You know when you're having a bad day and it feels like nothing, NOTHING, could possibly make you feel any better? The world might as well just end, because you just dropped the last piece of toast on the ground? Yeah, I know how you feel.
So, in the hopes that my 'Shitty Monday' rings true for a few of you out there, I thought I’d share some of my classic pushing-through tips. Some of my tried-and-tested ways of getting out of a funk. I’m not going to tell you to join a meditation class or quit your day job or go to the gym and punch it out. This is a really simple, easy and realistic list of things you can do anytime, anywhere. You're welcome.
Download the CALM app
Seriously, the CALM app is awesome. You can choose to listen to rain, wind, ocean, etc, or pick a meditation of 5 minutes, 10 minutes, however many minutes you have to spare. There’s no ‘ohming’ involved. Just stick your headphones in and go for your life. If you’re on the train, people will probably just think you’re having a nap or listening to music. If you’re at work and people might look at you weird, duck off to an empty toilet cubicle. Anything goes.
This is pretty hypocritical, I admit. I am severely challenged in the area of meditation and mind control. During yoga classes, my mind rolls at a million miles an hour. One time I even started watching a movie IN MY HEAD. While downward dogging my heart out. BUT I can seriously vouch for this app. Even if you don’t actually “let your thoughts go” or whatever they tell you to do, you’re still taking a few minutes out of your day to do nothing but sit with your eyes closed. How often do we get to do that?
Remember what makes you laugh
Do you feel like you don’t remember how to smile? Like nothing will ever be funny again? Grab a pen and paper and write a quick list of all the things that make you laugh. It could be a conversation with a friend recently, your favourite TV show, or FML.com. Send a funny meme to a friend; no doubt they’ll send you one back. My brother is golden for this. If you’re at work, find and re-read some of Rosie Waterland’s recaps of The Bachelor on Mamamia. Do a quick YouTube search of Friends and watch a clip or two. Maybe you’re a cute cat video kind of person? Just try not to get too distracted and waste away the day learning how to tie a tie or apply the perfect eyeliner. Or, you know, that sounds like a pretty fun day... I’m not your boss.
Make a cup of tea
Seriously, tea is like a hug in a cup. Not into tea? Try hot chocolate. A chai latte, coffee, warm milk, whatever floats your boat. Sit there and sip it. Sip it, sip it good. (Sung to the tune of ‘Whip it’.)
Stretch your body
Stretching is glorious. The word ‘stretching’ doesn’t have to be synonymous with lycra and sweat. Stretching can actually be pretty lazy and relaxing. You get to lie down, hello?! It’s a classic feel-good activity. If you can’t make it to a regular yoga or Pilates class, it’s super easy to D-I-Y, anywhere, anytime. Okay, maybe not anywhere, but there’s no harm in being creative. Stretching makes your body feel better, perform better and makes everyday stuff easier to do. Every muscle in your body contains “stretch receptors” connected to your brain. And stretching releases dopamine which makes you feel happy. I’m not an expert, but it sounds legit.
Reach out to your soul-keepers
My soul-keeper is my friend Alyce. She’s the most positive, hard-working, inspirational person I’ve ever met but she also knows how to balance life. She keeps my soul all warm and fuzzy and loved. Alyce is super busy; she just finished a PhD and went straight into a hectic full-time job that has her running around like a chicken without a head. She doesn’t have much time for texting and emailing and calling at the moment, so we’ve started this thing where we make voice recordings of ourselves talking to each other, catching up, sharing news, spilling our guts. She can listen to my mindless ranting on the way home in the car, or at any more convenient time. It’s the best thing ever.
My point is, no one is ever too busy to reach out. Send a text to someone who you know will make you feel better. Tell them you’re having a shit day. They might call you, or take you out for a drink later, or make a joke. Whatever it is, you’ve reached out and your job is done. The thing is, when you’re having a bad day, it’s easy to feel alone. And no one knows that’s how you’re feeling unless you tell them. Yes, we would love it if all our friends were psychic and knew exactly when to call us or drop over for a hug, but in reality we’re all living our lives without those kind of super powers.
If you’re having a rough time, tell someone. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your friends or family, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 It’s completely anonymous and they’re able to listen.
Now go forth and be cool.
Amy Lovat x