The past couple of weeks have been a bit urghh and they kind of sent me into a little spin of self doubt and uncertainty. I let outside voices start to pickle my view and confuse me somewhat. However! Instead of sitting here and boring you with the details I thought I'd share some of the things that have helped me out. Maybe what works for me won't be your cup of tea and that's just fine, but if there's anything here that may also help you to switch off and re-focus then that's all the better!
We all feel lost at times thanks to the many twists and turns within our lives and within our work. No matter what someone's life might look like from the outside it's never fair to judge based on the very little you can ever possibly know about their personal reality. When you feel like you might just pop with frustration you may find that some of the resources below will come in useful, ways that you can help yourself and re-focus.
3 WAYS TO BANISH THE BLUES:
This doesn't have to mean the hardcore kind of sitting and switching off for long periods at a time and drifting off onto another plain. It can be simple, peaceful, quick and incredibly effective. You just have to start somewhere and with practice and time the benefits will increase and your ability to switch off will greatly improve.
Many people believe that meditating is just about clearing your mind of all thoughts so they get extremely frustrated when those thoughts begin to creep back in and they feel their meditative state is breaking. Instead think of it more as acknowledging those thoughts, not judging yourself for thinking them, then letting them pass. It's a way to break the pattern of the madness of the day, to take in some silence, to breathe and to re-focus. Anyone and everyone can benefit from a few minutes of mindful peace and relaxation especially when their day is feeling tough.
One of my favourite, quick ways to meditate takes just a little over five minutes but instantly brings you back to a place of clarity and calm: A Simple Meditation Exercise To Keep You Stress-Free At Work from Levo League.
Another favourite resource of mine for mindfulness, positivity and for learning more about it all is Emma Mills London. I first happened across Emma and her website whilst researching for another post I was writing, and I've been revisiting ever since.
Emma shares advice and tips on many areas that you may find yourself needing to cover. Creativity, happiness, stress, work, healthy living and much more in between. If you're feeling a little rubbish, take a look around and I'm sure you'll pick up something useful to help you find some strength again.
2. Seek Out Positive Solutions:
Misery loves company and isn't that the truth. Unfortunately all too often when we're down it's all too tempting to seek out more of the negative, wallow (come on we all do it!) and refuse to focus on the positive. I understand, I do it oh so often as well and yes sometimes you just have to go with it until the storm passes, but if you can find something to pep you up instead then why not give it a try.
Personally I love to turn to one of my favourite US YouTubers for this. Now granted our stateside cousins may at first appear a little bit peppy and positive for my own typical British melancholy, but that's exactly why I love Marie Forleo and her channel Marie TV.
Marie creates short videos devoted to 'Creating a Business and a Life You Love' and covers a variety of topics, offering positive and actionable advice to bring you through difficult situations. Recently I found the clip below very useful, to quote Marie: "It's not about toughening up, it's about smartening up."
3. Switch Off Social Media: Or more specifically - Facebook!
Now as a blogger this one is a little tricky but I truly have come to believe that Facebook really is the root of all misery in this current day and age. Controversial? Who cares!
I avoided it for years and was as happy as Larry, whoever he is! When I set up my blog I needed a business page and low and behold you have to sign yourself up as a person in order to do that. In hindsight I wish I had never embarked on using my personal page but friends seemed so happy to see me there that for a while it was relatively pleasant. Oh how wrong!
Social media and especially the aforementioned platform can be wonderful but it can also leave you feeling very cold.
My advice when you're having a bad time - SWITCH IT OFF! Log out of those accounts, switch off the phone, the tablet, the laptop and go and focus on something else. Or if that seems a little too drastic then at the very least switch off your social media notifications for a while - a weekend or a week at least. Stop yourself from feeling drawn to it over and over again, don't be a slave to those oppressive little red dots!
Don't worry about what you may or may not be missing out on, stop comparing yourself and your life to that of your friends. Resist the urge to vent - it really isn't helpful, and go and do something more productive. You'll feel far better for it.
Need a little more guidance? Then this article might help to see you through: 5 Tips To Stop Making Comparisons And Feeling Bad About Yourself - tinybuddha.com.
So I hope that some of the above resources come in handy. I'd love to know what you do and where you turn when you need to get yourself back on track? Advice and tips are always truly welcome.
As a fellow blogger very wisely commented to me today: Focus on what you have control of; yourself. The rest is just noise! Thank you Laura, you can't even know how much I needed to hear that today!
So folks, don't let the negative get you down. Run your own race and if people can't be there for you in a positive way then perhaps take a step back for a while. Lift others up and focus on those who are prepared to do the same for you. Be happy, be strong and as much as it may sometimes seem completely impossible, stay positive!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone and keep smiling.