We all have off days. Whether we feel overworked, under appreciated, tired, rundown, anxious, sad or nervous, some days can feel like a constant struggle. As a naturally anxious person, sometimes I let my anxiety and troubled-mind get the better of me. Other times, a dark mood may overwhelm me and brush everything else good in my life to one side. It can be difficult to break out of these funks so I have developed a few strategies to help myself deal with them. I hope you find them useful too.
Take a step back
When everything seems too hard and I just want to crawl up in bed and escape into the pages of a good book, I do. I let myself. It has taken me a very long time to feel I can ‘allow’ myself this luxury, my mind constantly searching for the Next Thing I Have To Do. These days however, when I am feeling down or anxious, I take a step back and divert my attention to something that makes me feel good. Even if only for half an hour. I find that even if it doesn’t completely shift my mood, it helps to reset me and strengthen my resolve to face the world again.
Throw caution to the wind for a day and let your hair down. Light your favourite candles, have a bath, get a manicure, buy your favourite dessert or spend a ridiculous amount on trashy magazines. Again, even if this only works as a temporary distraction, let yourself live in the moment and enjoy the pleasures you have before you.
Connect, the real way
Ring a friend, your Mum, your grandma. Have a real chat with someone. Get off Facebook and other websites that make you feel depressed about your life. Sit at a café and people watch and smile at people as they walk through the door. Contact an old friend you haven’t spoken to in years. Join a library. Just get out in the community and become a part of it. Being a part of something larger than yourself is an extremely important reminder that there are bigger issues in the world and your problems and moods, whatever they may be, aren’t so bad after all.
Alternatively, switch off
If you can’t stand the thought of company, disconnect from the world, if even for half a day. Turn off your phone, unhook your Internet and switch off the TV. Just be, and do it alone. Spend the time reflecting on where you are in your life and where you want to go next.
Finally, just accept it
If you can’t distract yourself or pull yourself out of this stump, just roll with it. Recognise it, put it to one side and go with the flow. Sure, you feel like this today but today is just one day. Be assured you won’t feel like this tomorrow. In a day, week or even a year from now, are you even going to remember this off day? It just simply doesn’t matter. It doesn’t change anything. Have an early night, fall into a deep slumber and start the next day afresh. Appreciating and accepting the lows will make you recognise and be grateful for the highs.
Feeling off doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Use this time positively to realign, reflect and grow. Get to know yourself better. Understand what makes you tick and most importantly, look after yourself. Listen to your body and do what it craves. Nurture and care for yourself. You are the best measure of yourself, so know your own limits. If you need to retreat from the world, do it gently and with grace. Emerge when you are ready and you will be back stronger and better than before.