A few months back I started working on a book about what to do on those dreadful days when everything seems to suck. You know the ones, when we feel awful and funky and it’s hard to even get out of bed. People with depression and anxiety have these days and people who have never experienced them do too. Dark days or nights of the soul.
Today is one of those days for me. Life has a way of giving us what we most need, when we most need it, even when it is incredibly inconvenient and we think we don’t want it. When I first had the idea of writing my book, I hadn’t had one of these days for quite a while, that was in April. To date I still hadn’t had one, how wonderful. Yesterday afternoon I started feeling a bit funky and the funk is still there today. Time to road test my book I suspect. Also I’d like to add that once upon a time, I would never have admitted to having a day like this, apart from to those closest to me. Admitting to and speaking about my depression, anxiety and vulnerabilities with others has been the most healing experience of my life, and I highly recommend it, whatever form that may take for you.
I have not been enjoying the feeling, as it’s not a nice place to be in my head when it’s here. It seemed to come on for no apparent reason, although if I dig deep, I can actually identify a few triggers, none of which are relevant for this post, but they are there.
On top of feeling like this, today I have to deliver a course that I am privileged to be able to facilitate, but it’s also one of the most challenging for me as a human being, parent and grandmother. It’s about child protection, and in order to understand and explain child protection, obviously we have to discuss and explain it’s opposite; abuse and neglect.
So, while I am still here enjoying being in my nice warm bed, safe and comfortable in my lovely little space, I am unable to remain here, and so it’s time to test out some of the strategies I have written in my book and some of those that have been generously shared with me by friends.
The book will be here soon, in fact I hadn’t worked on it for a long time, but today has reminded me to get back into it. In the meantime, I would like to share a few things that may help you on those awful, sucky, funky days.
- Call a friend – someone you trust, a great listener who has always got your back.
- Go outside. Nature is healing, and even just sitting on the ground, or soaking up the sun can be of huge benefit.
- Write down five things you are grateful for, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. Food, a house, a bed, clean water, you get the idea.
- Play some uplifting music, sing and get your groove on, even in the car.
- Start a self-esteem file. I really love this idea and this is one I’m definitely going to do for myself. Basically it’s a physical folder, where you keep copies of all the lovely things people have said about you and to you. If they aren’t in writing, put them on a piece of paper and stick them inside. If you already have one, get it out and read through all of the wonderful things that have been said or written about you.
- Hug. A person, a furry friend, a tree or even yourself. Give yourself a gentle hug or caress, or simply put your hand on your heart and feel the warmth of your hand. It may feel awkward or embarrassing at first, but your body doesn’t know that. It just responds to the physical gesture of warmth and care, just as a baby responds to being cuddled in its mother’s arms.
- Name the thoughts and feelings you are having. Angry. Helpless. Sad. Anxious. Just labeling your emotions can ease your suffering. Attaching a label shifts activity from the emotional part of your brain to the thinking part, making you hurt less and feel more in control.
- Know that this too will pass.
I would love to hear how you get through the days that suck.
Much love from me to you.