I have only managed two quite pitiful gym sessions this week, life kept happening to me and giving me things to do instead – some of which were good, some not so much. Not enough sleep over the last few days has had me a bit wobbly so I’m pleased I talked myself into going (Ok, so it’s only down a flight of stairs if I go after work but there are days I have to change into my horrible gym-wear before I make that little trip to stop me swerving it last minute. Even I can’t justify putting my trainers on just to leave the building).
The sleep-deprivation wobbles finally sideswiped me at about noon on Thursday when I could have wept a little weep, like an over-tired child, then curled up under my desk and stayed there. But I didn’t do that. I took a several deep breaths, made some (more) coffee, and managed to survive everything I needed to do – including a quick burst of gym-ing, an hour of tutoring and a hare-like dash to my daughter’s parents evening (when your mum turns up carrying a Spiderman bag ‘…’ ). I do still resent the fact that it can feel so hard to do reaa-aally normal stuff, but I wouldn’t have been able to face that combination of activities down a few weeks ago so make me a badge and get me a framed certificate of improvement please. Thanks. If you can find something for the bags under my eyes too that would be super-nice.
So what does one do when sleepless? Well this week my dad pointed me in the direction of Radio 4’s Saturday Live after listening to a programme featuring Ruby Wax talking about mindfulness CBT – which she studied for her recent book – so I spent an hour or so tuning in to that in the early hours of Tuesday. It’s worth a listen, especially since it also included a report from the London-based Dragon Cafe set up by Mental Fight Club.
The Dragon Cafe provides a simple, affordable, healthy menu each week, and a wide range of creative and well-being activities, all of which are free and open to all.
And being mentally-interesting is not a prerequisite for joining in. I want a Dragon Cafe. In my living room.
Another thing which caught my interest (sometime between late Wednesday and early Thursday) was Mind’s campaign for changes to ‘Back to Work’ support for those with mental health problems. This includes related reform to the current welfare system which is, I would suggest, driven by an ideology that is almost opposed to its’ actual purpose: to support the most vulnerable (no bias here). Millionaire PM David Cameron (again, no bias here ) last week gave an overview of the Conservative party’s election manifesto for welfare, and, well, it’s what you’d expect from a party who dismissed a report linking food banks and benefits cuts and has members such as Lord Freud telling us that food banks wouldn’t be used so much…if…they…didn’t…exist huh?
and the delightful Michael Gove suggesting that poor financial management rather than poverty is at the heart of food bank usage.
It’s much easier to despise those who claim ‘taxpayers’ money’ for things like food and rent because they’re poor isn’t it? Anyway, anyway, I’ll stop there. I’m so glad I can talk about politics without bias. What can I say? It’s skill I’ve honed. For a leftie perspective on this stuff you’d be better off watching Russell Brand’s trews. He’s more eloquent than me, and funnier. And richer – as The Daily Mail might like to remind you. And if that’s not for you at least check out what Mind has to say about the matter.
Anyway, anyway enough of all this …I shall do my best and worst of February’s challenge tomorrow and commit myself to the* slightly different challenge I have in mind for March…probably…if I don’t bottle it before then. In the meantime I am going to try to pay off my sleep debt.
‘Til then x
*It’s nothing to with politics . Promise.