Sometimes it all gets a bit too much. Sometimes you can’t help but collapse into a small heap in tears. Sometimes you can’t help but feel that everything is going wrong and you just can’t cope with life. If you’re anything like me, you might be starting to be able to predict when these little freak outs are coming on. Even if you’re not, it’s sometimes good to take a moment to yourself to just chill out and give yourself a moment of reflection and mental recuperation.
So today’s Friday Five is five things I turn to to help me out when I’m on the verge of it all getting too much.
Before you begin reading, when you’re feeling anxious or worn out, it is important to acknowledge how you’re feeling. Be aware of your mood and what state your emotions are in. Say to yourself, “I feel anxious”. Admit it and realise that it is TOTALLY NORMAL. You have got through it and you will again.
1. Refocus the Mind
This could cover all kinds of things – read a magazine, do a puzzle, listen to a podcast, text a friend – but do something that engages your brain. I love reading an actual, printed, paper magazine. There is something really indulgent about taking some time to myself to look at some beautiful pictures and read about things I more than likely cannot afford. The visual stimulus combined with the reading means by brain is occupied and I am transported to a different place. I disconnect from what’s going on in my life and get immersed in someone else’s – I’m essentially refocusing my brain. Same goes for reading a book – as long as it’s an absorbing one!
2. Tidy Up
Or pick a job that you’ve needed to do for a while and do it. Whether it’s sorting through your clothes to decide what to send to charity, alphabetising your book collection or tidying your make up away, you will feel a lot better when you’ve finished. It might not seem like the most enjoyable thing to do to start off with, but you get an instant sense of satisfaction and that makes you feel GOOD.
3. Try some Visualisation
I read about this awesome trick on Buzzfeed, so I can’t take the credit, but visualisation techniques really work for me. This particular trick from Buzzfeed is basically like meditating, but I find that by forcing my brain to picture something as well, it captures more of my focus and there is less attention left to spend on worrying.
In a nutshell: sit properly on a chair (feet flat, legs uncrossed, bum to the back) with your palms facing up. Close your eyes and imagine you’re connected to the centre of the earth with a huge grounding cord (bear with me here). Once you feel truly grounded (deep breaths) then imagine a huge warm sun shining its light down on the top of your head and that warmth flowing through your body. Honestly, it works. Trust me.
4. Pet an Animal
I am lucky because I have two small, fluffy balls of delicious rabbityness at home that I can stroke whenever I wish. There is nothing quite as soothing as stroking them from their head to toe. I don’t know how to explain it, other than all I can concentrate on is them and their loving nature. Sure, they might rip my wallpaper off and eat it, they might chew my skirting boards and poo on the carpet, but I love them and they love me unconditionally. And that is an incredibly relaxing feeling.
5. Make a To Do List
This is just the bestest idea. Write everything down. ALL THE THINGS. Whether it’s put the washing on, make my bed, make a cup of tea – whatever it is, stick it down on that list. Big or small, it doesn’t matter. Whether or not you do it today or never, it doesn’t matter. And here’s a tip from me – write down things you know you can easily cross off. Not only does writing the list help order your thoughts and give you some direction over where to start tackling them, it also gives you immense pleasure crossing things off that damn list.
5. Dance and Sing to your Favourite Tunes
Find a happy playlist of songs you know and love, put your headphones in and turn them up loud. Get on your feet and dance around the room. None of that mournful emo stuff here please, I want something that makes you dance, gives you energy, reminds you of fun times in your life. It is so energising to sing like no one’s listening and dance like no one’s watching, so the saying goes. It’s up to you whether you do it in front of other people or not 🙂
And here’s one last final one because I love it.
In and out, in and out. Deep. Feel your chest rise and fall. Feel the air fill your lungs to the bottom. You will feel centred and grounded.
Don’t forget, the world is not ending, you can do this, you’ve got it. You’re capable of so much more than you think. And I believe in you. So go out there and slay.