I’m actually super nervous about posting this because this feels really personal, but here we go!
My emotions/moods have always been a massive roller-coaster ride, which means (just like any other person) I will end up feeling down at some point (or worse). Sometimes there will be a reason, and at other times there will be no reason that I can pinpoint.
These are a few things that I’ve learnt to do recently, that seem to help.
- Understand that it’s okay to be feeling the way you do. It’s okay! Everyone has their off days. It’s absolutely okay. There is no rule in life that you have to feel happy everyday. It doesn’t mean that you’re ungrateful, a bad person, screwed up, nutty etc. it just means that you’re feeling down. Simple as that.
- Do something silly and have a giggle. It’s probably the last thing you feel like doing (along with exercise) but it’s pretty hard to not giggle when you do/attempt something like body waves or tutting (oh dear! haha). Dance with this guy or lip-sync with Will Ferrell to Beyonce. Just try it! Even if it helps just for a moment, that’s a good moment!
- Do push-ups (everyday if you can!). Nope, not the kind you’re thinking of. I know, I know, my cousin and I exchanged one of the most horrified looks ever exchanged in the history of horrified looks when we were told to do push-ups by Ajahn Brahm. It’s really simple. Follow these instructions.
1) Lift your pointer fingers up. Wiggle them for a warm up.
2) Place them on the corners of your mouth.
3) Push up. Hold for 5 seconds. Then return to the neutral position.
4) Repeat step 3 at least 10 times.
Easy right? 🙂
- Press the stop/pause button. Sometimes, you need a break. Go for a walk, blast some music (if you’re outside, maybe keep the music soft. you probably want to be able to hear if something is hurtling your way), just breathe, watch youtube. Anything.
- Stay neutral. Don’t think too much. Learn to know when to stop thinking, because at some point it becomes overthinking. It’s like painting something. At some point it’s going to be as [insert colour] as it can get, and you won’t really be achieving anything, you’ll just be putting yourself through lots of work and pain. Try and keep a clear mind, don’t blow things out of proportion. Sometimes, staying neutral is the best thing you can do.
- Cry. Bawl. Sob. Don’t feel silly. Just let it all out. It might just be one of those things you need to do. You might not always feel better after, so just treat it like a stepping stone.
- Do something you love. Take time out of your day, even for a minute to do something you love. Don’t force it, do what feels right. Some days I’ll be spending hours editing photos, others, I’ll spend a few minutes or even seconds doodling.
- Be with people you love/trust. Some of the best times for me are just spent sitting there silently while the other person/people chat or do their own thing. I’ve spent hours in a room with a friend and we barely spoke, we just did our own thing. I’ve skyped a friend before and we only really said hello and good-bye during the 2 hours, and it was great.
- Know that there are people who care. It doesn’t always feel that way, but know that they are there. They might think that you already know that they care.
- Talk to someone. I prefer to chat with people who I really trust. The chat doesn’t even have to be about my feelings. At other times, I’ve found that talking to a counsellor* was more helpful. For the longest time, I was too embarrassed/scared to ask for help. What I learnt? Don’t be embarrassed. My counsellor said, “We are here to help you, we want to help you, but we can’t help you unless we know you need/want help.” Making the decision to talk to someone, is definitely one of the best ones I have ever made.
*Some counsellors might not quite ‘fit’ you. Maybe you didn’t click. That’s okay. They might give you advice that you don’t want to hear, take it all in but it’s up to you to decide if they are any good for you. Keep in mind, medicine doesn’t always taste great (brown cough medicine anyone? ugh yuck, I just got shivers) but we’ve got to admit, it can work wonders.
I’m not an expert, I’m not saying it will work every time or for everyone, but if you ever need ideas, here is my list. I hope that it was helpful and made some of you smile.
Have a lovely week and always remember to love yourself! (Sounds cheesy, but it’s important!)