When You Want To Run Away

Regular readers will have noticed my general absence from the airwaves for the last few weeks; it’s already the 22nd of June and I’ve only published ONE blog post. I normally average two or three a week, so this is unusual, to say the least. That’s not to say that I haven’t written any, I’ve actually written several, but have ended up scrapping them in frustration, unhappy with the content, with the topic and with myself. That’s really the crux of it; I’ve had a few weeks of tumultuous mental health and have generally felt really crappy about my blog. There’s no real reason why, as there frequently isn’t with these sort of things. My life is pretty decent; I’m content with where I am and what I’m doing, and the people I surround myself with. It could be better, but it could be an awful lot worse. 

Whenever I’m having a bad mental health day (or week, in this case), my immediate reaction is to want to do a runner. I’m an optimist in many ways, and this is never more evident than when my mood nosedives; rather than dwelling on the doom and gloom that it feels like I’m drowning in, I automatically want to get out of it. Unfortunately, the way out for me always seems to be to up-sticks and move away from everything I know. My mind tells me that the answer is to quit my job, leave everyone and everything and just move away. Literally run away and start again. Disappear and open a kayak rental shop in Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand. Or train as a scuba diver and explore the ocean floor doing retrieval for shipping companies. Or take a video camera and travel the world, hopefully eventually getting paid to be a news reporter in some far-flung place. 

I can’t really afford any of these grand ideas, but at my lowest moments I reassure myself that it’s doable, and I could find a way. This sort of thinking isn’t healthy, particularly when the only things I’m unhappy with in my life are to do with myself, rather than anyone or anything around me. Were I to follow my feet and run away to open a café in Stockholm, those things would still be with me. Removing the people I love, the places I know and everything I’ve worked for wouldn’t solve my problems; at best it would force me to face up to them, at worst it would send me into a disastrous spiral of depression. Every time I emerge from that negative headspace I’m so glad that I didn’t give into my urge to flee; it really wouldn’t be a good idea.

Whenever I get like this, there’s still a rational little part of me that knows I need to snap out of it. There’s no real way to do it, but there are a few things that I find help me when I’m seriously considering booking a one-way ticket out of here. I figure that if anyone else has a similar urge when their mental health deteriorates, these might be of some help. 

Bathtime and chill

Sometimes all you need is an evening off. An evening where you choose to forget about the washing you’ve got piling up, the essay you’ve been putting off for weeks or that family member that will not stop nagging you. If you get an opportunity to have an evening to yourself, take it and run with it. If you live with family that can be tricky, but sometimes all you need to do is ask to be left alone for an evening. If you’re living with friends it can be even harder, in which case a trip back to the ‘rents might be in order (they’re also more likely to have a bath, which is a bonus). 

An evening of clichéd luxury: a face mask in the bath, surrounded by candles (keep the towels away from them folks, learnt that the hard way), and some chilled out music can work wonders. Start that book you’ve been meaning to read for months and generally wind down. Write a huge master to do list before you go to sleep, including what needs to be done by when, so that in the morning you know what you need to do that day and don’t get too bogged down by everything. For real though, figuring out what can wait and what actually needs to be done soon makes such a difference to your to-do lists; all of sudden there are twenty-three things you don’t need to worry about right now – hurray! Get an early night in clean pyjamas and hopefully, you’ll wake up refreshed and feeling like you can tackle those things that have been piling up.

Take a day trip

Get on a train. Drive for a few hours away from where you live. Hell, even a walk to an area you don’t know can be amazing. Getting out of the little bubble I live in helps me to breathe and get a little perspective on my problems. Even if I don’t know what’s wrong, getting some fresh air and seeing some new places makes me forget about things for a little while, and somehow, when I come home I feel a little lighter. There’s more out there than just my confused headspace. 

I actually spend very little time in the area where I live; I live right next to Aldi and the tram stop I take to work, and I spend all of my free time out of my flat in the city centre. It’s a bit odd, as it means a five-minute walk and I’m in a totally new area. Walks in the park across the road, playing with other people’s dogs and generally getting outside have helped me so much in the last two weeks. I discovered a cool Asian market a mile or so away (that sells watermelons bigger than my thighs), a very nice housing estate that has many, many cats and a much quicker route to the post office, which is always handy. 

Book a holiday

I booked a trip to Japan, and my mood skyrocketed. This holiday has been in the works for a while; my brother is moving there in September so I’m going with him ahead of time to get to know the area and help him settle in. We’re great friends and neither of us speaks the language, so it should be fairly hilarious. 

Just knowing that I have something to look forward to, a chance to get out of the country and see new things feels like a weight has been lifted. I realise that this is not a realistic option for a lot of people, but if you’ve got the money and have been thinking about doing it anyway, then just book it! Even if it’s a night in a B&B or a hostel in Glasgow, if you’ve never been to Glasgow it’s pretty exciting. Even if the trip isn’t for months, just knowing that there’s light at the end of the tunnel can help.  

As much as I hope that none of you feel like I have been over the last two weeks, if you are, perhaps one of these things will help you to gain a little control over your mental state and the world around you before you leave the continent to become a professional cage diver. 

Hopefully, there will be a serious increase in content for the rest of June (I feel seriously bad about it because the wonderful Gwennan has, once again, been propping up my blog). I’ll try not to leave such a big gap before the next post!

Stalk me!

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  1. Rebecca Ellis
    June 22, 2017 / 9:14 pm

    I have to say I'm very much the same. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to throw in the towel, but my boyfriend always persuades me to keep doing what I'm doing because he can see how much I want to write, that and he just loves reading my stuff haha. I hope that things pick up a bit in regards to your mental health, I was getting a bit frazzled myself this week.Great tips, I find me time is the best – whether its a book, or a walk. In-fact exercising is another great way of taking your mind of stuff xwww.sheintheknow.co.uk

    • Bethany
      July 5, 2017 / 3:15 pm

      Ah you're so right about exercise! I thought about including it, but sometimes I'll start working out and end up giving up halfway through and feeling even worse. When I actually make it through workout though, the feeling of accomplishment and sheer adrenaline is amazing and boosts my mood SO much.Thanks so much for commenting 🙂

  2. Gwennan Rees
    June 22, 2017 / 10:41 pm

    I came to comment here before I even realised you gave me a shout out at the bottom 😂 I'm SO on board with this I get exactly the same thing. I've had a pretty tumultuous home life for a few years and it's fallen on me to be the rock of the family and literally every few months the weight gets too much for me and i feel like I need to just go away by myself for a bit, get in the car and drive hours and hours, I absolutely know this feeling! Japan sounds amazing and I hope you get some time out, get a break and have a wonderful time! Love you xxxxxxx

    • Bethany
      July 5, 2017 / 3:18 pm

      I seem to end up giving you a shout out in every other post at the moment! I feel ya; it sucks when everyone else seems like they're leaning on you and you feel like you don't have anyone to lean on. I hope things have improved for you of late, but I'm always here if you need to chat/rant. xxxxxxx

  3. Elodie
    June 27, 2017 / 1:36 pm

    Last time I felt low, it was the middle of the night. I was alone and on the verge of a mental breakdown. So, I ended up booking a three month trip to South Korea. I just looked at the best offers I could find to go somewhere new and far away and boom, there it was. See, it is completely possible! You can do it for sure! xx

    • Bethany
      July 5, 2017 / 3:20 pm

      I 100% applaud this. Sometimes the answer really is to actually do it and go away for a while. I considered talking about that in the post but I was kind of terrified that someone would do it and it would all go wrong for them. If you can afford it, do it! South Korea must have been incredible, I hope you had an amazing time! xx

  4. Hayley Martin
    June 28, 2017 / 10:12 am

    I totally get how you feel. I had VERY bad days for the last six months – The culprit was my job – I would go home in tears. So I left. It's been just over two weeks now and I am extremely happy – Don't get me wrong I have days where I feel *BLAH* – but I am generally a much happier person. Do I know what I'm going to do next, no not a clue? But I know for sure I will be much happier than I was. Fortunately I was in a position to leave, having a fair amount of savings behind me. My advice would be – If there is a persistent issue, don't be afraid to address it head on – Life is far too short to be unhappy. Some great ideas to lift your mood if you are just having an off day.hayley // hayleyxmartin

    • Bethany
      July 5, 2017 / 3:25 pm

      So so happy that you took the plunge and did what was best for you. It can be terrifying, especially when you don't have a back up plan, but if you can change something to improve your life, I say do it. If nothing changes, nothing changes.Thanks for the comment!

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