Sunday, 21 January 2018

DEALING WITH DOWN DAYS & HOW I PICK MYSELF BACK UP


How do I begin this? I really dislike to sound like I'm complaining so I feel anxious to reveal this... but I'm not going to lie and pretend it's all been rainbows and roses because to be frank, 2018 hasn't been off to the best start for me. For starters I dislocated my knee and am only just transitioning off the crutches, and then not long after but totally unrelated to my injury things at work took a different turn which naturally shook up any prior sense of certainty. I was still trying to figure it all out when my mum fell sick whilst she was visiting. Fortunately she's on the mend now but looking after someone whilst you're unable to move around freely was tougher than I would have thought. On top of that, this all seemed to happen whilst it was my time of the month (TMI sorry) and as you might be able to imagine I had to juggle everything with the mood swings and migraines. Anyway that was more for context than to moan because the point of this post is during these few weeks the silver lining was that I slowly learnt how to keep afloat. I don't throw the word depression around lightly but I do know the feeling of hopelessness closing in on you and there's no way of escape. Unfortunately I've not yet discovered any miraculous, instantaneous way to turn my feelings and thoughts in a positive 180 degree direction but I have been able to pick up on how to deal with times of turmoil and come to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I thought I'd share some of the ways that have really helped me out recently.


Cry it out
I don't know about you but I'm a bloody introvert and I tend to just bottle up everything I'm feeling inside because I don't want anyone else to know. Well from experience if you fill a container past capacity, it's going to explode sooner or later. I've found that crying to be very therapeutic indeed and a great first step to letting out all those pent up emotions. Afterwards I guarantee you will have a much clearer head to figure out how to go about your problems.

Keep a diary
Take yourself back to those highschool days because writing your feelings down is also a good form of stress relief as well as a way to communicate how you feel if you (like me) are not so good at talking about it. Sharing your letter with others that are involved or who may be able to help has also been really beneficial for me, I've had people tell me it's a lot easier for them to understand the situation through written words.

Treat yourself to your favourite meal
Or dessert (or even better, both!) and don't feel guilty about it. Make an occasion of it and meet up with a loved one to catch up and chat. The topic doesn't have to touch your problems, before you know it you'll soon have your mind taken off it by laughing about other things and it's a good reminder that dwelling on it won't make it go away anyway, so why not let your mind take a break.

Laughter is the best medicine
It truly is. Release those happy endorphins by joking with friends or watching a funny YouTube video. This week I've been found rolling around on the floor, clutching my stomach at these Peaky Blinders impressions and Cooking with Finn Wolfhard.


Don't be ashamed to ask others for help
This was a big one for me because one of the reasons I don't tell people what I'm feeling is because I feel like I don't want to bother them. Take it from me, most of the people in your life will be happy to hear you out and help out in whichever way possible. If I were in their shoes, I most certainly would feel touched if anyone entrusted me enough to not only share their high points but their low ones too. Plus helping a friend is one of the most rewarding feelings ever and if you believe in karma then what goes around, comes around.

Put on your favourite film
As a bit of a film buff, this has always been a quick go-to solution for me ever since I was a youngin' It doesn't necessarily have to be a feel good type of film, if you're like me and a lot of your favourite movies are more on the sad side, I've found that just the association with visual stimulus that you identify as beautiful will make you feel better (plus if it makes you cry then it also helps in the way of point one).

Cuddle an animal
Or if you don't have a pet or one you have easy access to, look after a plant. Stroking fur or watering a plant are both calming activities that reduce stress and there's something so special about pouring love into another living being.

Throw yourself into some arts and crafts
Draw, paint, sculpt, knit, stitch, you name it! Don't feel pressure at what it has to look like in the end, you're not going to be graded on this so just enjoy it like a hobby. I sometimes talk myself out of creating new artwork with excuses such as the fact that it's too time-consuming and I could use the time to do something more "productive" but once I get into it the rhythmic strokes of my pencil soothe me and there's nothing more rewarding than seeing a sketch come to life.

Alexa Chung jumper / ASOS jeans / ASOS boots / Miss Pap bag / Accessorize beret / Missoma x Lucy Williams necklace

My ultimate advice on getting through tough times would be to, first of all, acknowledge them (don't deny them and push them away), take a moment to simply let yourself feel, then work through your problems using the logical side of your brain. Try not to let your emotional side get involved and dwell on things but don't beat yourself up if you do. We're humans and emotional beings after all. Anytime you start to feel drained, take the time out for self-care and recharge yourself with positivity and happiness. I'm pleased to report that I'm doing a lot better as I type this, as always it's important to remember that these slumps are only phases and to keep pushing through until you come out stronger. 

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