Update Part 2 - Progress and Maintenence

EDIT: Holy crap, it's been a long time since I posted and all I can do is apologise to you lovely readers. I was in a flurry of work changes and a bit of personal stress and so I've been neglecting this blog a little bit. Things are, however, beginning to settle and so my commitment and my motivation to write are both back in full force. Since starting the post below, I've had a bunch more setbacks as well as making a bunch more progress so the information below is a little outdated. However, it is still probably valuable to some so I thought it would make sense to post it regardless.


I do ask that you read through and see if any of what I've said below can be of use to you, but just know that I have so much more to share!! I'm really excited, because I've learned a bunch of new things!


Okay bye, enjoy the rest of this post!








Read part 1 HERE






This is part two of my personal update, with a little insight into how I'm doing coupled with some advice for how you can attempt some self-improvement in the same way I am right now.





Personal Progress






Around October last year there was a situation in which I was very late to work. I had taken extra hours but one of the shifts had completely slipped my mind, so I ended up being around two hours late in. Anyone would be horribly embarrassed, of course, but I was distraught. Getting dressed, leaving, and going into work I cried the whole way. I was shaking, panicked, and to calm myself down I just wrote out exactly how I was feeling in my phone so by the time I got to work I was okay. I'm not going to repeat what I wrote because it scared me a little once I was in a better frame of mine. For a simple mistake to wreck me so seriously, and make me speak about myself in such an ugly way, was a frightening experience. That was pre-IAPT and while I was moving quite slowly with this blog.


Since then I had a similar situation, being late for work because of a personal fuck up, and I was...okay. Embarrassed, apologetic, frustrated, but okay. There was no beating myself up, no tears, no shaking. I dealt with the emotions in a way that made me proud, and when I told people who were familiar with my anxieties they were proud of me too! The minute you can start to see physical evidence of improvement when you start to make personal changes, the motivation is pretty incredible.




In fact, meditate on that whenever you get the chance. How it felt the last time you saw tangible progress from making changes to your daily life, or what it might feel like if you don't know. Use it as motivation for all your next steps, something to work towards.



success

Maintaining the Progress

Now, I've made this wonderful progress but I've also had some scheduling issues that mean I've not had regular therapy sessions to top-up and reinforce these good habits.


So, instead, I've been using cork boards to help me keep on track with a healthier state of mind and keep me focused on progress.










I have two cork boards up in my room with important information listed on them to keep my mind on track. I have a bunch of important, interesting things on them to both make me happy and keep me focused:
  • My work timetable, for practical reasons
  • Two prints, from the wonderful xSkyloft Etsy Shop, with quotes that inspire me and help me challenge my big anxieties
  • Pictures/text reminding me of my goal this year which is Travel, Living in the Now, and Progressing in my career path
  • A Value Elicitation Sheet for times I need to make big decisions
  • Tickets from events I've recently been to/journeys I've been on that help to keep me on track with the whole travelling goal
  • Images that are just aesthetically pleasing
  • Fairy Wings, because duh
  • An envelope entitled "What To Do When I'm Not Okay" with a list of emergency self-care techniques I can use whenever I'm in a dark place
  • My Two Big Lists (we already discussed how important lists are last time, remember?)
One of the lists is in an envelope, so I know it's there but I am unable to fixate or obsess over it, and that is my top 5 goals for the next two years. The second list, which I'm going to talk about in another post (because I am the queen of multi-part posts, I guess) is a Daily Routine. It's full of things to do on a day-to-day basis to maintain a balance of productivity, happiness, and a sense of being present in the here and now.


This is one of many new techniques that are really helping my organisation skills and to make my often frantic thoughts much easier to cope with, the first of which was listing. The next few posts are all going to be about different activities and exercises I've been using, all leading up to another multi-part project similar to the Eight Weeks of Mindfulness I did last year! There, I've said it so now there's accountability if I ignore my promise.

I won't though, because I'm really excited, and hopefully you'll all be able to share in this excitement with me!


Jacqueline Atta-Hayford