I used to find it really hard to stay positive. Throughout my GCSEs, A-Levels and definitely post-diagnosis I found that I was a real grump. Not only did I not realise it at the time – I definitely notice now that I wasn’t myself.
Looking back, this might have been because at the time I was stressed – or just because I was an ‘angsty’ teen who didn’t know how to control her emotions. But I look back now and think ‘get a f*cking grip’!!
Back then I didn’t know what real anxiety was. Yes, I think that I was stressed because of school and pressure, but anxiety ridden?
It isn’t until you truly experience something out of your control that you realise how it can turn your life upside down. That is why I believe that now: I am more anxious than ever – but I’m also the most happy I have ever been.
I don’t mean the happiest I’ve ever been in life (queue the memories of 8-year-old Mya at Disney World), however it is the first time in the best part of 5 or 6 years I’ve genuinely felt content with my life, the people in my life and where I’m going.
Where do I think this positivity has come from? Probably the procedure I had 2 weeks ago. It’s given me a new found sense of confidence. I feel as if I can stop with my little nervous habits I had and start living again and I never in a million years thought I’d get to that place. It’s amazing!
So, I compiled a list of 10 easy rules that I will or already have been living by to better myself:
1. Be the smiliest person around.
Everyone loves someone who is happy and cheerful – smile more, because you’ll find it helps you both mentally and reduces those frown lines. Who said this can’t be a blog about ICDs and beauty?!
2. Try to find the good in everyone.
This one is hard – because there is (naturally) people you won’t like. But that’s okay as long as if you have nothing nice to say then don’t say it at all. I’ve been trying to look at the good in people and I’ve found it’s helped me to let loose and give less of a sh*t what others think about me!
3. Love your body.
Leading on from the above (2.) it’s an amazing feeling when you get to the point where you love your body for all it’s lumps, bumps and blemishes. I’m in no way ‘fit’ but I know my body has gone through a hell of a lot – so I make sure to remind myself that I’m fine the way I am. This is the perfect time to mention, if you want some true body positivity inspo then I recommend following @bodyposipanda on instagram – she’s truly my confidence goals!
4. Laugh, laugh, laugh!
Very self-explanatory but don’t be afraid to laugh! I used to be the worst for being too scared to do a big belly laugh from time to time. But those belly laughs are what keeps us positive, so I dare you reading this to get together with your friends and have a great time. This has really helped me! Again, leading on from the above – don’t be scared to let loose and look stupid. Whether that’s cutting some shapes on the dance floor in a club or getting up and doing karaoke with your friends, do it! You’ll find it helps you relax and love yourself that little bit more.
4. Get professional help if you need it.
I have no issue in admitting on here that I have turned medical professionals when it comes to feeling like you’re out of control. I’m currently undergoing treatment – but it’s early days so I’m sure I’ll update you as I get a bit more into it. I already 100% recommend getting professional help if you need it as getting an ICD can be both mentally and physically draining. It’s great to talk to someone to clear your head!
5. Look after yourself.
Whether that’s getting your nails done every couple of weeks or having a night in to yourself – having ‘you’ time is so important when you are trying to maintain a clear head. I’ve always believed that self-care is the first step to feeling that little bit better about yourself.
6. Family and friends first.
There was a time last year where I found myself distancing myself from my friends in fear they wouldn’t understand my condition. I’ve since tried my very best to reconnect with those who I haven’t spoken to in a while and make more of an effort to meet up and do things. This not only helps me feel supported and loved, but is also great to meet with both old and current friends for a catch up!
7. Don’t waste time on those who aren’t there.
In the same respect, don’t waste time on fake friends. If they haven’t put in any effort in your time of need then don’t give up your time on people who use you for their own personal gain? However, don’t be bitter – no one likes an indirect tweeter or a sour ex-friend. Let it go and accept you outgrow people (and vice versa).
8. 72 hour rule.
I saw a Facebook post about the ’72 Hour Rule’. If it won’t matter in 72 hours then is it worth worrying about or being upset over? If not then don’t sweat it, everything happens for a reason.
9. TRY to look forward to things.
For me, this is really hard as after all the let-downs I’ve had throughout my ICD experience and the constant problems I’ve faced, it’s only really just getting better. I want to aim to try and get out of the mindset of “I’m really looking forward to this event BUT…” and into the mindset of “I’m really looking forward to this event, full-stop”. This way, I can start feeling back to my old-self and actually enjoy the plans I make instead of worrying something will go wrong health-wise.
10. Go with the flow.
Much like the 72 hour rule, I’ve learnt to just go with it. If you can’t do anything to change a situation then you shouldn’t spend time worrying about it, which is much easier said than done, I know. I used to worry all the time about my ICD firing, but I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it if it did and nor can I prevent it from happening. That is why it is best to forget that you even have a condition and don’t sweat the small stuff.
If the worst happens, so what? You’re alive, you’re breathing and you have your whole life ahead of you. You can worry when you’re older, for now go with the flow and see where it takes you.
P.S: I found some of these lovely drawings (below) by BethDrawsThings on Instagram today and I love them! They’re really great for keeping up your self-love motivation.