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I originally started to write this about 5 months ago. I was just about settling into my job, had been on a couple of holidays and was generally having a good time and enjoying everything I was doing before the slump hit.
For some reason, I suppose it was all the routine and feeling ‘settled’ (I’m normally a real advocate of spontaneity which isn’t so easy when you are working) that caused me to have a slump. I felt like I hit a wall. It did take me a few weeks to get out of it and I had to kind of force myself to do things to clear my mind and refresh myself.
Here’s a few little ways to help yourself if you are going through a down patch.
In the words of Winnie the Pooh, “Let’s start by taking a smallish nap or two…”. Sometimes you just need to fucking sleep. It helps you to clear your head, stops you worrying about things for a while and I always find if there’s something I’m not sure about then it always helps to sleep on it. Some things need a little extra time to be pondered, especially if you aren’t feeling like your normal self.
Take some me time, and actually do something with it. I’m terrible for scheduling a weekend to myself, and then depressing myself more by not doing anything or even convincing myself that I’m a sad loner. Doesn’t make any sense seeing as I PLANNED the time for myself. *Slaps own head* Duh. So to avoid this, actually do something. Even if it’s your laundry or meal prep for the week, or even starting a project you’ve been thinking about for a while. Do it for you. Love yourself 😀
I always end up feeling like I’ve hit the reset button when I go out for a walk or a run. I think one of the worst things you can do when you’re feeling low is to sit indoors and do nothing but I know too well that it is much easier said than done! But the last thing you need is a bit of cabin fever to top off everything else. So get outside. Whether you go for a run, take your dog for a walk or even just yourself, a bit of fresh air, clear thinking and the added bonus of endorphins will give you a feeling of clarity.
WRITE IT DOWN
One of my mum’s favourite sayings is “a problem shared is a problem halved”. I feel that my nanny has probably told me this a few times as well. Sometimes though, it’s not a specific problem that is making you feel low but a mixture of things and this makes you feel pathetic and self-conscious and you don’t want to tell anyone. I don’t think anybody is ever pathetic for being low, but if the thought of talking to someone makes your stomach churn like the washing machine, then write it down. Put it in a notepad, a diary or even on your phone – for me this has the same effect and helps you get something off your chest, or it can at least help you to rationalise and set some logic to your emotions.
CLEAN & TIDY
Okay. I’m not the tidiest person. I know my mum will read this and say that is an understatement. She will also probably say her other favourite saying that ‘a tidy room is a tidy mind’. I actually really agree with this. Recently I went through my wardrobe and all my old papers and bills and cleared out a whole load of shit that I didn’t want, use or need anymore. I felt amazing afterwards! Everything was where it needed to be and suddenly I felt like I could take on all the things that were dragging me down so I highly suggest a clear out to clear your head. If you are finding that a messy room is mimicking a messy mind, start with the easier job and tidy you living space before you even think about tackling your mind. It will distract you for a little while too.
Doesn’t matter if it’s a human, dog or a cat. All have been proven to relax you and release pent up emotion. Cuddles elevate your mood and oxytocin levels, and extended hugs release serotonin which makes you feel happier. You don’t even need to explain. Just hug it out. It will definitely pick you up a little bit.
When I feel like shit I just reach for junk food. The problem is, I feel good for about 5 minutes before the feelings of regret and self-hatred kick in. NOT GOOD when you already feel terrible let alone making yourself feel worse! As typical as this advice is, it hold true in a big way. Set yourself the goal of drinking lots of water, eating lots of veggies and healthy fats for just one day. You will have more energy and sleep better which will 100% contribute to your mood lifting.
SET GOALS & ACHIEVE
I don’t mean big goals. I mean small goals, like painting your nails or exercising that day. We are not going for ambitious here. That comes later when you become an unstoppable fierce boss. But we’re not quite there yet. Make a small to-do list for the day or week and aim to get them ticked of the list in a set amount of time. It might sound boring and maybe a little ridiculous but it’s worth reminding yourself that you can set goals and get them completed however small they may be. The important thing is not the size of the goal but doing it and checking it off the list.
Looking through happier times will never make you feel worse. I have a little box that is full of old photos that I love, tickets and wristbands from festivals and events I’ve been to in the past and little gifts from people that I have collected over the years (like origami elephants, drawings and notes). Nothing of monetary value but everything that has meant something to me at some point. I love having a look through all these things and reminding myself that I am loved and that people care. If you don’t have a memory box, I would suggest making one with anything that makes you smile. You could also flick through old Facebook photos as there is bound to be something to make you laugh!
SCRUB A DUB DUB
Have a really long, hot shower, or a really long, steamy bath. Exfoliate properly, wash your hair and let yourself just be. Then do a face mask, put on some lovely clean, fluffy PJ’s and get into a bed with fresh sheets. Even though it might not solve your problems, it will make you feel a lot better and ensure a good nights sleep. Nothing better than being clean and rested.
NO MORE SLUMP, JUST SMILE
Literally. Smile. Maybe do this on your own as you might look like a bit of a freak smiling to yourself at the bus stop. But the action of smiling actually helps you to feel happier by sending signals to your brain and creating a pattern. You just need to keep reinforcing this motion to help you feel happier overall.
I hope this helps even one person to feel a little bit better. How do you pick yourself up out of a slump?
Let me know, I’m interested!