Breaking the funk

Life

How misleading is this title?! It sounds like a disco record from the 70s, but I assure you, I’m talking about pretty much the opposite of that.

For the last month, I’ve been in a weird grey phase of my life. I feel lazy and unmotivated. Like I’m on the fitness level of a pensioner. I can sleep for hours more than I used to. I don’t want to listen to music. I feel like a potato; I don’t know if anyone knows how that feels like, but it’s not a very attractive metaphor for yourself. Essentially, I’m in a funk.

Just to clarify, I’m in no way suggesting I have depression. I have seen depression myself and this is not what it is.

I think I can attribute a few reasons why I feel like this. The past year or so, I’ve been sitting exam after exam for my paediatrics membership and unfortunately I’ve faced failure after failure. That’s not to say I believe this reflects on my ability as a doctor (as other doctors keep telling me, they know professors who have failed these exams 6 or 7 times), but it still is a little subconscious kick in the gut every time it happens. There’s been additional issues at the workplace of short-staffing and pressures – which I’ve learnt to adapt to – but it does add a sour tone to a job I should love (I’ll say no more). Lastly, I’ve put little mental restrictions on my spending in our effort to buy somewhere at the end of the year. Not to sound all spoilt #moëtmedic, but travelling to new countries really contributed a lot to my happiness in the past few years and acted as a great motivator to get through tough weeks at work. But now, I can’t even go to the cinema or a meal and question whether this is really the best use of my hard-earned money.

I think there’s been a lot of pressure I’ve been putting on myself to get myself sorted out by the end of this year. Like all of my life’s answers will be answered by buying a house, passing my exams and excelling at work.

So I sit here on my day off from work, having had 12 hours sleep and feeling squat, round and bored. Too guilty to spend money. Too scared to start revising for yet again another exam. Too ashamed that I’m seemingly complaining about my comfortable life.

The only way I can think of getting out of this is by forming a strategy; steps to make the outlook on my life brighter and my self hearty.

1. Slow steps to getting fit

I’m never going to promise I’ll be a gym bunny in no time; I know myself too well to lie to myself. But the endorphin experience from the odd bit of yoga and the occasional treadmill jog is enough for me to want to finally get over this exercise hump. Even if it is only once every 2 weeks.

2. Giving myself time to wander

I really feel at my most calm and most happy during quiet walks. Maybe being city born and bred, I’m so used to fast walking and getting angry at the slow ones ahead, that allowing myself to actually walk at a normal pace and take in my surroundings can be pretty therapeutic for me.

3. Cutting down on the carbs

Last night, I went to The Culpeper and tried their smoked salmon dish (no carbs included) and I felt totally refreshed and satisfied. I don’t mean I’ll be adopting a carb-free diet (I can’t subject myself to that!), but cutting down would hopefully stop that sluggish feeling I get post-pasta feast.

4. Keep a diary

To schedule in dates to give myself a well-deserved break from work. To see my friends regularly for dinner. To go to a gig with my boyfriend and dance like a fool. To make my life feel less like one long stretch of shifts and revision.

5. Create

When I’m away from blogging, or reading a book, or trying out cross stitch, I forget that I can be creative and individual, have my own opinions and be capable of much more. In essence, writing this has already been the first step in the grand plan; I just need to keep reminding myself that I am more than a bored medic, a slave to work or a potato.

Cyprus Road Trip: Troodos Mountains

Travel

The Troodos mountains was our last big adventure on our road trip. We drove down and up winding roads visiting villages on mountain sides and gawping at chunks of  limestone landscapes.

Caledonian waterfalls

Our first stop was a 3km uphill hike to a beautiful waterfall. The trail wasn’t too strenuous and there were plenty of pretty views of streams on the way. At the top, we were greeted by two cats and a kitten, whom Harpall (the true crazy cat lady) fawned over until we were disturbed by a huge group of tourists. The waterfall was icy cold so we didn’t dare dip into it. Instead we just filmed lots of slo-mo shots of the water (Harpall has made me into a tech geek it seems).

Monastery

We didn’t have time to go to Kykkos, so we went to this much smaller, but  serene monastery. Within the church, there were beautiful ceiling to floor paintings on the walls. We felt like we should respect the space, so I only quickly snapped one photo for keepsake.

Il Buchetto and traditionalist home style meze

Since this is my last post on Cyprus, I had to mention a couple of other restaurants at the end of our trip. On our return to Paphos for our return flight, we had lunch at a little Italian restaurant under the shade of a beautiful next to Pissouri beach. We had prawn filled ravioli and a prawn risotto with a melon sauce; perfect  Italian lunch.

On our last night we went to the 7 St George’s Tavern, a family-run restaurant that do not have a menu. Instead they serve you mezes steadily over the course of a few hours, encouraging you to just take your time and enjoy the food. They will only stop serving when you ask them to, and as much as I wanted to taste more, we couldn’t go any further after the roast beef! This is a great experience I suggest everyone to go to; just make sure you book in advance!

Cyprus Road Trip: Limassol

Travel

Limassol was our third stop on our road trip – a seaside city with a lengthy marina and a rich history. We enjoyed exploring its old town district and walking along its vast stretch of beaches and boards.

Obi the cat

We chose to stay in a vintage style flat near the centre of Limassol. The flat was beautifully decorated, but our highlight of staying there was definitely Obi, the flat cat. She was endlessly adorable, extremely friendly and a little bit mischievous. I miss her jumping on me to rub her head against my chin.

Limassol Castle

The castle is the historical epicentre of Limassol, which has gone through many changes as centuries and kings have gone by. It’s quite a small castle and sparse in information, but worth a visit for the Limassol skyline at the top.

The marina

A quite windy, but relaxing walk along the marina in winter was exactly the fresh air we needed away from the small streets and roads of the rest of the city. I do love good boardwalk and watching the waves crash against the rocks.

Seafood on the beach

On our day in Limassol, I found out I passed quite a difficult paediatrics exam. So naturally I was over-the-bloody-moon. We decided to treat ourselves to a celebration dinner by the beach with oysters, crab and grilled fish. We also managed to attract the attention of quite a few stray cats, which we didn’t mind at all. In fact, the waiters watched on in amusement as Harpall cuddled one on his lap!