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You know I said I needed a break? Well I figured it was time I stop speaking and start doing. This year has been a rocky one, with the loss of both grandparents and just the general stress of life, my anxiety has been at an all time high. I started to feel like everything was getting too loud, It made it harder for me to think clearly.
I had a few days booked off of work and I thought there is no way I am going to spend a week at home doing nothing. As much as I really, really wanted to be on a sunny beach somewhere with a few cocktails and some oiled up topless men, my budget could only stretch to a short stay in *Birmingham. I enjoyed exploring Manchester last year so I thought it would be good to work my way through a few more places within the UK.
I always said that my self-care was a lot of little things. The truth is I was too afraid to do something that would actually change anything. When you get real comfortable telling yourself over and over again that a cup of tea and some music therapy is all you need to deal with the constant need to cry every other day, you start to believe it.
I was comfortable thinking I was actually doing something to manage the stress and anxiety, but all I was doing was masking the real issue. I was really emotional when I left home for my train to Birmingham, because I was actually doing something that I needed. I spend way too much time putting others before myself, which is not a bad thing when you know when to put yourself first. But I don’t know when to put myself first, and even through Birmingham wasn’t the beach trip I really wanted and needed, it was still the time away from everything that I desperately needed.
Take a Break
This trip just made me realise just how much I like being alone, I could have done with a friend around to take a few pictures of me when I went to the beautiful Birmingham Botanical Gardens, but hey I know for next time to get myself a photographer.
I didn’t venture too far out, I stayed pretty close to the centre, I didn’t feel comfortable enough to really go exploring.
I really enjoyed the peace and quiet, Dagenham is pretty quiet when you get used to the police sirens and the speeding cars on the A13. I feel like Birmingham has a more clam and relaxed vibe to it, everyone in London seems to always be in some type of rush.
I gave myself the chance to truly find out what it is that I need to help when I feel like everything is getting a bit chaotic. There is no quick fix, as much as I wish there was a magical tea to make it all go away so I can just get on with my life, that just isn’t the case. I have to make some big decisions in order to create the life that I want to live, and that is not easy. It has been made clear that in order for me to feel better long-term, I need to do the things that scare me, the therapy, the solo trips, the honest conversations about my feelings.
Self care is about doing what you have to do in order to get clarity. Mental health has a way of blurring your vision and distorting reality, self-care clears the fog and puts everything into perspective. This trip has done some of that for me, given me the clarity I needed in order to move forward.