. I need to get out of my bed, out of my house, jump in my car and run away on a trip for however long I can spare.
We don’t always know what has triggered our mental health in a particular time, day or even just a moment. But when it happens our mind can be very powerful and scary places. And we need to look after ourselves, just because you can’t always see the physicality of mental health, that doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Yes this is something we say a lot. But when it comes to ourselves it’s very rare we listen. As we try and ‘power through’ which if we are going to be honest with ourselves is really stupid. Why sit and ‘power through’ something if it’s just going to detriment your health.
Why we don’t just go on an adventure
For those who don’t suffer from mental health, it seems simple. If it makes you feel better to go on an adventure. Why not do that? As it seems like the only logistical answer. But when you have mental health, logic seems to have a common theme of just jumping straight out the window, because it convinces you its out of your comfort zone. Another issue is the unfortunate stigma around mental health, such as if you suffer from it then your
You can just be happy
It’s a choice
You can just get over it
And all that other bullshit. But that’s exactly what the above examples are. BULLSHIT! Because surely if it was that bloody simple, then nobody on the face of the Earth would have mental health. And we would all just be happy, all the damn time. Isn’t that be the ultimate dream?!
Where none of us would have to run away local for a couple of hours or a day, as we would all always be content with what we were doing right in that very moment. And as lovely as that thought is, it just isn’t true. Because sometimes our mental health is bad, and it can affect our thoughts, our moods, our emotions, and manifest itself in more physical ways as well.
But because in the past society hasn’t always (and in more places than you’d like to think still doesn’t) accepted mental health as an illness then we just try to ‘power through’ whatever we are doing, whether that’s our job, a household chore, being out with friends or family or anything in between. But let me as you this question:
If you projectile vomited all over, would you be expected to carry on? No, you wouldn’t so just because it’s in your mind, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously.
OK ,OK, so what do I do?
Now this is a very good question, as I’ve preached about why you should go on an adventure. But not how.
Sunday I was feeling super anxious, my mind was being a massive dick to me. There wasn’t a single positive thought that wasn’t tainted, I felt scared, needy, wouldn’t leave my partner alone and completely unable to make decisions. So my partner took the decision out of my hands, he packed a rucksack, picked a destination for us with water and bundled me, him and the dog into the car, on a mini adventure.
So here is my fool proof plan to get out whether you have someone to help you or not.
Say it out loud
If you’re feeling like your mental health is winning say it out loud. Either to yourself or somebody else. Simply I’m feeling anxious, scared or however you are. If you say it out loud it will help you realise that you are not imagining it and the feeling is VERY real. Therefore you will begin to realise that today you need to take extra care of yourself and do what you need to, to make you feel better.
Where do I feel my best?
This stage requires some pre-prep and a list. Really think about what makes you happy. I mean if we could all just jump on a plane and go to paradise for the day, that would be amazing. But our bank accounts and time off quite often dictates otherwise. So ask yourself where do I most feel calm?
A coffee shop?
In a field?
My local area?
For me any body of water helps calm me, a lake, river, the sea, a waterfall. I just seem to inhale the calmness and exhale all my stress away.
Don’t give yourself much choice
Now I don’t know about you but when I’m having a really bad anxiety day, I am panic attack central I cannot make decisions. Once on holiday me and my partner went out for food in Dublin, I was super anxious and my partner (and this is not the first time) has had to look like a control freak and pick my food for me. Because during that moment in time, I had no ability to even do the simplest of choices. It just felt too much for me.
So pick a few local spots that have things that make you feel calm, whether it’s local walks, local coffee shops, maybe it’s just some nice drives. Write all of your ideas down and keep them in a plastic wallet. So that when you are struggling you can take the decision out of your hand, pick a place and just go. Alternatively if you have someone that can help you. Let them know how you are feeling and that you need to just get away. Again taking that decision out of your hand.
I got into more depth HERE about how these different practices can help you so much!
Put that shit on silent
Now this is a biggie! And I’m aware it is a big deal. But just bare with me. Leave your phone at home or the very least, put it on silent when you go on an adventure. As the whole point is that you are focusing on yourself, and making you feel better. Not aimlessly scrolling through social media comparing yourself to everybody else. Or posting about how wonderful you’re feeling, when actually you feel like crap.
As when you just get away that means your getting away from everything. Focus on your surroundings, focus on your feelings, focus on your needs, focus on your wants focus on your adventure!. Everything you’ve probably neglected for far too long. So when you finally take that time away for you, whether it’s an hour, a morning / afternoon or the whole damn day. Make sure you focus ONLY on you boo.
Easier said than done
I understand to go on an adventure is easier said than done. When my mental health is particularly bad I have been guilty of not taking it seriously. I’ve not told anyone at work, or who I am with about how I am feeling. I have just sat at my laptop, or stayed late marking, had a crappy meal, not left my house and just gone straight to bed feeling like shit. And all that did was make me feel worse the next day, and the next day AND …..
You got it the next day.
But now I hold myself accountable for my mental health, because I am responsible to make sure I am well and enjoy my life. If I’m at work I will do everything that has immediate deadlines. And needs to be done and then I will finish. If I’m at home I will get off my laptop and physically turn it off. And I will force myself to GO OUTSIDE. And I feel SOOOO much better for it.
Trust me I know how hard it is, as you feel like you’re doing something naughty because you’re about to go on an adventure when you should be working. But if you’ve done the important stuff then that is all that matters. Everything else can wait, and trust me you will be so much more productive once you’ve looked after yourself.
And if are suffering from anxiety then please check out my blog post here with different things to help you 🙂