When feeling down in the dumps…

I’ve felt ‘out of sorts’ recently. Maybe there’s something going on with the moon. Feeling low or not quite like yourself is a natural part of life, but it doesn’t always make it any easier to deal with. I’ve gotten into the habit of struggling to sleep on Sunday nights when, ordinarily, sleep and I are best friends and parting me from my bed is something that can only be achieved with a chisel. My mind races with thoughts about a million different subjects. I’m thinking about my family, my career and the types of decisions I’m making.

I know that a lot of my friends feel similarly. We all do, at different times. The question is, what can be done when you feel indecisive, powerless, confused, overwhelmed or just not quite like yourself?

For me, I think having particular self-care behaviours that you apply consistently is vital. Normally, we stop doing these things the moment we feel good, but we should continue them regardless.

Meditation

At this point, meditation has become a faddy word like #squadgoals or #yolo. Nonetheless, it is a powerful tool to retain in your arsenal. I’ve been listening to a channel on YouTube called Power Meditations. My mind is busier than most and what I like about these meditations is that they are basically affirmations spoken over a tribal and uplifting musical background. I can’t always sit quietly and still my mind, but this channel is getting me into good habits. I listen in the morning whilst walking to the train station or just before bed or at the gym or whilst in the shower. The affirmations are empowering (another overused word there) and they gradually inspire and motivate me throughout the day.

Exercise

I mentioned the gym and to be honest, it’s the lack of gym in my life that’s getting me down. Exercise and movement are so important for mental and emotional health as well as for our physical bodies. Even if I have to drag myself to the gym kicking and screaming, I instantly feel energetic and uplifted when I finish my workout. Some form of exercise should be built into every day. I need to get myself back to it and go for more walks in nature.

Reach out to people

It can feel difficult to reach out to people when we live in a world where people have to project strength, beauty, achievement, capability and perfection at all times. Admitting that you struggle can feel like weakness or failure, especially if you have many good things in your life. Having close family and good friends to talk to is crucial. Even if you only have one person that you can talk to about a certain issue, please do reach out and never suffer in silence. We are social creatures and are built to communicate and to be understood and supported. Don’t be put off by the fact that some people can be judgemental, critical or nasty. You don’t need to confide in these people. Only talk to those whom you trust.

Write it down

Our feelings and thoughts can feel very dominating, but they can be inaccurate. It’s easy to lose perspective when you go down a dark rabbit hole. You can find fault in anything and add more fuel to the fire of negativity. ‘Feeding the wrong wolf’ is dangerous because there is always new meat for it to eat. Writing things down can give you a fresh perspective. You can see where you are being realistic and where you are being melodramatic. You can then consider brainstorming solutions or options that can lead to real change. Journaling is like pinning butterflies to a board (although I don’t advocate that.) It enables you to examine and analyse your thoughts and emotions rather than being at the mercy of their fluttering.

Animals

I find being around animals very soothing. We have two cats and a fox and two cubs that regularly visit our garden. Animals do their own thing. They are impervious to many things that plague the human psyche. Watching them go about their day to day routine calms me down and makes me feel like a part of something more.

Doing what you love

We all love different things. Making space for what you love is hugely important. My main passions are travel, animals and nutrition. If I make space for these three things in life, I tend to feel better. I also like writing, spending time with family, exercising and watching bad TV. If you love pampering yourself, doing your make-up and putting on a killer outfit, do that. If you love going for a morning bike ride and taking yourself to lunch, do it. Whatever it is that you like, please make space for it as often as you can. A lot of the time in life we have to do things that we don’t want to do. Carving out time for what makes you feel alive can never be wrong.

Take one action

When we are stuck in the realm of the mind or the quagmire of emotions that we can experience on a daily basis, we can feel paralysed. Take one action, however small, that moves you in a position direction. Go for a short walk, make a healthy snack, put on a happy song, tick something off your to do list. You don’t need to move mountains, just take one action. Susan Jeffers calls this moving from pain to power and we are all able to do this, even in our darkest moments.

If you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps lately, please know that you are not alone. I hope that implementing some of the above will assist you. What helps you when you are feeling low?

All my love

K

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