Mental Floss #1

Ever feel like there is just too damn much going on, and your head feels like it’ll pop? I get it every now and then. I’ll be going along just fine, making plans, keeping busy, meeting people, doing things – LOTS of things – and then suddenly, out of the blue, I’ll feel the overwhelming sense of dread, that I Can’t Cope.

At the moment, I’m blaming the exams that I’m currently sitting. Yesterday was the first, and a lot better than I was expecting (on Monday night, I was – for some reason – convinced that all the questions were going to be on topics I hadn’t revised. This nearly led to meltdown) but I still have two more to go, and they will be harder.

I am slowly learning how to deal with mental meltdown, but it is certainly an ongoing thing. I think the best thing you can do when faced with the overwhelming threat of failure/embarrassment/painful reality is to take some time out, to step back and get some perspective, and most importantly, do something that reminds you how to have fun. This is what I like to call my Mental Floss (oh, aren’t I witty?).

You see, this is where my New Year’s Resolution #7 comes in – to forgive myself. You know what? You don’t need to be doing something practical and productive 24/7. It is OK to take some “you time” to muck about for the sheer hell of it.

From now on, when I feel the pressure mounting up, I’ll be on here, drafting a Mental Floss post: I’ll be naming 5 different things that are keeping me grounded at the moment: some ways that I’m keeping my mental health in good shape.

So, without further delay:

1) My Wii. As a New Year’s gift to myself, I finally got a Wii, and Wii Fit Plus to go with it. Yes, that is my Body Test result for yesterday, and yes, I do currently weigh in at a mighty 12 stone. I don’t regret it – the festive binge felt amazing, and I do love food. However, I am well aware that I am not in the healthiest of places right now, and as a long-time supporter of the British Heart Foundation, this is not good and it’s not right. Before you start: yes I KNOW Wii Fit doesn’t really come close to proper exercise, but the yoga and muscle exercises I find really focussing and relaxing. And that’s why it’s Mental Floss.

2) Talking of supporting charities, I can’t wait to get back to SANE on Thursday – I haven’t been in to volunteer for a couple of weeks now (due to holiday), and I’ve really missed it. They do wonderful work, and  it’s really life-affirming to know that I’m a part of it. That’s there brand new website, by the way – went live only yesterday.

3) My dear, dear books. Whilst I haven’t yet finished reading my first book of 2011, I’ve been reading bits and pieces where and when I can. Obviously, my priority reading is revision for exams, but it’s nice to escape with a non-curriculum book once in a while…

4) The Oatmeal. Discovered this the other day, and it has been making me chuckle heartily. Very similar to Hyperbole and a Half (in terms of whimsical drawing style vs. cynical text), which certainly tickles my funny bone.

5) Staying indoors. It may be no surprise to you (or maybe it is?) that I’m a bit sociophobic. I love to leave the house when it means going for a walk in the countryside, but when it means enduring the bustle of thousands of London strangers, most days I’d just rather not. And at the moment, I have no reason (aside from exams) to leave the house. That is just dandy by me. I know it’s unhealthy in the long term, but for a few days, I think it’s fine to keep your own company.

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