When we’re thrown into unfamiliar territory, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Before you know it, a bad day becomes a bad week. Here, our columnist Grace Victory shares how we can respect these feelings, without letting them take over
We are in unprecedented times and, for some of us, completely out of our normal routines. It can often feel like we are bombarded with Covid-19 talk on social media, on TV, and even in our homes. We can’t escape the reality of what is going on, and that can feel quite overwhelming, given we are also stuck physically as well. For some, households are small, dark, and have no outside space. For others, households are unsafe, and harbour violence and emotional abuse. Self-isolation is not an easy feat by any means, and although some may find it less engulfing than others, I think it’s fair to say that most of us are having up and down days.
On the good days, I wake up and feel excited. What content can I create? What can I write about? I might do a workout, or a face mask, declutter the living room, edit three YouTube videos, and binge-watch a Netflix show. Yes, yes, yes – it can make me feel on fire! But on the bad days it can be a lot of tears, brain fog, and – you betcha – absolutely zero ‘yes’ moments.
For so many of us, it’s easy to let that feeling persist, but it’s important to try to stop a bad day from turning into a bad few days, a bad week, or even a bad month. While I believe it’s important to honour your feelings – regardless or whether they are positive or negative – I also think we have to recognise when enough is enough, and understand how we can turn things around.
So, you want to know how to get through a bad day? I’ve got you covered.
1. Honour your feelings
The moment we suppress or diminish what we feel, the feelings grow and grow, and eventually explode. Just because a feeling is difficult or triggering doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be felt. During these moments we can learn so much from our own soul, as well as bring ourselves more clarity and self-awareness. While it may not always be safe to outwardly express these feelings (especially in difficult households during self-isolation), we should learn how to express these feelings to ourselves – with no judgement. It’s a wonderful, spiritual practice to sit and feel, and sometimes we can recognise that our emotional pain is physical, too. When I feel overwhelmed, my neck and upper back ache, so sometimes I will notice the bodily sensations before the emotional.
2. Create internal stillness
Sometimes internal chaos can manifest out, and sometimes external chaos can manifest in. The best way to distinguish which is which, as well as calming yourself in order to figure out what you’d like to do with the chaos, is to create stillness. This can be achieved by meditation. You don’t need to sit cross-legged and say ‘om’, but you do need to bring awareness to your breath, and connect to yourself. I often do this in the shower, because water is such a cleansing tool, and a great way to feel a sense of calm. Another meditative task is cleaning; when I clean, I think of nothing but what I’m doing at that moment. So by the end of an epic cleaning sesh, I feel more grounded and present. Try different activities to find your own thing!
Just because a feeling is difficult doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be felt. During these moments we can learn so much from our own soul, as well as bring ourselves more clarity
3. Get some endorphins
When we’re feeling rubbish, the last thing most of us want to do is exercise, but it’s proven to be a great way to shift low mood and emotional stress. I’m not recommending a 45-minute HIIT class, but simply some form of movement. My friend, the author, speaker and life coach Michelle Elman, recommended The Fitness Marshall, and I’ve been hooked ever since. It’s a YouTube channel that does three to five minute dance videos to your favourite artists. From Beyoncé to Demi Lovato, it’s a quick and simple way to get some movement in. After three videos, your face is as red as a strawberry, but you can’t beat that post-workout feeling. Alternatively, you could try yoga, a walk in nature, or put yourself out there and learn a TikTok dance.
4. Get creative
Playing with the arts and being creative is beneficial for the soul, but it’s also a tool to connect to your inner child. Paint, draw, colour, or papier mâché your feelings. Draw whatever is on your mind, or draw how you’d like to feel. Whenever I pick up a paintbrush, I’m drawn to nature and always paint water or trees, or both. The actual act of painting is enough to centre me, but creating a piece of art that is calming and still makes it even more worthwhile. Alternatively you could play board games, listen to music, or a podcast. Do something that takes little physical effort, but feeds your soul.
5. Show gratitude
And lastly, write down a list of things you’re grateful for. Yes, you can still be grateful when everything feels uncertain. Creating a gratitude list raises your vibrations, and can help bring you some comfort and relief. Love Grace x
Come back next month for more from Grace!