Ripples on the Lake

Published in Personal / Mental Health - 2 mins to read

I am determined today to write about something other than running or programming, so here we go.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have actually been feeling pretty good. I’ve been feeling calm. I am settled in my new flat, things are going well at work, my new relationship feels healthy and has been nothing but a positive experience so far. I am, obviously, massively enjoying both running and doing advent of code. My diet and sleep are both within the bounds of what I would consider “good”. It is in these rare periods of time, when I manage to reduce the ways I spend my time down to their simplest form and stick to a routine with some modicum of consistency, that I feel happy - maybe not even happy, in the sense that other people seem to experience happiness, just OK. Content is probably a better word. There are no nagging negative voices to be heard in the vicinty of my consciousness.

I know that the most important thing for my mental health is to try and maintain this state for as long as I can, to allow as few distractions in as possible and to maintain discipline with my routine. For that reason, I am very concerned about my trip home next week, where there will be a myriad social distractions and my routine will be thrown completely off kilter, in part by not having work to focus on but just generally be being away from the place that is now my home. I am worried that I won’t be able to find my center again afterwards and return to this place of peace, and this anxiety is already manifesting itself, in a classic case of pre-emptive self sabotage.

At least now I know what I need to do to find this stillness again. And I know that the most important thing for me over the next couple of weeks is to keep things simple; to read, to run, to sleep, and not to do a whole lot of anything else.