Personally, January is a write off from the get-go. It has both the anniversary of my Dad’s death and his funeral, a couple of weeks apart. The beginning of a new year never showers me with ambition or resolutions or happiness, instead, I am filled with anxiety that the reality is a painful reminder that another year is beginning without Dad.I first saw a post about ‘Move Your Mind’ as I was scrolling through Instagram.
My immediate reaction was to sign up and give it a go, until I saw it was for the month of January. I didn’t sign up, not immediately, I saved the post and it took me another three weeks to sign up and try and change my dysfunctional relationship with that month. I gave myself every excuse possible to not sign up – hence it took a while. I’m a student nurse so I convinced myself it wasn’t achievable around shift work, or studying and revising. I’m not sure of the exact moment, but something clicked in my brain and I signed up. I knew I needed to change the way I looked at the start of a year.
The challenges to my challenge
During ‘Move Your Mind’ I continued to be presented with reasons to quit. I ended up needing surgery within the first week which meant I had to rest for a few days. Even within the short few days of doing the challenge, I didn’t want to stop. I counted how many days it took me to recover and added them on. My 30-minute sessions were my focus from one day to the next, I became determined not to miss any of them. I carried on fitting in the sessions around my nursing commitments, proud that I didn’t take the first opportunity to quit, which I would usually jump at, and then I contracted Covid-19…
Being a student nurse on placement, I knew it was a risk. I didn’t, however, know just how unwell I would end up being for the first few days. Luckily, I was relatively well but I have an underlying respiratory condition which means it went straight to my chest. I felt awful and was exhausted. This of course meant yet again, I was missing more days of the challenge and by this point I had built up some sponsorship – more than my target! I knew giving up or quitting just wasn’t an option, so again, I rested and slept and added on the missed days to make sure I completed the challenge on 31st January as planned.
The impact of moving
The one thing I noticed throughout the whole month, as much as I didn’t want to let any of my sponsors down, was that I needed to move. I needed to go for a walk, or do yoga, or skip, or whatever it was. When I was in bed with Covid I began to notice my mood shifting. I soon realised the impact that moving had on me, and I missed it.
I am so proud to say I completed the challenge. I made up all of the 30-minutes I missed, so I finished on time with all of the other challengers! Through this January, I definitely learnt so much from moving – which came as a complete shock. I need to move, for me personally it’s a release. It calms my anxious thoughts – or at least helps me to process them in a way so that they don’t become overwhelming.
A sense of achievement
I wanted to write this post, to share my story of ‘Move Your Mind’ because I genuinely did not expect it to have the impact on me that it did. From the challenge itself, to the community of people taking part, to the team at Dorset Mind who do such incredible work!
It is safe to say that this January was another rollercoaster for me personally. But I was helped through by a support network of people I have never met. And if they believe in me without knowing me, maybe it’s okay that I begin to believe in myself.