1. Acknowledge the funk – and that’s it.
Don’t analyse it. Don’t try to explain it. Just acknowledge it. Accept it. Breathe. Acknowledging and accepting something allows you to approach it with curiosity and compassion instead of trying to avoid it. It’s natural to want to avoid things that are uncomfortable, we are constantly sold an unrealistic idea of happiness and perfection. It might be natural to push it away, but it’s not helpful.
2. Give yourself a break.
It’s most likely that stress has played a huge part in your emotions taking a dive south. So care for yourself as you would someone you love. Whether it’s making a hot cup of tea, doing some gentle yoga, having a warm and soothing bath or shower, reading that book you haven’t had time for, writing a letter to someone you love, watching an inspiring TED talk, gardening, painting, drawing or listening to an album you love - do it and don’t feel guilty for it, not even a little bit.
3. Get outside.
Absorb some fresh air into those big beautiful lungs and get the blood pumping! Not only is exercise scientifically proven to lift your spirits, it feels so damn good to get out of your box. Rain or shine - go and connect with nature, be captivated by beauty and get out of your own head for a while.
4. Tell someone.
But wait - there’s a catch - choose who you speak to wisely. Running to that person who fixes everything, quells every insecurity you’ve ever had and tells you everything will be ok is wonderful, but what happens next time? And the time after that? It’s time to adult. Connect with the person that’s going to be real with you, someone who can empathise (not sympathise – look up the difference if you’re not sure). Someone you respect, who knows you, someone who can help you laugh at yourself, ask the right questions, read between the lines and call you out on your bullshit and bad habits with care.
5. Tidy up your space.
Chances are, that if you’re feeling low the desire to clean up around you has diminished, even more so than usual. Commit to sorting out your nest, one small step at a time. Break it down into little jobs and do them when you can. If you have 7 rooms in the house – do one a day for a week.
6. Nourish your body.
Eat good food. If cooking is a chore – make it fun with some music and a friend to cook for. Look up some easy healthy recipes. Reduce stimulants (alcohol, sugar, caffeine) and drink plenty of water, replace processed with wholefoods, eat fruit, nuts, herbs and spices and add salad or veg or both to every meal – even if you’re having a bloody pizza just add some greens, simple. Your brain is connected to your body – if you don’t feed it the nutrients it needs how can you expect it to function properly?
7. Make a list.
Of little things that will help you feel better about your current situation – this could be as simple as clean my room, pay overdue bill, send email to boss, meditate for 5 minutes, call Mum. Tasks that are easy to tick off and leave you feeling like you’ve been productive.
8. Do the things you’ve been avoiding.
When we avoid the jobs we hate, they weigh heavily on us even if we aren’t aware of it. Try not to look at a big job as a huge mountain to climb but a collection of pathways that slowly, one by one, get you closer to the top – in other words break it down into manageable sections. The hardest part is to start. Just begin and the rest will happen, if it doesn’t don't be too proud to ask for a bit of help.
9. Spend time with quality mates.
Just hang out or do something fun! Let go, be silly, have a moan, have a laugh, reminisce, take selfies if that’s your thing, eat good food and enjoy yourself in good company, remind yourself what life is really all about.
10. Reflect on recent accomplishments.
We tend to focus on what we haven't done or what's not happening. Shift your focus to what you have achieved over the last week, month, year, 5 years! Give yourself some credit for your hard work, whether you’ve been “successful” or not is irrelevant.
11. Learn from your mistakes.
We all fail. We all make wrong choices and have bad habits, it’s ok! Failing is good. If things never went wrong we’d never learn how to deal with it. Adversity builds strength and character as long as there is insight and a willingness to take responsibility and keep going.
“Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.” – Albert Einstein.
with love, jess x