When we feel down, self-neglect is a really easy trap to fall into. Why is it when we feel down we don’t do the things that make us feel good? I see this all the time.
This is a form of self-punishment. People feel down so they choose to push themselves down even further, neglecting all the things that make them feel good.
Even if it’s staying up late at night and watching garbage on the TV, only to feel dreadful the next day. It’s not eating the right food, it’s not doing the exercise that makes you feel really good etc.
So here are 10 things, you can do that can help you to remember to take care of yourself when you’re feeling low. Remember, it’s very often the small things that make the biggest impact.
Go to bed
So, all the experts change their minds as to how many hours you need to sleep for. It can get rather confusing. So, my suggestion to you is aim for what works for you. You know when you’ve woken up in the morning and you know you’ve had a good night sleep, aim for that. For example, if it was 8 hours go to bed, but do so that you have an hour to relax, read and then fall to sleep and then have 8 hours. Get into this routine and do it each day.
Oh, the times people tell me that all they’ve had to eat is a ham sandwich and a packet of crisps and they think that’s enough to survive on? It’s not enough, it’s not even real food, it’s food substitutes, it’s all processed and factory made. Nice for a treat perhaps but not enough for your body to feel well and thrive on. Do you know food and mental well-being hold hands? It’s true, you are what you eat, if you eat rubbish well that’s exactly how you’re going to feel. You can’t honestly feel well not eating well.
Eat green, eat whole, and learn about what Is good for your body and what isn’t. Your body can’t actually function correctly when you’re feeding yourself food that you were never created to eat. Go to the fresh fruit and vegetable section in the supermarket and stock up, snack all day on lovely fresh and wholesome food and never let yourself feel hungry.
I see people who literally don’t give themselves a minute to spare. Always taking care of other people but seriously flagging themselves, all the time. Fill your own cup first, put your oxygen mask on first, feed yourself first, love yourself first…. That way you can give what you’ve got to give and not what you’re struggling to have for yourself.
If you enjoy playing a sport, go and play it even if it’s for half an hour or an hour. If you enjoy crafting, craft. Give yourself permission to do what you enjoy, you don’t have to feel miserable and not enjoy your life, that is not what life is about. I can guarantee that you will only regret not doing more of the things you love, rather than regret doing all the things you hate and that you find mundane etc. You’re not going to look back and think I wish I’d done more washing or I wish I’d watched more depressing programmes on TV. You’re going to wish you’d have done what you loved and seen the friends who you wanted to spend time with. So, start now, start loving your life and start doing the things that you really enjoy.
Switch everything off
This is a huge one for most people these days. Technology seems to have taken over life itself and its almost strange to come across someone who doesn’t use social media. We ask them how they get on in life and the answer is usually great thanks, they may have never been on social media or they feel they escaped it. Perhaps there is a tiny bit inside of you that wishes it was you?
Social media can be incredibly addictive and we see people walking into lamp posts and falling into ponds because they’re too busy looking at their phones to see where they are going…. literally.
It’s a big ask, but put your phone down. Delete the apps off your phone and use them only on your laptop or PC etc.
Rest your eyes, rest your brain and do something you enjoy. Be that, taking a lovely hot bath, go on that walk you keep telling yourself you’re going to take. Remember what it’s like to live in the real world.
As the nights are drawing in we all want to start a little hibernating. In Britain, we often moan about the weather because I think it can feel from one extreme to another at times. One day it’s glorious sunshine and the next minute it’s hailing.
So, as the autumn nights draw in, get your blankets freshened up, get your hot drinks stocked up and a new pair of fluffy socks and a really good book, I’ve just ordered The Tao of Pooh. Sit yourself on the sofa, turn the T.V off, the lights down, turn your candles on and have some serious cosy time.
Always a challenging one, people feel they need to switch their minds off to meditate but I believe you can meditate in any way you choose. Be that guided meditation which you can download off my website https://www.white-willow.co.uk/guided-meditationsor you can subscribe to plenty of meditation apps. Or simply put of some really beautiful music, I highly recommend http://www.belightfulmusic.co.ukCatherine Rannus composers some really beautiful music which you can easily close your eyes, let go to imagine and relax to. Meditation doesn’t have to be about clearing your mind, it can simply be about just being present and aware of yourself. How often do we live outside of ourselves? People often live in the past or the future but not in present moment. Yet it’s so important to be present, to be right here taking note of now, because if we aren’t we miss the whole thing. So just sit with it, sit with you and close your eyes or gaze out of the window taking in your surroundings. Do what feels right for you because it’s important to enjoy it.
Gratitude is huge, we’re all great at thinking we’re grateful when in fact we aren’t really. Do you ever sit and think about all the things you’re grateful for? I mean truly sit and feel grateful? If not it’s time to start now. Being grateful brings more focus to the things you love. Get yourself a nice new note book (a good one for those stationery lovers) and get a pen, I know, crazy right, a pen and paper, and start writing. Try and get 10 things written down that you are grateful for. Your family, your friends, your health, your warm home, the ability to laugh, running water, money ect. Make a sentence out of it and talk about it, free yourself to write why you’re grateful and enjoy.
Do what you’ve been meaning to do
We’ve all got those things that we want to do, read that book, call that person, visit that shop, make the doctor’s appointment, join a new club, have a haircut, bake, craft, swim, stop thinking about it and just do it.
I’m not kidding, one of the main thing I prescribe is laughter, people don’t laugh enough. If you don’t laugh enough this one is for you. Three times a day do something that makes you laugh. Be that watching your favourite comedian, talk to someone who always makes you laugh, watch a funny film or simply go on YouTube and find a laughter therapy video. Seriously go out of your way to laugh. It is so unbelievably healthy for you to laugh.
We weren’t designed not to laugh, we have the ability to do so, so exercise that ability and use your facial muscles.
How wonderful are you?
This is probably one of the most challenging and painful exercises that I ask my clients to do. Write down how wonderful you are.
All the great bits about wonderful you and don’t start thinking now there aren’t any, that’s ridiculous of course there are. It could be things like, I’m a really kind person, I have beautiful eyes, I love my hair, I have a lot of love to give.
We have to focus on ourselves otherwise we never know who we are and how can you encourage others to be themselves when you don’t do it yourself. It all starts with you, so it’s time to start.
Enjoy these ideas, you don’t have to do them all but don’t make an excuse that you don’t have enough time. We are all busy but this is your life and your world so enjoy it.