I’m often thinking up different tactics and strategies to overcome those moments of sadness, loneliness, doubt and frustration, that left unchecked, can turn a bad day into a string of black days….and before you know it you’re spiralling into the depths of darkness where you really do not want to tread.
I work pretty hard to sustain a positive outlook on life and invest my energies into new and exciting things that keep me engaged, inspired, and generally feeling excited and amped to be alive.
Sometimes though, I have my moments, as a lot of us do, where we just feel baffled and stunned by one of life’s little right hooks. We feel despair & desperation. Hopelessness. Apathy. We get overcome with feelings of procrastination, feeling unmotivated, being stuck. This is a commonality in the human condition, and the solution is elusive, never standing still and not wanting to be easily caught. We don’t know what to do next. No matter how prepared we think we are for setbacks sometimes these blows come out of the blue and catch us off guard, even when we think we aren’t particularly vulnerable.
Having battled through some rather big, traumatic events in my 20s that left me wounded, raw, emotionally stripped, and not knowing myself, I’ve done a heck of a lot of soul searching, writing, journalling, talking, reading, thinking, strategising….just plain everything I could in order to set my self up to be a fierce force to be reckoned with, and ready to bounce back from anything. It took a long time, but I’m getting to that point.
That’s not to say I’m immune from hurt, insecurities, feeling “stuck”- far from it. I still have my moments when I get snowed in by life and have to fight hard not to be buried alive! These days it’s mostly brought about by some difficult and testing hormonal issues which I am battling to rectify, and am determined to overcome (but we won’t go there, I’ll be fine dames n dudes!)
I’m working to a point now where I can see the red flags, and can sense when I’m particularly sensitive or easily bruised. At these times I try to stop, take a breath and shield myself as much as possible from the little triggers that can set me off. Lifestyle triggers such as alcohol, eating foods that my body doesn’t dig, not exercising or sleeping enough, and generally not taking care of my self can all exacerbate emotions and hormones, so I try my best to retain a sense of balance and harmony and really look after myself physically as well as emotionally.
And of course it is ULTRA helpful (and I’m very lucky) to have a hugely supportive, caring and understanding partner who can see me through the tears and the fits of frustration, the mood swings and the periods where I want to give it all up and run away to the circus. Yep, that happens. Just today, he turned my morning completely on its head (mornings are never my best times). Sensing I was not my usual self, he held out a fist and told me he had a ball of positivity in there for us to share. He told me the more we hold tight to it and share it between ourselves the more it would grow and spread. I took that freakin’ positivity and I ran a metaphorical marathon with it today!
Little (but important) things like that can really, really act as a panacea.
Armed with an arsenal of tactics and action plans, a great family, and a massively wonderful soul mate by my side to support me, I feel I’m MUCH more equipped to flip the bird at adversity when it strikes, kicking the shit out of bad patches and turning them into something positive in the process. I know it takes more than pithy quotations on Twitter and a good sleep cycle, and nothing comes easy or cheap, but being unhappy is a lot less desirable.
Over the next few days I’ll be sharing with you just some of the things that help me through, and put me back on track to living the biggest, boldest life possible!
As a precursor to all this- these are of course but a few teeny solutions to help you form an overall plan to get out of that slump. Of course if you feel you are seriously, morbidly, can’t-get-out-of-bed depressed/ melancholic, and have no zest for life whatsoever, I would urge you to please seek professional help. See a doctor, counsellor, therapist, or naturopath to get a psychological and physiological assessment, as you perhaps need a stronger form of intervention than some simple tips from me. There are also many helplines you can contact if things have reached crisis mode. Beyond Blue (an Australian initiative) is one of them and I would urge you to visit their website or give them a call if you are feeling way past the point of relief. Their number (in Australia) is 1300 22 4636.
So, with that aside, let’s kick things off with life strategy NUMBER ONE.
Look after oneself.
Numero uno. Top of the pile. If you don’t get this right, and don’t prioritise this, you WILL derail.
Whether its treating yourself to a monthly massage, splurging on some new shoes or a dress that make you feel a million bucks, doing yoga while the sun rises, getting a super indulgent facial, taking a bath, or having a reaaaalllllly long sleep in if that’s what your heart desires…..Do it! Succumb. Treat your body like the temple it is, and you, its awesome ruler. No, its not a machine. It can’t just keep going and going and running on empty with some minor maintenance and a lot of neglect, like your first ride probably did.
Spoil yourself, stop filling your body with junk and chemicals, be kind, and listen to your body. It WILL tell you when it needs rest. It WILL tell you when its not functioning right. Listen to it.
There will be lots and lots of future blog posts on this point, expanding on the whole mind-body connection, the physical manifestations of unhappiness and stress, and discussing ways to supercharge your body to get it firing on all cylinders!
If you’re NOT revving at your full potential, its time to start looking at a few things that can be tweaked. Diet, activity, sleep, environment and lifestyle are all hugely important factors obviously. I’m no doctor, but I can tell you if something is out of sync, the effects will have an impact on your mental and emotional health; perhaps not straight away, but slowly over time. Things will start to break down. Metabolism, hormones, energy levels, glands, digestion, respiration, sexuality, allergies – all have a tendency to go off-kilter if the balance in your body is not quite right. And then comes lethargy, fatigue, depression, weight problems and the whole cycle of break down. You don’t want that.
Sickness, stress and an overloaded lifestyle can all take their toll, so take the time to look after yourself, listen to the cues, and learn. Take whatever time out you need, heal yourself and make yourself feel loved….whatever it takes! You deserve it.
Your body is the only one you have. Please look after it and treat yourself like the divine person you are!
Stay tuned for part two: The Power of Music, Mantras and Makin’ Notes. And PLEASE feel free to leave a comment with any feedback or any awesome tactics in your arsenal – I’d love to hear from you!
Love and awesomeness