Some of you may not know this yet, but I’ve suffered a lot with anxiety and panic attacks in the last few years. Thankfully, it has greatly improved over the last few months, and I haven’t had a full blown attack in quite some time. However, like everyone, I still have my ‘down’ days.
I call them ‘down’ days, but really they’re more ‘anxious’, ‘exhausted’, ‘scared to get out of bed’ days. When you have absolutely no motivation to do anything productive, and then feel massively guilty for it afterwards. Oh the joys.
I’ve been having a few too many of these recently, working part time means I have a few days off during the week and so it’s easy to just let the anxiety take over and spend all day in bed wallowing in my own self-pity.
But I’ve decided enough is enough, and I’ve been pushing myself through these particularly difficult days using a few of these steps listed below. Although this is quite a personal issue for me, I thought that everyone would be able to benefit from this. Whether you’re struggling with mental health, going through difficulties in your personal life, or you’re just feeling crappy for no particular reason, I hope these suggestions can help.
1. GET OUT OF BED.
There are too many times when I have felt so anxious and rubbish about myself that I’ve hidden in my bed all day, but the problem is that when you eventually get out you feel even worse. Even if you’re just moving to the sofa, getting out of bed is important. Wrap up in a blanket, get yourself a cuppa and you’ll feel much better than you did hiding under that duvet.
2. EAT SOMETHING (SUBSTANTIAL!)
The next step is to make sure that you eat – if you don’t, your mood will only worsen. But try to eat something that’s substantial and helpful, for example some porridge and banana, rather than a few too many biscuits. You’ll feel much better for it, and your body will thank you.
3. GET DRESSED/READY
If you’re spending the day at home, feel free to wear ridiculously comfy clothes – I know I do! Just make an effort to get ready. So if you plan on staying in pyjamas, change into a different pair. Do your morning routine, whether that’s putting on makeup, doing your hair, or even just skincare. I find that going through the process of getting ready makes me feel instantly better, and more confident.
4. DO AT LEAST 1 ACTIVITY
It can be difficult, but try and do at least one worthwhile activity. Whether it’s exercise, painting, drawing, baking or even just sorting out your makeup drawers, you’ll feel much better knowing that you’ve achieved something rather than just doing nothing all day. I’ve found that doing 20 minutes of exercise as soon as I wake up has been really helpful for me – it means that it’s out of the way, I feel better about myself, and then I have an excuse to be a little lazy afterwards…
5. HAVE A LIST OF FILMS/TV SHOWS/BOOKS ON HAND
I think it’s really helpful to have a collection of films or tv shows to watch that you know will instantly cheer you up. My personal favourites are Friends, The Office US, Clueless, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and any Disney movie. I’ve also been loving First Dates on Channel 4 – so adorably awkward!. And if you’re more of a bookworm, having a few feel-good books on hand for when you’re feeling down can be a god send. Cosy-ing up in blanket and watching/reading my favourites is one of the best ways to cheer me up.
And finally, just know that’s it totally okay to have these days once in a while. Not everyone can be happy and ‘normal’ all of the time, so allow yourself this day off and accept that you deserve it. I hope this was helpful to at least one person out there, have a lovely week!