Has anyone else struggled a little bit with life lately? Is it the dark mornings, shorter days, heavier workloads, or something else that’s brought you down?
Everyone has those down days; we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t.
Personally I feel like I need a day basking in the sun, occasionally dipping my toes in the sea – maybe then I’d feel recharged again.
But having just spent the last few days stressing about everything possible, succumbing to dizzy spells and migraines, and feeling generally worn down, I decided yesterday that enough was enough.
Now, I’m very lucky to have a brilliantly supportive boyfriend, a best friend who is an expert mood-booster and a loving family, including an amazing and attentive Mum, and a Dad who always listens.
Over this weekend, they’ve each done their bit to perk me up – whether intentionally or not – from funny texts, welcoming cups of tea and a listening ear, cuddles, stupid jokes, or the best homemade lasagne ever.
As I went to bed last night, my Mum suggested that I try to put things into perspective. So yesterday morning, I woke up and decided it was time to refocus.
After all, the only person who can help you is you.
It started off pretty hard – who can feel positive leaving the house at 6:30am on a Monday? And to make things worse, the time I often feel my mood slipping, is generally on my commute – two hours on a packed train is tiresome and often soul destroying (no exaggeration!)
So I decided I’d use the time to be productive and have a bit of ‘me time’. I read the book I’d tried and failed to start reading last week. I tidied up my nails. And then I sorted through my personal emails, coming across a newsletter I’d subscribed to a while back, called ‘Career Girls Daily’. It’s full of motivational little tips to survive a hectic working week, with advice on getting ahead in your career and staying happy while doing it.
I clicked through to their website and one article I found really helped me refocus. I wanted to share some of the best ideas I read on here, to hopefully help anyone else who may have been feeling a little down lately…
- Be proactive with the things that make you happy
This basically means, indulge in a little ‘me time’. Whether that’s watching your favourite TV series on repeat, giving into the temptation for chocolate, or going for a surf (I WISH I could have done that this weekend) – just do it.
I was amazed that taking just ten extra minutes to double cleanse my face, slather my body in moisturiser and reshape my nails, made me feel a lot fresher and happier. The little things can make a difference.
- Plan your essentials for happiness
Everything seems better when you have something you’re looking forward to, right? Or something you’re working hard for? It’s called motivation.
If you haven’t got a holiday booked or aren’t saving up for anything in particular, schedule a catch-up with a long-lost friend, or simply arrange to take an afternoon and do nothing. Whatever will kick-start you into moving proactively and feeling motivated – do it.
- Create your week happiness-plan
This is all about goals. Because who doesn’t like making a to-do list on Monday, and realising that nearly everything has been ticked off by Friday?
The trick here is to make them manageable and achievable. My to-do list at work stretches into several pages – and even looking at it makes me feel anxious and stressed.
So yesterday, I set myself three goals that had to be done – they were the priority in my workload. I said to myself that morning that anything else I achieved, was a bonus.
It’s mad that, just by looking at my workload in a different way, I felt more productive and happier about my job. Yes, you still have the same amount to get done, but by breaking it into manageable chunks each day, you have a higher chance of staying positive while doing it.
It’s the same for juggling things in your personal or social life. Prioritise and don’t attempt to do everything at once.
Remember who is important. When times get stressful or tough, it’s actually your nearest and dearest that will help the most. Take the time to connect – in person.
I’m a serious believer that, while technology and social media helps us stay in touch, it’s nothing compared to seeing someone face-to-face. And you just don’t get the same boost from a text message as you do from a smile or a hug.
And one added by me:
- Remember what’s important
What do you want from your day, week, or even your life as a whole?
Juggling what you need to do, with what you want to do, with what you should do, can give anyone a headache. We’re all so busy now; technology means we can never switch off and workloads are only increasing. There are a lot of demands placed on us but remember what’s important to you and make time for it. Managing to speak to friends and family this weekend, making social plans, and even just sitting and gazing out at the beach, helped. It made me reflect and put things in perspective. And perspective is good.
Write these things down so you don’t forget, or even schedule a bit of time into your calendar or diary each week which is your time.
And if you need a quick fix to unwind or feel calm and content again, head straight to the coast. Because if anything can work wonders for your mind, it’s the sound of the waves and that big open expanse stretching ahead of you…