Listen to Yourself05:22
Over the past few months, this is something which has been a big part of my life. As I finally escaped a 3 year, abusive relationship, my outlook on life, feelings and mood changed a lot. Some days I was so happy and optimistic and others I was down and couldn't even think about the future. I realised that these feelings were absolutely normal and to listen to myself and how I was feeling. If I was feeling particularly motivated it, I took advantage of that and tried to get as much done as possible and if I didn't feel that I could think about the future on that particular day, then I wouldn't force myself because no feeling is forever and I knew that perhaps the next day would be better.
Isn't it funny how some days you wake up and you feel so motivated to do loads of things and others you just think 'nope, not today'. That is also completely normal and I think we should take our natural feelings into account instead of trying to push through them all the time. For instance, if you really don't fancy the gym today then do something else, another day you might be really excited to do some exercise, so make the most of it and push yourself even harder. I mean, you need to put it into perspective too, don't use this as en excuse to say you just 'don't feel like going to work today...for the next few weeks hahaaa!'.
Personally, for me I always used to put so much pressure on myself to do everything, go everywhere etc etc, even if it was things which I would get so worried and anxious about beforehand, I would force myself to do it regardless but after reaching a bad place in my life, it helped to get everything into perspective. I started to really listen to myself, be kinder to myself, give myself a break, do things which I enjoyed when I could. But I also pushed myself in the positive aspects of my life which I knew would make my life better and help me; such as fitness, health, university and career. Just knowing that I could have a break if I needed or wanted, was massive motivation.
Examples of how this has helped me and how I use this is that I know I feel better if I wake up early and get things done- I like to have been to the gym, showered and had breakfast before 11am and then have the rest of the day to do whatever it is I've got to do. I like to wind down from about 7pm, so I get up earlier and get things done then. I know other people work better in the evening, but listen to yourself and plan your day accordingly. I noticed that if I woke up late, it sometimes puts me in a negative mood and makes me feel unproductive and then I don't really get much done. Also, some evenings I feel in a social mood to hang out with all my friends, cook with them, chat, watch TV, a movie, or go out but equally, other days I just want my own company, to watch a programme, read a book or whatever. Sometimes I just have an overwhelming desire to go to Tesco, get some nachos and dips and watch Gogglebox or Corrie and Emmerdale in bed, other nights I want to go out and sing and dance until 4am. Do what you feel like.
I don't know if I just lost the ability to listen to myself. After spending most of my time, night and day with another person, for the last 3 years, especially someone who I was weary of and who I adapted my behaviour to suit them and their mood, I just completely lost interest in myself, without even realising (which is the scary part!!). My life became 'him'- trying to make him happy and desperately trying to avoid his anger and aggression.
Although this may have been the reason why I personally lost sight of listening to myself, I know it's something which is easily sacrificed and forgotten about by many, in our fast-paced world, so I'm sure this is very relevant. For me, getting out of that situation and taking the time to listen and understand my feelings has helped me so much. It's not only helped me to get over the trauma but it helps in everyday life to keep me motivated and positive.
I really hope that maybe this helps others and it might inspire you to take the time out for yourself. I promise that you will notice the positive difference, it may even change your life!