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Mental Health Track 026

Back in the habit. Granted, I did crash out shockingly early (for me) last night at nine-thirty, which is a little bit sooner than I’d planned. I guess I was just inspired by my sister-in-law’s epically early bedtimes and watching young kids get packed off for bed before nine. In my case, we were watching Florida Man, and enjoying the Tim Dorsey-esque appalling sequence of events while my eyes seemed to be slowly blinking backwards, so it was definitely time to head to bed. I always worry that I’ll then spend even longer falling asleep or will wake up even earlier. Not a problem, I certainly conked out before my white noise app stopped. I did wake up a few times in the night, mostly I think in attempting to reset the dream I was having, to no great success, so it remained repetitive and quite frustrating. Something about redoing my first year at university, or doing it again years later and reusing the same notes while being in the same lectures, often with the same people although they were taking the classes for the first time. It was rather tedious and I wish I’d escaped it. I was also woken by Geiger, who demanded snuggles, having sulked outside in the rain for the whole afternoon since we returned from York. He’s an ardent little fellow, with a purr deep enough to get through my earplugs and mask.

I still feel a little tired, but I can feel the sunlight waking me up, as is this activity. I know I go on about how this is really self-indulgent (and it is), but I really do think it’s helping me to pay attention to myself and what’s going on internally. While it is vaguely disappointing to report that all is basically well (I could do without the headaches which keep popping up) that doesn’t feel like something I can reasonably complain about…

I had forgotten how tiring it is to be around people for several days in a row! I’ve no idea how any of us managed this at school and university, or even in an office job. It’s exhausting! There’s always someone to talk to, or who wants to talk to you. Sure, I like all of them – a lot – but I’m thrilled to have a couple of days working from home in near-silence throughout. I’d never previously considered whether it was the sheer presence of others which made working in an office so devastatingly tiring. I suppose it’s an attentiveness thing: we can only really focus on so many things at once, we know being able to focus is often challenging, so let’s not cram people together and give them all constant distractions. It probably explains a lot of the stress and anxiety I used to feel, both back at probation and in publishing. It diminished somewhat moving into a smaller team and into work that suited me better, but all those additional random points of contact around me all the time, never knowing what anyone was going to do or say, or what extra emotional baggage they were lugging in from their own lives and how that would be expressed… very stressful! Perhaps working from home is the thing that annihilated the vast majority of that anxiety – the impact of others is limited, and to a certain extent can only be allowed in if I choose to let them (not that I’d reject a Teams call if it came in, honest). That, and being in an environment I’ve designed is pretty great. Not a hostile cubicle jungle where we’ve perhaps been permitted to customise our workspaces with pictures and toys, or the bizarrely underground-yet-two-floors-up office I was last in with no natural light. It’s a big change to be surrounded by all my books, LEGO, stuff and the outdoors. And the sofa bed has been handy over the last couple of weeks as well. Oh, and being able to enjoy either silence plus random outside noise, or blasting 90s jungle is just great.

Mental Health Track

A purposeful daily attempt to track how I feel and what I’m doing.

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