It’s okay not to be okay.
How often do you feel like you have to put on a brave face when someone asks you if you are okay?
“Yeah, I am good thanks, life is great”. But what you actually want to say is... “No, I am not okay. I feel shit and I really just want to crawl into a ball and cry”.
We all have hard days. Even when people seem like they're getting on just fine, we don't really know what's going on inside. It can be difficult when you're stuck in your own head and you don't necessarily have an outlet for these emotions. Here are my top recommendations - small changes you can make and actions you take to get through those tougher times.
Avoid social media
Social media can be wonderful - it enables us to stay in touch with our loved ones when we're halfway around the world, which has been appreciated by so many, especially with the ongoing pandemic. But the problem is, social media is also just a highlight reel of someone’s 'good bits'. When we feel like shit, the last thing we should be doing is scrolling comparing our lives or situations with other people. All that does is trigger us even more and leaves us feeling even worse than we did before.
Find yourself absent-mindedly opening the social apps while you're on your phone? Consider deleting the app for periods of time or turning on the time restrictions (available on iPhone). This will prevent any temptation and allow you to clear your mind.
Don't eat shit food
Yes I know, all we want to do is order a curry, work our way through a big bar of chocolate or have a glass of wine when we're feeling our lowest!
But did you know, certain food groups and alcohol are actually depressants? They will make you have lower energy and again make you feel worse.
My biggest tip is to find a delicious recipe on Pinterest and make yourself a meal that you love. Take time to enjoy cooking it. Play some music and have fun while you cook.
Take time to meditate
I'm sure you knew this would be coming!
Even as a keen meditator and yoga instructor, I sometimes avoid meditation because I either don’t feel like it or it’s not what I think I need. However, it’s always exactly what I need.
Why make time for meditation? Meditation is a time to actually listen to ourselves and most of the time when we slow down and go inwards we realise that what was making us feel shit in the first place can all be figured out.
Get those endorphins flowing!
Go for a run, walk, workout or dance. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious. For me personally, it always makes me feel better for actually doing something a bit more productive too.
Talk to someone who will listen or journal your feelings. I know we don’t always feel like we have someone to talk to, but if you are reading this, always know you have me. You can send me an email at any point and I will always read and listen. Writing down what you are going through is always a great way to let go of stresses and worries.
What next? What should you do after opening up? After you have written down all the things that aren’t serving you, you can then start to think about all the good things going on in your life. What have you to be grateful for. There is always something.
Let it out
Last but not least.. CRYYYYYY!
It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to to sit in an emotion that you are feeling and really feel it. It’s okay to put on some sad music and really feel what you are feeling.
You don’t have to cover it up, you don't have to feel guilty for feeling sad and you don’t have push it away or pretend it’s not there. Actually allowing it to be and dealing with it at the time will have such a better impact on you over time than bottling it up or pretending it’s not there. The body stores emotion and then it can show up in others ways ie, illness, skin reactions or gut problems.
By letting it out and allowing yourself to cry, you'll be letting go and enabling release. Don't be afraid to embrace that emotion and let your body respond how it knows best.