Last Friday, my laptop broke down just as I was putting the finishing touches on an article. I switched to my PC, but, would you believe it, my PC was also playing up and the article had not backed up to the cloud – it was lost, for good!
After some minutes of wanting to pull my hair (and a few swear words), I spent the rest of the day trying to rewrite and remember all of the “brilliant” things that I had written before… grrrh!
I also had come urgent errands planned for the afternoon, though a parcel that was supposed to arrive in the morning was delayed for delivery until the afternoon, it never showed! Then to top it all off, my partner called to cancel our dinner. He had to work late.
I know worse things can happen in life, though some days simply don’t go to plan and can feel stressful and shitty!
Anyone who’s had a thoroughly bad day knows it. Having a bad day can be very “educating”, though most often when we’re right in the thick of it, we’re not thinking of, “What I can learn from this?”, instead most people are experiencing heightened or even soaring emotions… and may have a gnawing suspicion that the whole world is out to get them… haha!
Yes, humorous after the fact, though not at all funny at the time.
The good thing about tricky days is when you know how to check in with yourself before your emotions turn you into a mad-woman, you will know exactly how to comfort yourself before mayhem sets in. You will stop a downward spiral of deafeat in its tracks!
Sure, you cannot control what happens in your day to day life – but you can deal with it in a way that has you closer to smiling than crying by the end of it!
Here are six things to do to feel better when you’re strung out or feeling depressed after a crappy day:
#1 Let it all out
Often people try to escape their unwanted feelings by ignoring them and pretending all’s well. Emotions, however, are tricky, and unwanted feelings typically won’t go away just because you pretend they’re not there in the first place. So, first things first: admit to yourself that you are having a shitty, horrible, depressing day and let yourself feel bad. Rather than struggling or pretending, own your feelings.
That’s right: let yourself feel bad. But do it mindfully. Did you know there is something called self-compassion? It’s the same as compassion; only you comfort yourself. What would you do if a friend called you stressed or sad about something in her life, would you comfort your friend after a rough day? Would you be kind and understanding? So why refuse yourself the same treatment?
#2 Hear what your body is telling you
Mental stress typically causes physical stress as well, but we often ignore the signals our bodies send us when under pressure. One of the things to do when you’re feeling depressive or anxious is to pay attention to your body.
The wonderful effect of physical activity on the mind has been widely documented, so why not lean on all the evidence? Experts advise stretching your whole body after a tough day or taking a quick walk somewhere peaceful. Anyone who’s tried it would agree that getting some exercise when you’re upset can do wonders for the way you feel. So, if you’ve had a bad day, think about tending to your body as a way of tending to your mind.
I do this when I’m feeling stressed and it works! Move that gorgeous body of yours! It was designed to move, not watch Netflix.
#3 Treat yourself to some water magic
A shower can do wonders for the way you feel. It can be invigorating or calming, and in any case, the water treatment is a must if you feel depressed or flat after a crappy day. Research suggests, that after a shower we tend to be more self-compassionate.
Or why not take a bath. Some self-nurturing is never a bad thing and can make you feel better about yourself, less critical to your decisions, and less likely to get upset about things like bad luck or the unfairness of the world we live in – the kind of thoughts many of us entertain after a really bad day.
#4 Bring the “good” to the fore
Focus on the good things in your life. Research on happiness has been conducted in universities across the globe, and science says that gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to lift your spirits! Sure, maybe your cat passed away, maybe a man you really like dumped you, maybe a business deal or a promotion fell through…
Yes, all these things suck and can pull at your heartstrings. Perhaps you didn’t get what you wanted or thought you needed in a particular situation, and yet there are also plenty of things in your life that are pretty darn tremendous. Focus on these things, from the superficial to the more heartfelt.
You can be grateful for the kindness of a stranger, honesty from a friend, love from family and friends, the food you eat, the legs that carry you, the air you breathe, bed you sleep on, couch, car, job, etc.
Be grateful! You will feel better!
#5 Earth-mother yourself
Most people who are in a state of overwhelm, panic or defeat, are not in their bodies. Their emotions and energy can feel fragmented and unstable.
A tried and tested a way to get out of depression, to feel more at peace, and less stressed, is to indulge in things that make you feel good – and I’m not referring to chocolate, pizza, and champagne…
A really powerful way to feel good is to do some grounding exercises. This can be done in the home or with your shoes off in the garden or a park. You can be sitting on a chair, lying down or find some grass and be barefoot and connected to the earth.
Feel and visualise your body merging with the earth while it heals you and supports you. It’s important to know that nothing stays the same, the way you’re feeling right now will pass.
Trust the earth, trust yourself and know that you can handle it all.
#6 Check in with your inner demons
I saved the best to last! If you do this one thing, you will certainly feel dramatically better about everything in your life.
What we think about expands! When we’re feeling down about our life in some way, often we feel like we’re failing or not enough in some way. We can feel guilt or shame; we may worry if we did something wrong, we might blame others!
No matter what is happening, you must know this one thing and focus on it…
You are enough. You have to know this and believe this with every cell of your body.
I AM ENOUGH
Say this 2000 times a day if you need to. I don’t care what has happened or what you did.
You are enough. Focus on this and watch the weeds inside your mind and heart die away.
I am enough… repeat, repeat, repeat… and mean it when you say it…
Write this everywhere. Make it your screensaver, put it on your fridge, bathroom mirror, the dashboard of your car… everywhere!
So… yes, we all have crappy days. It’s okay. Life is unpredictable. Humans are unpredictable.
This means, you’re free to feel edgy or down and out when life has served you a lemon, and at the same time you can change the way you perceive and deal with the situation by learning to cope with things in a more mindful and compassionate way.
I suggest you follow these six steps daily, not just when life is feeling tough, this way you’ll be able to ride the storms much easier.
In this life, you can choose to be a victim or a victor! You can choose to thrive through the highs and lows!
So feel the feelings, learn from them and rise through them. When you have this mindset your life becomes a little sweeter every day.
*Please share your personal experiences in the comment section below the blog! I’d love to know how you deal with a difficult day or if something in this article resonated with you.