With all the pressures we’re facing at the moment, it’s easy to look at the world – and functioning in it – as insurmountable. It took me years of therapy before any day at all felt doable, and those include the good ones! So when the harder ones are rolling around, and then you add a plague on top of it… Life is kind of hard right now.
I can’t fix it for any of you, even though I really sincerely wish I could; it doesn’t matter that we’ve never met. What I can do, is share some of the little steps, the tiny things, that have made a big difference over the years, and help me now when it all feels Too Much.
Make a collection of happy things
I know, I know, when I was first told to do this I looked at the therapist and straight out asked her if she thought I was a child. But since getting over myself a little, I’ve started my collection of happy postcards, and that I think is the key – find out what you need to be collecting. They don’t need to be big expensive things to make a difference. I have over fifty postcards on my craft room wall, and they make me smile on tough days. I know which ones to search out in certain moods, even. Give it a try. Don’t put things off limit to yourself.
Keeping a journal means different things to different people. Some people have a giant art book they write and sketch in, some keep a tiny notebook where they rate their day out of ten, and everything else in between. These days you can even get ‘wellbeing journals’ or ‘mindfulness journals’, so if you want to try it out but don’t know where to start, these can be an inexpensive way to get started. There’s loads of different options on places like etsy, but if you’re on a tight budget some are as cheap as a few pounds on Amazon.
When the world feels like it’s exploding around you, the worst sensation is having no control. So give yourself something you have control over. Whether it’s knitting, crochet, colouring, clay, paper mache, origami… It doesn’t matter. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve never done it before. It doesn’t even matter if you’re good at it. You can experiment with different crafts and techniques with relative ease and low cost. But if you need something you can do with things laying around your house in the mean time, try one of these:
- Friendship bracelets: If you haven’t got any embroidery thread (most people have, for some reason, somewhere), then use string and / or ribbons. You can follow tutorials on YouTube and be away within minutes. Simple, therapeutic, cheap.
- Origami: Of course origami paper is better but you can make do with normal paper if you need to. Or even kitchen towel will do for things like flowers to go with dinner. YouTube again is your friend here, but you can also find lots of step by step written instructions too.
- Line drawings: Little line drawings have become more and more popular over the years, from decorations on paper to tattoos. Again, you can get step by step instructions for hundreds of flowers and animals from your phone if need be, just to give you something to focus on.
Watch your fluid intake
Getting dehydrated just makes the world that bit more crap. Science will naturally tell us that water is the best option, but if you can get your fluids in as a mixture of fruit tea, squash and a can of energy drink, that’s still stopping you from getting dehydrated! Watch to see if too much caffeine makes you jittery or anxious (it doesn’t have this impact on everyone, but when you’re stressed you’re naturally more susceptible to it) as a side note. Personally I found that buying a water bottle I could memorize the size of and making sure that I take in, for example, two of those over the day is my minimum, makes me feel a bit less grouchy, and a bit less headachy. Small victories!
Treat Yo Self
It’s the best day of the year! Set yourself a limit, dependent on your budget, and work out what little thing would make you happy. Will buying that one book a month give you something to look forward to? Do it. Music subscription is 100% worth it. Audible? Yes. Fresh coffee arriving to your door, ready ground, every two weeks improves your life? Hell. Yes. What your finances look like will impact what this Treat is, but just do something nice for yourself. Set your standards high – others will follow your lead.
These are just a few little ways you can make sure the world feels less heavy right now, and I so believe that it’s important we work together. It’s okay to know you need some extra input from yourself right now! Do it. Rock it. Don’t feel bad about it.
I’ll be back again soon with another one of these posts because sometimes just reading it is the permission we need to love ourselves that bit more.