I’m currently reading ‘Frazzled’ by Ruby Wax. I’ve never been a fan of hers as I see her to be loud, crass and obnoxious. Reading this book, I see that she acts in those ways, and as I suspected, probably because she felt insecure and anxious and afraid. I understand that. She has lived with depression pretty much as long as she can remember, and while I’m sure that I will get a part of the book where I learn something new, so far, it is just mildly interesting.
That is no slight on Ruby, her book, or her writing in any way. It’s merely an observation that ‘I know this stuff’. I know that in order to be less anxious I have to calm my mind. I know that in order to feel more in control I have to let go of the things I cannot control. I know that in order to have more energy I need 9 hours sleep night and to stretch every day. And I know that in order to be happier, I have to stop doing things that make me unhappy.
And you know what works for you too. Maybe it’s lost beneath the load of things you ‘should’ be doing, or behind the sofa of ‘I’ve got to find the energy to keep going’, or even piled under the weight of the lessons you learnt in childhood… that no longer serve you. But your inner child is still there. Sit with her, be kind to her. Remember what you used to enjoy doing before the pressures of adulthood took over. Listen to that inner voice that says ‘I don’t want to’ and think about why you don’t want to – maybe you’re doing something that feels alien to your core beliefs, or you’re doing something purely because it makes someone else’s life easier – and those things are never going to make you happy.
Those things you used to enjoy doing – make a list and do at least one of them every week. Prioritise yourself and treat yourself like you would a small child – with kindness and time and respect. Once you’ve started doing thing that make YOU happy, you’ll start to notice the things you’re doing that do not make you happy. The things that are not good for your health and wellbeing will become more obvious as you shift the focus back to you, and in time, you’ll find the confidence to say ‘no thank you, that does’t work for me’.