I am currently experiencing a ‘Meh’ day. I can’t really put my finger on exactly what is ‘Meh’ but I just feel it. I know that there are underlying things that are stressing me out, but I don’t have any control over there outcome. Why do I waste my time worrying about a future situation that I have very little control of? ‘Meh’ I just don’t know.
I recently listened to Baz Luhrmanns ‘Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen’, the lyrics state that ‘ worrying is as useless as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum’. Even though I know this, can I stop it? Sometimes yes but often no. So I have been thinking about the things that may help me on these days.
Connecting with friends/ family
If a friend was struggling, I would want to be there for them, knowing that by listening it may give them some relief, yet I struggle to reach out when I need help. Since becoming ill, I have realised the importance of this and will send a text or call someone if I am having a rough day. Even if I am just crying down the phone or when I know that I am not being rational, talking about it seems to take the power away from the emotion so that I can start to make sense of it all. If you don’t want to speak to a friend then Samaritans can be helpful, their number is 116 123 or you can email them at email@example.com
Sitting with the feeling
Accepting how you are feeling can be beneficial. Everyone in life has ups and downs, it’s just that when you are unwell, the downs feel more intense. That is OK, it will pass, you won't feel like this forever, even if your mind is telling you something different. Anxiety and depression like you to believe that nothing will change but everything changes. There was you before and there will be a you after, even if you can’t see it now.
Try to distract yourself
Sometimes you may manage seconds, other times you may manage minutes. Don’t judge yourself for how long you are able to distract yourself or berate yourself either. Do what you can manage and be kind. Some of my go-to distractions are cleaning, knitting, drawing, writing, cooking, reading or crafting- short bursts of activity followed by rest. If you can fully absorb yourself in the activity then great but if your mind is distracting you from the distraction then you can always say ‘I know that you want me to worry right now but I am doing this, so I will think about that later’. I wouldn’t recommend doing this out loud if you aren’t at home, but if that helps then who cares
Even writing that word soothes me. Self-soothing is about doing kind things for yourself. When I was single, I was having a bad day and one of my friends told me to cook myself a meal as if I was cooking for a date. I thought this was so nice so I did it often and why not? If I wanted to treat James, I would go out and buy good quality ingredients, then spend time cooking to make sure the meal was delicious. However, some days, when James is working, I will make myself toast or something of equal nutritional value because I don’t see the point. Its so important to remember that you are important too! You can apply this to any activity, watching a film or relaxing at home. Think of what you would do for someone you love and treat yourself in this way. The more you reinforce these habits, the easier it becomes to make that time for you.
Relaxation audios/ meditation
I know I have written before about insight timer but it really is amazing. You have guided relaxation audios at your fingertips. I like to go to my room and burn some lavender before meditating, this helps me to really relax while listening to the audio. I believe your mind associates certain scents for relaxation when used often, so sometimes, even just burning lavender is enough to remind my mind that it is OK to relax. Patchouli is really good for depression and I love incense sticks, but I know that they aren’t for everyone. I think this is something that helps with mindfulness, as it brings you back to your senses and into the present moment. Something that is essential when managing anxiety or those ‘Meh’ days
Watching something funny
I love Amy Schumer, she has a new stand up episode on Netflix which, I think, is hilarious. Bridesmaids, The Other Guys, Anchorman, Snatched are just a few that I like but they won’t be for everyone. Sometimes just putting on Disney film or something light (NOT Bambi!) can soothe you.
These are just a few ideas and everyone can make their own toolkit for when they are feeling shitty, but hopefully just remembering that YOU are important, YOU deserve time for yourself and you may have bad days but they WILL pass.
Remember that recovery is full of ups and downs, so there will be some ‘Meh’ days but good ones will follow. Sometimes just trusting in the process is all that you can do.