15 tips for when you're having a really sh*t week
Sometimes I plan blogs that I want to write... I post about a topic that I'm going to cover on my Instagram story and then once I sit down to get writing I hit the 'wall'. So frustrating.
But, in my opinion, if a topic feels like a struggle to talk about or to blog about it may be best left for another day when your mind is in the right place to discuss it. I always know when I'm on the right track because I find that I hardly have to give a second thought to what I'm typing, it just kind of flows and feels easy!
Anyway, back to the topic of this week's blog... These last few weeks, I have found myself revisiting some of my more 'challenging feelings' and these leave me extremely unmotivated, lacking confidence and especially stuck when it comes to creating content and finishing tasks of any kind.
Sometimes it is very easy to get caught up in life and forget to give the most important person in your life (that's you by the way) some care!
I'm trying to take some time to reflect and I want to use some of the tips, advice and lessons I've learnt to hopefully help someone else who goes through these turbulent/inconsistent periods with their mental health too. (Please remember, these are from my personal experience. If you are really struggling, my messages are always open but there are places you can go to seek help. I shall include some resources at the bottom of this blog post.)
My 15 tips for when you're having a really sh*t week:
Be patient with yourself, take each minute as it comes. Meditation is also a great tool for clearing your mind- there's a great app called 'Calm' or you can just search 'guided meditation' on Spotify or YouTube. On a night time it's great to do this before going to bed when thoughts are most likely to be running around your head.
Rearrange or cancel plans that are causing you stress or feeling overwhelming- be honest with people and explain that you just need some time alone right now
Turn your phone off! Or at least your notifications- utilise aeroplane mode or 'Do Not Disturb' so you can focus on yourself instead of what Aunty Moira is posting on Facebook
Write down any self-loathing, negative thoughts as a list. Now, make another list that opposes these thoughts. (e.g. 'I am not good enough' would change to 'I am extremely capable') Rip up the negative list and keep the positive one. Read this list often and repeat this exercise as often as you need
Cut out alcohol- it can feel SO tempting to silence all of your thoughts by drinking/using other negative vices such as drugs. But, I can tell you from experience that it will only amplify and intensify your demons in the long run; often making daily tasks feel a lot more difficult, affecting brain cognitions and not to mention causing a bloody awful headache
TREAT YOURSELF! This may mean different things to different people, for some it may be their favourite bar of chocolate (savour every square), it could be a nice hot bath with candles lit and some Lewis Capaldi on in the background or it could be buying that new dress from Topshop that you've had your eye on. Do not indulge in something that you know you are going to suffer negative consequences for (don't splurge if you really can't afford for example) as this may just lead to further feelings of self loathing and you don't need that
Compile a box/bag of items that you have ready for when you are feeling really anxious and overwhelmed. This may include some pictures of loved ones, a childhood toy, a candle, a small snack, a blanket to wrap around yourself, a DVD of your favourite film (or a list of your favourite Netflix series'), some earphones, a notebook & pen, a book you enjoy, a colouring book, an eye mask/face mask, some lavender spray or other essential oils, some bubbles to blow (especially good for panic attacks as they force you to focus on breathing) and some positive notes you have written about yourself/others have written for you
Eat healthily! It's so true when they say 'you are what you eat'... if you want to feel good then you have to put the right fuel in your body and stay hydrated. Try to stock up on lots of fruit and veg, aim to drink at least 2 litres of water a day and cut out sugar/junk food.
Write down 5+ things that you are grateful for, 5+ things that you are proud that you have achieved and recall 5+ memories that make you happy. Have this close by as a reminder of the amazing things that life has blessed you with
Go for a walk for at least 15-20 minutes- take in all the beauties of nature, breathe the fresh air and just clear your mind
Keep a 'compliments file' and document all of the positive things people have said about you for reference on a day when you need a boost
Stick on a stand up comedy or funny film- laughter is the best medicine sometimes and can provide a much needed distraction from everything going on
Have a clearout: look at the https://konmari.com/ method. She has a YouTube channel and a Netflix series and it will truly enlighten your life.
Try and pinpoint what the triggers are for your negative thoughts or feelings. See if there is anyway you can minimise or rid yourself of these triggers (e.g. if individuals social media tend to make you question your self worth or reduce your self esteem- get rid!)
Spend some time with people who you can be yourself around and make a plan that doesn't feel overwhelming. Maybe ask a friend to come round to watch a film.
This list could go on and there are obviously different tips for the different feelings you may be experiencing. Some of these tips will be really helpful for those suffering with feelings of anxiety or depression whereas others are probably more effective for stress management. The list is yours to utilise at your disposal and I really hope that some of them can help in some way!
We all struggle sometimes and it's OK to ask for help and guidance in times of need. You've got this!
All my love,
Resources that can help you in times of need:
0300 123 3393 firstname.lastname@example.org Text: 86463