Bag of tricks

I am aware I have slipped off the radar a little recently. I don’t post very often but I do try to read and keep up with my blogging community, their posts and comment where appropriate. I haven’t done that for a week now and thought I best say ‘hello’ and check in!

I continued to struggle with sleep and anxiety for the best part of the week and found the UK lockdown number 3, home schooling two teenage boys and working from both home and the hospital quite triggering in terms of stress levels. Many of my husband’s family all tested positive for Covid last weekend, including his dad and sister. It seems as though his mum and 91 year old Nan have avoided it somehow, which is great news! On Wednesday I felt physically sick from tiredness, stress and headaches so I made the decision to call ‘time out’, have someone else cover my clinic and go to bed for two hours. After I woke up, I made the decision to get a handle on my anxiety and stress before I ended up sliding downhill into depression. I worked a little, sorted out a laptop from school for one of the boys to use (and stop him use he kept missing online lessons) and did a yoga session. Then took a long bath!

Since my melt down on Wednesday, I have picked up the regular yoga again. I have taken baths every evening and read a novel while lying in the soap suds. I have emailed relevant people at work to,yet again, raise the issue of my pay and treatment, and I have included my union rep. I am carrying out a skin care regime morning and night and I love it. My skin feels so hydrated and my eyes are no longer puffy and sore. I walked 4 miles yesterday and today. I have managed two nights of 7hrs uninterrupted sleep and I already feel the anxiety lessening. Relationships at home are still fraught, especially with the added pressure of 4 of us trying to work and live under one roof. No space and a lot of tension. But, here’s the thing. Focus on reducing anxiety over all and when I feel less anxious, I can handle my home situation more sensitively and I am less reactive. It’s true what I have been told, look after my own well being first and then deal with the other stuff.

Ditching the sugar is unfortunately remaining more challenging than I would have hoped. It has to almost be completely removed from my diet for me to succeed because, as many of you will know and understand, there is no ‘moderation’ in my world. Once I start with the sugar, it takes over and becomes my next addiction. It simply proves to me that, should I ever wish to try alcohol again, I would never ever stop at just one drink. I might manage one the first night, but within days it would be far more and with increasing frequency. It is not worth the risk. I never want to go back to the torment and trauma of the first steps in giving up. I’m not sure I’d ever succeed if I tried to abstain again!

So, my friends, I am using every tool I currently have in my box. I hope my tool box is actually like Mary Poppins’ bag, bottomless. I’ll keep discovering and adding different things that help and support me. Using my bottomless bag, these periods of anxiety, stress and overwhelm should feel easier to deal with, have less impact on my mental health and not throw me quite so violently off course. A magic shield and a bottomless bag of tricks … what more could a girl ask for!?

Claire x


35 thoughts on “Bag of tricks”

  1. Please put virtual hugs from us in your bag, Claire!!! I really hope your husband’s family gets better quickly. Keep taking those nightly baths and doing yoga. Big hugs!!!! 🤗❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I swear you are my soul twin, I resonate so much with this. Loving the skin care too and I have what I call a dodgy sugar switch. It’s all or nothing unfortunately. You’re absolutely right though, it just shows what we would be like if we drank again. I never thought about it like that xxxx big hugs re the home life xxx

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Great job taking time for yourself.
    I have left my teen to manage his online learning himself. I am assuming this will help him when he is at university next year. They have to learn time management and become self sufficient eventually. Unless help is requested, it is not given.

    Funny, I helped him with a grade 12 math problem last week and I was able to do it. 30 years later I guess I do have a math brain, lol. I suppose engineering has been the right career for me.

    Keep things small. I am focusing on daily plans and a week look ahead. No more. The world is in flux.

    Stillness and peace

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yep, small tasks and taking it as easy as possible I think. My 16 year old can be left to manage it himself but my 13 year old struggles and we didn’t have enough tech equipment for him. All sorted now so hopefully this week will be less fraught x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for checking in. I can just see you floating through the air with your bottomless bag a tricks. I think that’s exactly what we need, these days!💕

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow Claire, seriously you are doing SO WELL given the circumstances and using all the tools you have. I’m impressed. And that you would actually see effects on the anxiety levels and notice them decreasing, that’s so encouraging. It means that self-are is REAL and that it WORKS. Which I Wish I could remember more often ^^ (i.e. BEFORE I Start to feel awful and not know why ^^). As not the sugar, I kind of want to say: don’t be too hard on yourself/too hyperperfectionist. We can’t fix it all/do it all/be perfect all at once. Think of how f****g far you’e come in a Little over a year. It’s like you’ve packed 10 years of an “ordinary” person’s development into one ^^ So yeah, enjoy that piece of chocolate AND that yoga, instead of beating yourself up over the sugar thing like we used to do after drinking (I Believe we are also addicted to self-flaggelation, not just substances^^). The goal is to be at peace with ourselves, not control ourselves like fascist dictators 🙂 xxx ok long speech over. BIG BIG HUG ❤ xxx Anne


    1. Oh I am addicted to bloody everything me!😂😂
      You are so right though Anne. I have recognised today how I feel when I feel anxious and how I absolutely hate the feeling. I want it gone, I want to shut it out and hide away until it fades. I am also recognising the link between anxiety and depression. Too much of those feeling of anxiety lead me into disengagement and disconnection because then I can ‘deal’ with it. I so wanted to get into my bed today but my husband made me go out for a long walk. I breathed in the air and I came home feeling better. A little yoga and cup of tea. What I can’t work out is what causes it. Why today was worse than yesterday. There is sometimes no reason at all. 🤷‍♀️ Just got to keep going … I know it passes and I can manage it. I just can’t let it take over! Sending love and hugs to you xxx


  6. Hang in there Claire! You’re dealing with SO much right now. And I think as women we always take the brunt of the household burdens. Although I don’t have children I know so many friends and my sister are going through the exact same stresses, dealing with teens at home, trying to work and keep them on track at the same time. It’s SO challenging. It’s great that you’ve been able to use your bag of tricks and hang in there. You should be very proud of yourself! Maybe you need a reward like a new cozy hoodie or sweater to curl up in? Stay cozy 😊xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s going to be my word of the year .. ‘cozy’! I love it. This week will be better I am sure. We will have got used to it more by then. Anxiety is a weird thing. I have managed it well for a long while now (other than my little trial of no antidepressants at all) and yet this past few weeks it’s just not letting me alone. Today is not a good day. I’m remaining cozy and indoors as that helps me so much when I feel like this. You stay cozy too 🤗 xx


  7. Hi Claire!! I’m sorry your anxiety just won’t let up the past few weeks. You amaze me how your handing it!! Wow! I love your Mary Poppins bag reference, that was super cute! I read today isn’t a good day and I want to send a really big hug your way! I am always thinking of ya, especially when I have a cuppa! 😉 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thanks my lovely friend. I am trying to see the positives in being able to identify my anxiety for what it is now. I could see today that I really did not like the feeling and wanted to hide away and shut it out. That’s what I did years ago and depression followed on. I think I now understand that link. I forced myself to go for a long walk and it really helped me. Then a 20 minute yoga. So, no, it isn’t a good day today but I am using the tricks in the bag and today they helped. Xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is wonderful to hear. Im so happy that you have found a link to help you when you need it most. I’m truly thinking of you and hoping you feel better soon. ❤️❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

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