21 May 2015

Feeling Down? You're not alone | My tips and advice

Today has just been one of those days where all I want to do is binge eat all the chocolate and ice-cream I have in the house whilst watching Pretty Little Liars. When I do this, I end up feeling worse and therefore eat more, trapping me in a vicious cycle that I can't get out of until the day is over. I'm not sure what brings this feeling on, maybe its stress or I might be a victim of mother natures monthly visit. Whatever it is, all I know is that I hate this feeling.

The only thing that makes me feel remotely better is going out for a walk but when I'm feeling like this I don't even want to get dressed, let alone leave the house. This has been happening for about 2 years and I am just sick of it. I have recently been monitoring what gets me like this and what makes me feel better when I'm feeling this way so I thought I would do a blog post all about it. Not for sympathy or attention, but to help those you feel the same way and to let them know they are not alone in this. It is not a diagnosed condition or mental illness, its just part of life. Sometimes you have to deal with these things without the help of medication. This can be by talking to someone you trust or simply reading someone else's experiences, whatever works for you. Do remember, it is ok to feel sad, lost, angry, frustrated, whatever else is running through that brain of yours! We are all humans with feelings and sometimes those feelings get exhausted and take it out on our physical bodies.

First of all, we need to understand why sometimes we get like this. After a bit of googling 'why do we feel sad', and a lot of self-searching, I discovered there are many causes as to why we feel glum and lethargic.

For me personally, it has a lot to do with both my expectations and my nerves. For example, when I plan that I am going to have a 'healthy eating' day and I end up eating that chocolate, it feels like my whole day is revolved around punishing myself by eating more and feeling worse. This is sometimes kickstarted by my anxiety and anxiousness, like when I have something 'big' happening on that day - even though it may not seem like a big deal to others, things seem to get to me pretty easily. I find the weather can also have a big impact on my mood. When its grey and dismal, I feel the gloominess inside me even more compared to when its a lovely warm, summers day. Thats not to say I don't get like this in the summer, because I definitely do. Its just that theres not one definitive cause, but instead an array of triggers.

Whats important is what to do when this happens to you. Through trial and error, I have found what works for me the majority of the time, although sometimes I just give in and basically lie in bed all day with my laptop and a tub of Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ben and Jerry's. But we don't want to do that every time, so here are a few tips that for me really do work:
  • If you feel it coming on early, do your best to start the day right. Eat a good (healthy) breakfast, get changed and write your plans for today down. When my whole day was free, it meant that there was nothing that I needed to do and it gave me an excuse to lounge around in my pyjamas all afternoon, which as you know is not the most productive way to spend the day. By writing down what you need to do, you will feel motivated into getting things done as well as feel pleased with yourself as you do so.
  • Do some exercise, which releases those feel-good hormones (endorphins) and relieves stress. It is a great way to relieve you from all those emotions that have been building up and allows you to focus on something else.
  • If exercise is not really for you, just go for a casual walk instead. Like I said before, when I'm in this state of mind, the last last thing I want to do is leave the house. So instead, I have to force myself to get some fresh air usually with the excuse that my mum needs something from the shops just so I can walk it to my local Tesco's. Let me tell you now, this really works like nothing else can. It may be the endorphins released from the walk, or the satisfaction that I'm burning off at least a fraction of what I binge ate before, but it makes me feel refreshed and free.
  • Stop with all of that junk food and try eating some fruit and drinking water. Instead of feeling sluggish, the fruit will give you that sugar-kick you need while leaving you to feel more refreshed (and less guilty too).
  • Getting lost in a book is my favourite thing to do, especially when its one of those that you just can't seem to part ways with. Try to go for something funny and thrilling, steering clear of soppy romances  as it can sometimes make you feel even worse! If thats not your thing, go for reading self-help books or magazines, where you'll find inspiration and advice to get you going.
  • Of course, watching your favourite movie with a bowl of popcorn is a good way to relax and unwind. Avoid dwelling on whatever's bothering you and cheer yourself up with the cheesiest rom-coms you can find. Or the scariest horror movies out there if thats your thing! Whatever genre you choose, just take a deep breath, get comfortable and forget the world for them 2 and a half hours.
  • If your in one of those moods where you keep thinking about things and getting lost in your own thoughts, instead of being sad about it all, think of something that made you laugh recently. Was it your dad's awful jokes, or your best mates hilarious school blunder. You could also simply focus on what makes you happy and being grateful for all those little moments in life you are pleased took place.
  • Tidy up! I'm not sure what it is but there's something very therapeutic about cleaning  my room and sorting my things out. One of my favourites is sorting out my wardrobe where I get to try things on and create outfits out of what I have. Theres a sense of nostalgia you can get by trying on old clothes whilst satisfaction is given when you finally get round to throw out that old top you've been holding on for years but can't seem to part ways withI get a thrill of organisation and it honestly leaves me feelings very organised and refreshed. Even better, you end up having a productive day that you can feel proud of and then use the evening for a nice bath and a good old Netflix session. 
  • Accept whats happened and think of every day to be a fresh start. Every day is a new chance to put things right and create a new experience for yourself. If you find that you still can't seem to get out of this rut you find yourself in then please talk to someone. Be it a family member, your friends or even a doctor, just let it out and tackle whatever problems you feel you may have day by day. 
I apologise if this is a long-winded post that doesn't even make sense for some of you but I really hope that anyone who feels the same way that I do sometimes realises that they're not the only ones who have down days. Remember, its OK to feel sad sometimes. Just try to handle it as best you can and you'll get there (I'm going to make sure I look back on this post and take my own advice when I'm feeling down!). 

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