• Alexa Dione Francis

So Not Living My Best Life Right Now

So my self esteem is on the floor. And she won't get up. She's started to get quite pally-pally with my Anxiety too, both of them together is just a bit much really. I never know how long I'll feel like this; could be days or could be weeks. Nothing has to happen for me to have a bit of a set back in my self-confidence either but then, equally, one scroll through my Instagram feed or a quick glance at the explore page is enough for me to immediately get off of my bed (scattering food wrappers everywhere) and start doing squats or sit ups. I know I'm not the only one who does that either, I stand with you all in solidarity. I won't lie, it is unlikely that this post will be positive but it will be honest at least.

- A visual demonstration of how I have feeling the past couple of weeks by Lizzie McGuire (2002)

Recently I have reached a point where I am not comfortable with my weight. I'm not bothered by the number on the scales because I could weigh as much as I do now but in muscle. I have also been absolutely consumed by the whole 'what you really look like' thing which is perfectly summarised by the tweets below. I also apologise if my mentioning of this gets under your skin too but I think about it all the time. I am fine with Mirror Me, she's good and I also like Snapchat Camera Me but turns out she is the same as Mirror Me...then there's iPhone Camera Me which I have a nasty feeling is Real-Life Me. She's my least favourite. It has made me weirdly self-conscious and I feel like my whole face is really unsymmetrical? It seems so stupid trust me, I know, and yet it has really knocked my confidence. I now am trying to overcompensate these feelings by wearing a full-face of makeup everyday which needless to say has not helped my poor, sensitive skin either. In the effort of trying to make myself feel prettier I managed to make myself feel worse!

I've been so anxious recently too which has resulted in all of these insecurities being magnified into a way bigger issue than they should be. This bout of anxiety has been more subconscious as opposed to having panic attacks; there are many different things people with anxiety experience and I feel it is important to highlight that it's not the same for everyone. In this day and age, it is so easy to feel stressed, stress is everywhere. Everything moves quickly, life is busy and fast-paced even if you feel like you're not doing much in your day. We as humans can only take so much, especially if you're the kind of person who tends to hold things in or bottles up your stress and emotions. For someone with anxiety, I've found it is really important to learn what the warning signs are if I am headed down the road of being completely overwhelmed.

I don't hide the fact that I have anxiety, the more people that feel mental health is an okay thing to talk about, well, that's when we as a society will start getting somewhere. I can function perfectly fine a lot of the time but when I ignore the warning signs and let that anxiety sit, that's when I start to spiral slightly. Ignoring the warning signs can affect me in different ways too; I can feel low and sad, I can feel really self-conscious, I can be irritable and angry, there's really no telling. It's also worth mentioning that while these kinds of feelings can be brought on by dealing with pressures; for example, currently I am behind in my final project that determines my grades that I will leave college with and I am determined to get a Distinction but at what cost? Equally, absolutely nothing can trigger these feelings and it's just the way it goes sometimes. Anxiety, stress and low self esteem are all linked (isn't that fun? The more you know, right?) stress and difficult life events as well as bereavement are all things that can have a negative effect on self esteem.

When I feel so crappy I am not motivated to do much, I tend to hermit myself away in the hope that things will just get better. It's so silly, in order for me to feel better about my appearance at least (one thing at a time or I might explode) I need to start eating better.

I don't mean dieting, I've just been eating a lot of majorly unhealthy food in large quantities (in my defence, it has just been Easter) so my mum is going to be cooking Slimming World meals for the whole family as we've all been eating so many cakey things that even Mr Kipling would tell us to have something green and healthy. I have lost 1lb this week after being stuck at a constant weight that is heavier than I should be but that little 1lb has given me that spark of positivity do carry on with running/exercising. I know literally everyone says it but exercising does do wonders for your mental health, even going for a walk can free up some space in your anxious brain. This is coming from someone who loathed P.E. at school so, go get some fresh air.

Side note, I think I will start communicating my feelings through Lizzie McGuire's cartoon/OG Bitmoji forever now, there is literally one for every mood or situation. Such a golden, unproblematic show. I digress.

In truth, I am not entirely sure what the purpose of this post is. It makes me feel better to write about it and I share it online because there's a chance someone is feeling the same way. Something as little as knowing that somebody else feels this shitty for either all sorts of reasons or none at all like you can be enough and a comfort. I do feel it is important to share these sorts of feelings though. I've been working on something for my final college project and amongst the research, I came across a book by Corinne Sweet called 'The Anxiety Journal'. I'm going to do a full blog post soon on all the various things that help me when I'm not feeling my best whether that's understanding more about anxiety or a comforting outlet that helps me feel more at ease but for now, here's what it looks like! Think of it as a little teaser. And I know I say this every time but I really will be trying my best to post more regularly too.

Anyway, see you soon.

All my love,

Alexa x