Trying to learn to love myself

I am meant to be learning to love myself. I really don’t, but I am trying to learn.

My self confidence is poor. The problem is I get sucked into it very easily, as it’s my default. For example, I emailed my manager about some training, did some research on options and sent it on to her. She responded asking if I think it’s what we need as she’s not sure (because she’s not the one working on this topic). I read this as “you are wrong” and start doubting myself. I have since spent a lot of time doing more research of different options and spoken to other colleagues who agreed that the training would be useful. And yet it took me absolutely ages to type up this email explaining why it would be useful to send back to my manager.

My self-confidence is so fragile that the tiniest thing can shatter it. I’ve got it in my head at the moment that I am seen as the least capable staff member in my team. I don’t know if that’s true. I don’t know if anyone thinks that. I am scared that my manager thinks I’m crap.

I really struggle to be positive about myself even though I know I have reasons to be sometimes. I am constantly comparing myself to others or wondering (and assuming) what others think of me. I am not assertive and I really struggle to stand up for myself. The slightest perceived rejection and I back right down.

This is something I need to work on! In my Bullet journal I added a new section for this week – learn to love yourself. I’m making a conscious effort as my therapist suggested that I start writing something about myself that I like every day. It’s really hard. I find myself writing things like “I like my dress” but actually, that’s not about me because I like the dress rather than how I look in it.

It’s much easier for me to write a list of things I hate about myself. I wish I wasn’t so negative about myself. I think this self-criticism is so natural to me that I sort of assumed everyone was like that… I sort of thought “normal” people are self deprecating and see themselves negatively… apparently that’s not true. Apparently there are people that can see the positives as well as the negatives, (there are obviously those people who only see their positives, but that’s a whole other topic on narcissism which I’m not going into today!) and who might actually see themselves as worthy people. Who knew?!

Love,

Ellie xx

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Good start to the day

I think what I eat plays a massive part in how I feel. I know that when I feel low or tired (or both), I go on a sugar binge. I struggle to eat sweet things in moderation, and tend to eat lots which then makes me feel even worse.

I have started eating healthy lunches and breakfasts, especially on weekdays as I take my food to work. That way, even if when I eat a load of biscuits etc from our table of treats, at least I’ve eaten lots of fruit and veg too.

For breakfast I usually have fruit, yoghurt and a handful of bran flakes or granola. It’s delicious and healthy, and I think it’s more filling than just a bowl of cereal.

Strawberries, banana, cherry yoghurt and bran flakes

Strawberries, banana, cherry yoghurt and bran flakes – starting the day right

What do you have for breakfast?

Love,

Ellie xx

Memories in a jar

At the beginning of the year, I wrote that I was going to write a happy memory each day and put them all in a jar.

If I am being honest, I did not really think I would stick to it, but I have. I have barely missed a day, and have even taken squares of paper when I have been away from home so I can still write down a memory each day.

Sometimes it’s bloody hard to find something. Sometimes it’s really easy. There have been good days and bad days.

I filled up my first jar. Managed to cram in memories from January until June. I’ve bought another jar the same for the second half of the year. One jar is full of memories, another is empty – full of possibilities.

Love,

Ellie xx

Reading challenge: the halfway mark

I set myself the challenge to read 50 books this year. It’s a lot, but I read a lot so thought it would be doable! I am currently reading my 28th book of the year – I am just over half way through my reading challenge, and just over half way through the year… right on target!

I am taking book recommendations and trying to read things which I might not naturally pick up. I joined an online book club, so generally try to read the books they set, and then every time I hear a book recommendation I write it down, add it to my list of ‘to read’

I have a page in my bullet journal where I write down the book title and author, which month I read it in, and a star rating out of 5. I don’t think I’m a great reviewer though, as the vast majority have received 4 stars! (A few have 3 or less, and so far only 2 have got my 5 star rating!)

I wanted to make a list of some of my favourite books so far this year, and also to ask for any recommendations!

* * * * * * * *

My favourites so far (which I gave a 5 star review) are:

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Obviously I’m not going to give any plot spoilers, but this was a beautifully written book with good pace. I could not stop myself reading it. I haven’t seen the film, so I didn’t know the story.

The way she builds the characters is incredible, leading you to form judgements and then throwing in a curveball that changes your mind here and there through the book.

I am looking forward to reading more of Paula Hawkins’ writing, she brought out a book called Into the Water in 2017. It’s going on my list!

* * * * * * * *

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I am gutted that this is Gail Honeyman’s debut book because I am desperate to read more of her writing. It really draws you in, I laughed and I cried and felt all the feels.

I have recommended this book so many times already (only read it in May), and started recommending it when I was only half way through, which to me is the sign of a pretty exceptional book.

When asked what the book is about, it’s hard to explain – it’s just about a woman and her life, but it is written so well, the character feels so real and it’s all so vivid. It’s the kind of book where you are completely immersed in the story, it becomes real, and then suddenly you come back to reality and realise you are sat on the tube and missed your stop!

There is a particular plot twist which I got to one night, I was almost falling asleep before I read it… AND THEN SUDDENLY I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO AWAKE IN MY LIFE! At this point I decided I would have to finish the book, as there was no way I’d be getting back to sleep any time soon.

* * * * * * * *

I have been reading a few mental health/wellbeing related books too this year, as I have an interest both personally and professionally in mental health. I like to read them so I can recommend books to my clients that I have actually read rather than just off reviews!

I am always looking for new suggestions of books to add to my list, so please let me know what you’ve been reading and can recommend!

Love,

Ellie xx

Fatigue 1, Ellie 0

Can’t concentrate at work today. I feel tired and anxious. Pain is bad too so I came in late.

I don’t know what has brought this on. I feel the need to eat a load of crap. Last night I ate a load of chocolate. Then I always feel sick and hate myself more. I don’t know why I do it.

I have lots of ideas for blog posts but for some reason I’m struggling to get them written. I have nearly finished a post about my book challenge so far, as we have just passed the half way point of 2018! Actually, I have lots of ideas in general and things I need to get done, but I’m finding myself procrastinating instead.

The fatigue is hard today. My body feels heavy, tired and achy. I just want to crawl into bed. Only 3 hours left at work then I can go home to pyjamas, dinner and a pre-football nap!

Love,

Ellie

Enjoying nature

I’m away in Germany for a few days, and I’m having a really nice relaxed time catching up with friends.

The weather is absolutely beautiful, and so I’ve spent most of the weekend outside. Apparently here, swimming in lakes is a big thing, and we went to a lake yesterday, and another one today, and lay out in the sun reading and then went for a swim.

It was bliss. (Once I got over the initial feeling of cold water!!) I am not a strong swimmer, so I didn’t go very far, but it was really nice and refreshing.

Picture of a beautiful lake and a bright blue sky

Nature at its finest – sehr schön

I’ve heard that swimming in cold water is meant to be good for anxiety. I can believe that as I felt very calm – It felt so nice, like a weight had been lifted. I also felt like it helped me relax my body, so the achy-ness calmed down. I was in the moment, and enjoyed the moment. For that short time I wasn’t worrying about anything, I was just enjoying the feeling of being in water, and the sun’s warmth.

I know there’s a lake quite near me at home where you can go swimming, so maybe I’ll give it a go…

Last weekend I was camping with scouts, and this weekend I’ve been outside a lot too. It’s reminded me how beautiful nature is and that it gives me a chance to relax and breathe some fresh air. The lovely weather definitely helps though – it makes nature sparkle! It makes me happy, and anything which makes me happy is good in my book, especially if it’s actually healthy!!

So that’s my new goal for the rest of this year – go outside more. Go to the countryside. Go to the park. Enjoy nature and allow myself time to really relax, because I never really stop, but maybe I should sometimes.

I hope you can enjoy nature too!

Love,

Ellie xx