At the time of writing this post, it has been revealed that cervical screenings (smear tests) are at an all-time low. It’s a statistic I don’t even want to think about. I turned 25 last September and as predicted, was invited for my first smear test – which I had done 4 days before my 25th birthday (I wrote about my experience here). I suffer with anxiety – GAD to be specific (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) but I suffer extra anxiety when it comes to medical related things.
Self care is something I’ve really tried to embrace and focus on more in 2017. I truly believe that we need to look after ourselves and treat ourselves with the same level of love, care and respect as you would your partner, parents, pet, house plant – whoever. Of course that’s easier said than done and I’m certainly not the only one who repeatedly punishes themselves when they feel shit or have had a bad day by not eating, sleeping too much, not washing or speaking to anyone. These behaviours are damaging – there’s no two ways about it and we need to try harder to embrace positive actions when we feel bad, rather than negative ones.
If you follow my blog or follow me on Twitter, you will be aware that quite suddenly, over the course of the last 2 months, I’ve quickly become a bit of a smear test advocate. I had my very first test at the beginning of September, just 3 days before my 25th birthday and since then, I’ve been pushing an pushing for more open dialogue and awareness about the importance of having your cervical screenings done. Unfortunately for me, my smear experience didn’t stop after my first test because I got called back to the hospital for a colposcopy because my smear results were abnormal.And that’s what I want to talk about today because I was terrified but I really didn’t need to be and I think if we spoke more openly about these things, women wouldn’t be afraid to get their smears done nor would they be as worried if their smears come back abnormal.
I am an avid Yoga-doer. I might not be the most flexible person and able to do elaborate poses and stretches and I may not have the most stamina and be able to partake in lengthy workouts but… I massively enjoy yoga and try and do at least a small bit every day. I find it benefits my mental and physical health all in one and for someone with anxiety, thats the perfect type of exercise for me.
Oh that was very dramatic wasn’t it? At the beginning of September, I went for my first smear test and I wrote a post about it, which you can read here. This post went down really well and I spoke to lots of bloggery women about theirs; some who have had many and some who haven’t been for one yet. I was thrilled to be a part of the bigger voice that will help women be more open and honest about smear tests which in turn will hopefully, encourage more women to go and get theirs.
I was 25 on 4th September. You probably already knew that from my endless tweets over the past month where I’m fretting and panicking about getting older and the fact that turning 25 felt like such a huge, scary and daunting milestone for me. Well, it’s one that inevitably happened (I’m writing this in August and it feels weird to say inevitably because it’s not inevitable because I could very well die before I turn 25 and wow this post turned super morbid very quickly) – I’m 25 now and I’m still fretting and still panicking and still wondering when (if ever) I’ll start to feel like an adult. I’ve been thinking about things from a 25 year olds newly found perspective and here’s my list of things 25 year olds (myself included) should definitely be doing now.
At approximately 24 and a half years old, I received the letter in the post that I had been dreading, ever since I knew what a smear test was. The fact that the letter used words like “invited” didn’t make it any more cutesy or appealing. The fact of the matter was, I was at the age where a doctor needed me to spread my legs on a table and look into my fanny. There’s no beating around the bush (pun intended) and no sugar coating it really. It was time for my very first smear test.
Ever since I was diagnosed with anxiety, I’ve been super interested in yoga. I was made aware that it can help with your mental health and I was keen to try anything that might have an impact. Luckily for me, yoga did have an impact and I still practice it today, regardless of my mental state. I would recommend yoga to anyone and there are so many different types which benefit so many different elements of health and wellbeing. I wanted to talk about my own personal experience with yoga and the benefits I’ve found its made to my life.
I’ve never really done a monthly favourites blog post before, I’ve always just done monthly round ups or books I’ve been loving but I’ve never wrote about a variety of things that are making me happy or that I’m enjoying in any given month. Well, being as I’m blogging every day this month and am quickly running out of ideas, now is as good a time as any to do one. So here’s some stuff I like at the moment. And I’ll try and make it more interesting than that opening paragraph.
I said on Twitter last month that I wanted to start doing more personal posts on my blog; I kicked off this months selection of posts with probably the most personal post I’ve ever written and you know what? It felt good. It was scary. But it felt good having written it. This is my space on the internet after all – nobody else’s. Why can’t I talk about my private life, my personal problems and my own experiences?