''You don’t have to be positive all the time. It’s perfectly okay to feel sad, angry, annoyed, frustrated, scared, or anxious. Having feelings doesn’t make you a ‘negative person.’ It makes you human.'' -
This morning, I got up and felt like I had to write. It is now 5 weeks until we leave on this brilliant and beautiful adventure, however, I think we have both been feeling the pressure. In fact, I know we have, and it’s started to take a toll.
Imagine, coming home from a holiday where you start to feel those ‘holiday blues’, we’ve all had it right? Well, in stead of feeling this after our trip we are feeling this beforehand. The pressure of packing up our lives, getting rid of practically everything (as neither of us own a house that we can leave stuff in), the financial strain a trip like this can bring and the overwhelming panic of feeling like we have not planned enough or that we have forgotten something, is hard, in fact it’s really bloody hard.
We both feel flat. We are in this weird time frame of just waiting to leave after constant planning for the past 6 months and it is causing a strain on everything. Don’t get me wrong, I love where we live, I love our friends here and I actually love my routine of working, going to the gym and socializing with the amazing humans I have met in Taupo. Last night in fact, I cried watching TV , for no other reason than I was feeling sad that I would miss people. I guess it’s just that feeling of emptiness and to really having a place to be that has put us both on this weird discourse of uncertainty.
Then the anxiety takes control and the negativity starts to seep through into my thought imagining the worst-case scenario about EVERYTHING…It has been an incredibly stressful weekend.
Side tracking for a minute- Did you know that according to figures by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 18.1% of the population every year. Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year!!
It is defined as an experience that causes fear, worry, apprehension, and nervousness. In some cases, anxiety can affect your life and interfere with your daily activities such as schooling, work, and relationships – DING DING DING, yes, of course it does and I have it all.
However, anxiety is a normal experience and I have learnt to live with it for many years. At this point I actually need to give a shout out to Leo as he has to live with me, and that’s not easy, but for anyone with high functioning anxiety will know – it’s not easy for us either. It’s not a fun existence when you have the feeling of constant panic about pretty much everything and feel like if there is no plan for even the smallest activity then life as we know it will fall apart.
I am focusing on being more present and taking each day as it comes, looking forward to everything in day to day life as well as the big trip ahead. For me, I love going to bed as I know that in the morning I will make breakfast. For most people that’s the norm, but for me I actually love it. I make the best peanut butter porridge and it is my go to each day. To be honest, I look forward to every meal as I love food, but that’s not all. I look forward to the gym each day, to my favorite TV programme, to washing my hair and sitting reading a few chapters in my book with a cup of tea.
I have found that looking forward to even the smallest parts of my day can not only make that day more enjoyable, but it can also improve my outlook on how I am feeling about life, helping to appreciate what I have and keeping me from getting stressed out (too much).
Looking forward to each day I have the ability to realize the millions of silver linings that I have been ignoring, because I have been skimming past them for so long and not living life in the present.
Overall, I need to stop thinking about everything. I need to just live as I have a truly wonderful life, we both do. If I’m writing an email or immersed into my work, I hone in on how good it feels to be typing. If I’m driving, I crack up the music, let me hair down and sing my heart out making sure to appreciate the scenery with extra attention to detail, especially in and around Taupo where we live as we live in NZ paradise. The trickiest one for me is I stop trying to control everything. It’s so hard for me to not be in control, I panic but I know in order to improve my mental health I just live in the moment.
‘’You don’t need to travel the world or do big things to live an extraordinary life. Be present. Notice the beauty around you. Be curious. Try the things that interest you. Be brave. Start the things you’ve been putting off. Create something. Learn something. Teach something. And do it all for the love of it’’.
Anyway, that’s me off to go watch Vanderpump rules and be a potato for the next hour!
Hey! I'm Ally. I left the UK in 2011 to move overseas and ended up in New Zealand - my new home. This year we are taking a gap year to loop the world stopping in some AMAZING destinations - and I'm passionate about sharing these adventures with you!