Stop Beating Yourself Up!

We all do it. When something doesn’t go right or we feel like our current situation is too much to handle, most of us tend to blame ourselves. All that self-deprecation builds up and eventually affects both our emotional state of mind along with our physical well-being adversely. You know what the crazy thing is about all this? Most of the shit that we’re constantly beating ourselves up about is totally out of our control!

Think about it for a while. What good does hating/blaming ourselves do about these problems? It doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t make things any better. In fact, I’d say it actually makes the situations harder to deal with. Sometimes, we just need to take a deep breath and remind ourselves that not everything bad that happens in our lives is our fault. I myself am guilty of beating myself up far more than I’d like to admit.

So, what can we do when we feel those negative thoughts creeping up on us reminding us of all the crappy stuff? We can take a deep breath, step back from the situation and just be good to ourselves for a few hours until we’re in a better mindset to deal with the current problems bothering us. I have a few suggestions on how to do this, and also a few things that help me personally. Obviously, these won’t work for everyone but I hope that at least some of these will help you.

  • Make a ‘feel good’ playlist.

This has helped me so much. When I start feeling yourself get down and out about all those problems, the first thing I do is plug my phone into my water speakers, select my ‘feel good’ playlist on my phone and have a good singalong (or even a crazy dance!). It honestly is amazing how much music can make you feel so much better. Make sure you only put happy/upbeat songs in the playlist, otherwise it defeats the point of ‘feel good’. I’ll make a post in the future featuring some songs from my ‘feel good’ playlist.

  • Tidy your room/house/desk area.

Something that helps me when I’m feeling like my life is out of control or my problems are too hard to fix is tidying and organizing my room. It helps because it’s something I can control and it also takes my mind off my problems. Also, playing my feel good playlist whilst cleaning up makes the chore much more fun! Doing all this helps me feel like I’m being more productive with my time. Because, let’s face it, sitting ’round wallowing in self-pity is the least productive thing in the world.

  • Go for a walk/run.

Getting some fresh air is good for so many reasons, but it also gives you time to think and gain perspective on the things that are bothering you. Maybe you’ll even come up with solutions to them whilst getting some exercise as well. Breathe in that fresh air and breathe out all your worrying.

  • Take a bubble bath.

Admit it, no one hates bubble baths. They’re relaxing, fun and an easy mood-booster. Add a little Lavender for extra relaxation. Just light some scented candles, lie back and relax.

  • Make yourself a warm drink.

So, after that bath, wrap yourself in a robe and some fluffy socks. Then, head to the kitchen and grab your favourite mug and make yourself a warm drink. Personally, I prefer some Chamomile + Honey tea because it’s yummy and super relaxing.

  • Watch a funny movie/TV show.

You’re nice and cosy in your robe/blanket with your hot drink? Good. Next, boot up your laptop/iPad/DVD player and pick a funny/feel-good movie or TV show to watch. Or even watch some stand-up comedy. My favourite comedians are Russell Howard and Michael McIntyre. My happy TV show is Parks and Recreation and movies with Jim Carrey never fail to make me laugh.

  • If all else fails? Sleep.

Oftentimes, I find that when I’m having a horrible night, if I go to bed early I usually wake up in the morning feeling a lot calmer, more logical and able to deal with whatever problems caused my low mood the night before.

So, those are just some ideas on how to look after yourself when you’re having a bad day/night and everything seems too much. Never feel ashamed for taking a duvet day or for being good to yourself. From a young age, it’s drilled into us that we need to be nice to others. We should also be taught the importance of being nice to ourselves.

Obviously these tips won’t solve our problems, but they will help us to relax and forget about them for a while. Not all problems can be sorted overnight, and some are completely out of your control. What’s important, is how we deal with those problems. That’s what makes us stronger in the long run.

Until next time. Be kind to yourself.

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My ‘Happy Box’

Hi guys!

Today I wanted to talk about a cute idea I discovered on YouTube a while back. There’s a certain YouTuber called Laura who I’ve been a fan of for quite some time. She does videos on a whole range of topics relating to mental illness. Laura herself has suffered with Bipolar Disorder, Self-Harm and eating disorders in the past and is now in recovery. In one of her videos, she talked about her ‘crisis/emergency’ box. That’s what inspired me to start my own ‘crisis’ box which I refer to as my ‘happy box’ instead.IMG_6032.JPG

Basically, the idea of the box is to fill it with stuff that will help you when you’re feeling shitty or anxious or tempted to self-harm. It’s basically a brilliant distraction technique to kind of get you through those tough moments when all you want to do is breakdown.

I’m hoping to get a bigger, better box soon and fill it with more stuff but for now, it’s just an empty perfume box. At first, I filled the box with face masks, hot chocolate sachets, those little straws that turn your milk chocolate-y and a pack of tissues. Basically a few things that would distract me from my feelings, but also make me feel better.

Even if you don’t have a mental illness, we all have those times when we feel down and out and just wanna scream at the world. I think this is a great idea for everyone regardless of your situation. Just find a box and fill it with things that make you happy/calm you down.

Here are a few more ideas of what you can add:

  • Photos of people you love.
  • A stress ball.
  • Chocolate/Sweets/Candy.
  • Some reassuring quotes written on squares of coloured card.
  • Nail polish.
  • Temporary tattoos.
  • Bouncy ball.
  • A DVD of a comedy movie.
  • A small notebook to scribble in or write your feelings in.
  • Your favourite scented candle.

Anyway, let me know if you find this idea helpful and also if you have anymore ideas of what to put in it!

Until next time. Keep calm and be happy.

Every Cloud …

Hey, guys.

In this post, I wanna talk about something I was told today. I went to an Occupational Therapist for personal stuff which I’ll eventually discuss on here, but not today. Anyway, she was super nice even though I was in a horrible mood and was acting like a little bitch. I suppose I should give you an idea of the issues I was seeing her for, so that you’ll understand a little more. Depression and anxiety. Two issues which have made my everyday life these past few years incredibly difficult. But, as I said, I’m not going to discuss it in detail in today’s post. I’m just not up for it yet.

So, after she’d asked tons of questions that I’d answered many times before to many different professionals, she then stopped and said something that really hit me hard and made me gain a new perspective on my problems. I had told her that one of my long-term goals was to help people in any way I possibly can, but particularly people going through similar issues to myself. That’s when she said something along the lines of: Look at it this way; you can choose to see your mental illnesses as the worst thing in the world. You can see them as things that have ruined your life beyond repair. You can even choose to just give up. But, that’s not your only choice. You can choose to fight it. You can choose to tell yourself that someday, you’ll have gained the life experience to be able to help people who are going through the same struggles as your are. You can get through it and eventually go on to help other people and maybe even save their lives because you understand. And to be understood is one of the most underrated things when it comes to mental illnesses. To be understood is like the first step to beginning to see that light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel.

I guess what I took from her words is that you can choose to focus on just the bad things about your mental illness (or any problems you may be going through), or you can try and find that silver-lining. Even if it’s small. I’m not saying this makes any issues you may have less horrible or less important, but it may make them easier to cope with sometimes. If we find some positive in our negatives to hold onto, it may help us get through them.

It all comes back to a Chinese philosophy I always try to remind myself of. Yin-Yang is the belief that there is bad in the good, but also good in the bad. For instance, shadow cannot exist without light. Or, my mental illnesses are difficult, but they also make me a better person by giving me the ability to empathize with other people in my position.

I really hope this made sense and you guys see where I’m coming from. The OT’s words really made an impression on me today, and I wanted to share it. She’s also encouraged me to end any journal entries/blog entries on a positive note. So, I guess one positive thing about today is that it’s a Friday! Also, if you’re in the UK, Children in Need starts soon on BBC1. Make sure to donate! 😀

Until next time. Be good to yourself.