Sorry this is a little late, but I've been working quite a lot this week and not had time for myself really!
I arrived at Session 4 feeling very tired, low and feeling a little worried about the future of my job. I'd reached a point where I'd got through the adrenaline of the new job and hit the exhaustion wall. It's certainly very difficult for me to get used to working again, and mostly having that work-life balance that is so important for up-keeping my mental health.
This week we went through the Activity Diary that I filled out and highlighted areas of; closeness, achievement, enjoyment and overall happiness. It was quite clear that as the week carried on I was struggling. I was staying in bed later, doing less things that I enjoyed and generally isolating myself more.
We then discussed the correlation between feeling happy and what I had been doing at the time. Generally when I was closer to others and doing the things I enjoyed I was much happier. I know this goes without saying but having it on paper is quite good to look at I guess.
After we did this I was given another activity diary, but this time it was for planning activities for the times where I find myself struggling the most. Generally I have a better day when I'm up earlier or have something to do. So, the idea is that I plan something so I'm more motivated to get up earlier and also just to utilise the time I have and live my life the way I want to.
I then gave Anita, my counsellor, the Boring Self-Care Challenge sheet and showed her an example of how I would fill it out. She has taken this to have a look at as it's always good to find new/different ways of helping people out.
Again, I left this session feeling much more positive than I did when I went in. It's really good to check in with someone who understands the way I'm feeling which sort of 'normalises' it when I've got lower self-esteem. I really needed it this week so I'm very grateful.
Next week is session 5 which will possibly be my last session. This scares me a little as I feel like these sessions have been important for me as they have sat beside my return to work, but I'm not sure that I'm ready to let go of the safety net of therapy. However I guess with the NHS mental health system it's what I should expect.