When you are going through tough times, it is hard to even focus on anything other than what it making you worried in your life. It is like having a black cloud following you around weighing on your self as a reminder that this unpleasant thing is happening.
What can you do about it with all your energy and attention is going to it?
Keep to your routine as much as you can
Keeping to your normal routine as much as you can in regards to your eating, exercising and sleeping is extremely important in times of crisis.
There will be a pull to get more take aways, eat more sugar, drink more alcohol, skip the exercise and go to bed later after watching TV to try to relax yourself.
When you start compounding unhealthy habits to the crisis you are facing, very quickly you are going to feel overwhelmed and even more stressed about it.
Spend time everyday doing something that relaxes your body
As your body will be mostly on flight or fight mode, dedicating time to help your body to de-stress itself is very important so your body can get a break from feeling on alert.
This could be as simple as listening to music or going outside for gentle walk.
Talk to someone you trust
We have a tendency to live separate lives in western society and to isolate ourselves because we don’t want to bother anyone with our issues. This can be so damaging for our mental health as we feel lonely and alone. Reaching out for help is important and necessary for our survival. We are creatures that need connection with people and we need to feel a sense of belonging.
Get professional help if you feel you might need it
It is best to be safe and talk to your GP about how you are feeling if you are constantly feeling overwhelmed and stressed. A health professional can help guide you to see a therapist if they believe it is necessary which can be helpful at times in our life. Let go of the stigma to seeing someone professionally about your mental health because we all get stuck at times in life and it is ok to get guidance.
Don’t be afraid of your feelings
When we are going through a crisis, we tend to be scared to sit with our feelings for too long and sometimes we find escapism like alcohol, drugs, sugar etc to feel a relief from these “so labelled” negative feelings. It is important to acknowledge that it is ok to feel any feeling instead of suppressing them. We all have bad days, bad weeks, and bad patches in our lives, so give yourself permission to feel these feelings.
Focus on what you can control
When we are going through a crisis, there are a lot of moving parts that we have no control of. It is important to remind ourselves that we can only control ourselves, our actions and our feelings. All the time we try to control things that are outside of us, we are left feeling powerless. Take deep breaths in those moments and bring your awareness to the present moment.
Avoid negative people
When we are overwhelmed by a tough situation, it is important to limit our exposure to negative people. Sometimes the negative people we are trying to avoid live with us which is then vert challenging. If that is the case, try leaving the house for short walks and disconnecting your energy from theirs while they are having their rant about the situation. Keep reminding yourself in your head that you are doing the best you can.
Let go of everything you can in tough moments. If you hold on to every word people say that you don’t agree with, with every situation that doesn’t go your way, you will always feel drain. Have the intention to let go everything that doesn’t serve you. Write it down if it is necessary at the end of the day what you are letting go of. Even the smallest things.
Remember that nothing is permanent
Remind yourself daily that whatever you are going through is temporary even when it feels an eternity. Nothing is permanent, life changes, people changes and although we live with the illusion we can predict the future. It is important to remind ourselves we can’t.
Don’t try to hold the “I am strong” badge
We live in a society that we need to show a strong face all the time, everywhere we go. Cry if you need to cry. When we pretend that everything is ok when it is not, we isolate ourselves. We live in a world that “I am fine” is the standard response because we are too scared to be true about how we feel. It takes courage to be vulnerable and it starts with you.