The Down Days
We are surrounded by so many positive social media posts about how good life is, that when we’re feeling low or are having a bad day it can sometimes feel like we are alone and difficult to step out of, and the more we struggle, the more likely creative block can sink in.
It doesn’t matter how positive, conscious and grateful you are, when the down days come … they come.
Following your dreams isn’t always a high. Sometimes it’s exhausting, filled with doubt, anxiety and challenges.
The difference in having a positive mindset is not not having those tough times – it’s how we deal with them.
Having the strategies and tools in place to put into action when those days arrive are without a doubt what gets you back up and out of that rut quicker.
Acknowledging how you are feeling is a healthy step. Too many of us brush off those negative feelings , ignore the signs and often don’t take the time to listen to our self (until it’s too late and those feelings of overwhelm and anxiety come bouncing in and we can’t ignore them)
Once you’ve made that acknowledgement of how you’re really feeling, listen to what your body is telling you. Trying to solve all our problems from our head often adds more confusion and pressure. By stepping our of our mind and into our body we are able to access a much wider range of information and consciously act on it.
Pressing pause on the outside world allows us to listen deeper to our self. What is your body saying? What are you feeling in your heart? Close your eyes, take a breathe and when you’re connected to those feelings ask your self what do I need right now? The process of curiosity can often open up a whole new perspective.
Movement is a great way to get our emotions shifting. E-motion needs motion and flow. Next time you’re feeling stuck in an emotion – move, shake your body, dance … sometimes doing the complete opposite to what we think we need can push ourselves through a stuck feeling. When we think we are tired we become lethargic, have a lack of motivation and naturally slow down. Instead of listening to our head and spiral deeper into that tiredness, try getting outdoors and taking action, a walk, gentle cycle, a run can often shift our mindset far quicker than the rest we tell ourselves we need.
Make time for you. We are all to busy ‘doing’ and rarely spend any time ‘being.’ If your body is telling you it’s tired and asking to be nurtured … be the nurturer, guide your self to slow down. Take a breath, get into ‘state’ and allow those same feelings of love, compassion, empathy to flow through you when looking after your self as you would when looking after a loved one.
Talk. Reach out to someone who can listen as well as motivate you to take positive action. Holding onto those negative feelings and not expressing them allows us to internalize everything, magnifying our low mood, frustration and those feelings of being stuck, making it harder for us to take those next steps to finding a solution. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to release anger, find a safe environment to do that, don’t allow these feelings to build up, manifest into something greater and escape from you when you are least expecting it!
Get creative, use your creativity to express how you are feeling, creativity doesn’t always have to look pretty. Sometimes this can be a great way to release stored emotion.
Find honesty. Surrounding ourselves with people who won’t challenge us can be dangerous. It’s natural to reach out for sympathy when we are feeling low, it’s safe. By keeping our self safe we forget the value in being challenged. Whilst this can feel like a step to much when we are feeling overwhelmed, tired and low, often times it’s that honesty and those challenges that can push us beyond where we are and out the other side.
Find pleasure in the simple things. Sometimes we focus so much of our happiness around ‘when this happens, or when I’ve done that, got this, got rid of such and such’ that we miss the real pleasure in life. Slow down, be present in the moment and take time for you. Find pleasure in your surroundings, nature and allow yourself to feel the real joy when something or someone sparks a smile.
Celebrate the small wins – when we are chasing our dreams sometimes we can feel so far away from them that we lose sight of where we are headed. We disconnect from that passion and give up. Celebrating those small wins keeps our dreams real, achievable and motivates us to take on the next step and helps us stay focused.
Finally, don’t fight it, don’t fight the fact that your having a shitty day and feeling vulnerable. There is so much strength in our vulnerability, so much for us to learn. See these days as check in days, if we use them as measuring sticks we can take value in the learning.
Don’t fight the smile either … when one is coming, don’t fall into the trap that you don’t deserve to smile … embrace it, even if your reasons for not smiling are greater than your reasons for smiling … right there and then live in that moment and smile. Follow that smile all the way down your body, allow that energy to move through you and fill you. Let it get bigger, broader, let it fill you up from behind your eyes and then let that smile burst out of you like a light, and if it turns into laughter … laugh.
Your body knows … Listen.