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The Book Of Shoulds

This isn't my original concept but a super important one to consider.

When I first started seeing a doctor for my mental health I explained how useless I felt for just lying on the couch not doing anything productive. I should be out running, I should be studying, I should be doing housework. My doc asked me to show her the book of shoulds. Because she had no idea why I thought I should be doing all that stuff. "There is no book of shoulds," she would say, "other people are not you and they probably think they should be doing a whole different list."

She would ask me why I didn't go for a run if I thought I should. I said I hate running. She said that seems like a good reason not to go running. She would ask me why I didn't do the gardening if I thought I should. I said it was hard to worry about weeds in garden when I was grieving.

With this, we discussed Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Now, to be clear, I have zero psychology qualifications and if you are really in need of mental health help please see a professional. But the general gist is that your thoughts, feelings and behaviour are a cycle. So I'm lying on the couch thinking I'm pathetic because I'm not doing all that I should and that makes me feel pathetic. So it's up me to break my cycle and the easiest (for me) is my behaviour. Even though it feels like I'm covered in glue and prying myself up- I sit up. The key thing to feel better is not to do something productive just for the sake of doing something, it's to do something that goes with my values.

I've discovered my values are kindness, creativity and being social/friendly. So thanks Anxiety, because of you I have fed homeless people, painted, written, called friends, visited Mum, and, as a matter of fact, started this blog.

What was I saying? Oh yeah, everyone has their own book of shoulds, but you should chuck it in the fcuk-it bucket and move on. Discover your values and do that.

Beyond Blue is amaze. This page helps in a proper way rather than my obscure ramblings.

x❤x -SL

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