Things that help

Just a little reminder for whenever you get overwhelmed with everything that is going on. It can be easy to forget how far you’ve come or all the helpful things that you’ve learnt.

Going for a walk – I think this must be one of the most popular things that people do to clear their head plus it gets the body moving.

Sitting in silence – We rarely sit in silence there’s always something whether you’re listening by choice or it’s background noise like music, TV or a conversation.

Talking to a friend – Choose someone that will listen but be mindful and ask before offloading. You don’t have to even talk about the issue at hand maybe just have a random chat about life.

Talking to a stranger – Not literally but some that is unbiased and not part of your everyday life like a therapist or a helpline set up to support people with different issues they’re facing.

Meditation – Maybe your mediation is sitting in silence but maybe it’s a guided mediation to ease stress or anxiety. It helps to be still sometimes and we often underestimate the impact it can have because we feel like it won’t help to just stop or at least slow down.

EFT – Also known as tapping. This is probably one of the most unexpectedly helpful things I’ve ever come across. I love that it doesn’t require any materials and is easy to do.

Laughter – They call laughter the medicine of life and I believe it. Something funny can totally shift your mood on days when you feel down.

Dancing – Dancing brings me so much joy and it’s another way to get the body moving. When your feeling down and remain still it enables the emotions to become heavy and weigh you down. Plus if dancing is something you associate with fun or celebrations it’ll actually help you feel better.

Uplifting words – Whether it’s podcasts, talks, songs or books, find words that uplift you. I even find it helpful to read back my own words because much of what I write is timeless and based around overcoming challenges.

If I was you…

It’s easy to pass judgements on other peoples choices.

‘If I was you I’d have…’

‘Maybe if you ….. then this wouldn’t have happened’

But your judgement is rarely being sought out so maybe think about ways to be helpful instead.

Sometimes when a person is riled up, frustrated and they take action it’s not from a place of clarity. If they’d have waited a few hours or a day or two they’d have done things differently. But everybody makes mistakes, we’re all just learning as we go.

Finding your rhythm

Good things take time.

When you start something new you’re likely to be unpolished to begin with, you’re still learning afterall.

But that initial stage is what puts many people off. They get caught up in the idea that they’re not good enough. They play the comparison game, often looking at people with much more practice and experience.

The reality is that it takes time to find your rhythm. After a couple of weeks you can’t expect to be perfectly polished. That’s not even reasonable.

It’s so helpful and a much more enjoyable process, when you put the focus on doing the work instead of the end result.

Slowly building

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were helpful habits.

If you want to start reading more, getting up at 6am every morning, eating more nourishing food or committing to your creative projects, one day won’t make a difference on it’s own.

It’s a series of days, one by one, bit by bit that make the real difference.

One day isn’t enough to build a habit but that’s where things start. That one day will become 30 days and then 90 until that thing you’ve been doing each day is now part of your daily routine.

When you’re getting started, it’s worth remembering that change takes time. Don’t be disappointed after 3 days if you don’t feel like it, your brain is still getting used to your new way of doing things. Instead focus on it one day at a time and remember that you’re working towards something long-term.

And on days when you don’t feel like practicing your new habit, it won’t matter in the short-run but in the long run you’ll probably be glad you committed to it.

Don’t just talk to anyone

I think I’ve used the phrase talking helps at least half a dozen times on this site (turns out I was exactly spot on as shown below).

Talking helps

Making a breakthrough

Worth seeking advice from

Managing stress and deadlines

When you don’t have anyone to talk to

Unexpected but needed

I say it because that’s what has works for me and like everything I share here it comes from my experience. If this was around 3 or 4 years ago things would have been very different. Back then, I wasn’t talking about the challenges that I was facing or things that I struggled with because I didn’t know how.

Plus, at the time I didn’t think that talking would help.

But I also think a lot of people forget to mention that it’s more than just talking to anyone.

For example, the person that is feeling suicidal might not to find much solace in talking to their friends. Their friends aren’t equipped or trained to help in that kind of situation.¬† Friends not knowing what to say doesn’t make them bad people.

Instead they might find it more helpful to talk to a professional, someone with training or someone who can relate to their experience.

Further to that, think about you want the outcome from talking to be. Of course there’s no magic fix but if you just want someone to listen and leave you feeling hopeful, talking to the person that will just dismiss your issues probably isn’t the best idea.

And if you don’t have anyone to talk to, that’s okay too.

If you live in the UK or Ireland call Samaritans on 116 123.

For anyone else the country you live in probably has a helpline you can call too.

Finding comfort in moments of pessimism

I have this idea that sometimes there is comfort in moments of pessimism, in thinking about and accepting the possibility of the worst case scenario coming to life.

It’s not so that you can dwell but instead so that you can understand¬† life sometimes turns out differently to how you expected.

You just have to learn to be okay with it which might be a hard pill to swallow.

Of course there is always a place for optimism but sometimes it isn’t helpful. Sometimes what you need is to accept that a situation isn’t going to turn out well.

And once you do that, things get a little bit easier.

Making space for what works

Things that take a small amount of effort in the short term can end up providing great results long term.

And in the moment when we make the choice to give more, it can be easy to question whether or not it’s worth it.

Things like:

Ironing your clothes for the week ahead

Making your lunch the night before

Answering an email the day you receive it

Having a night routine

Meal prepping

When you don’t feel like doing something it’s always useful to think about how good you’ll feel in the future. You’ll feel more relaxed, prepared and organised.

Who wouldn’t want that?

It might be easy but it’s not helping

Right now is a difficult time for a lot of people.

One of the easiest things you can do is read every article, keep up with live news updates online or on TV, scroll social media and panic.

But the chances are those things aren’t actually helping. Knowing the ever’changing stats of cases in countries across the globe is probably not going to bring you comfort or put your mind at ease.

Most people use social media in excess on a normal day but it’s likely that things have been ramped up even further recently.

Seeing people tell you what they think you should think or how they think you should feel might only add to your frustrations, not soothe them.

And so right now it’s worth being a little more intentional about what you’re consuming.

You don’t need to keep up with everything.

Unhelpful prevention methods

Only a small percentage of the population wear surgical masks (or any mask in general) on a regular basis. For everyone else it’s a new thing being done as a prevention method.

But turns out it could be totally useless.

In a recent conversation, someone mentioned they’d spotted a person with their mask upside down.

In a recent article I read it mentioned people putting their masks on unclean surfaces, not changing them regularly, not putting them on correctly and potentially getting droplets of the virus on the inside so the person is now directly breathing in the virus.

Another article stated that normal surgical masks will not protect you against the virus but can help those contaminated not spread it whilst an N95 respirator will (although they are not recommended for public use).

It is also advised to not purchase N95 respirator masks or surgical masks as they’re most needed by people that are sick and healthcare workers.

Turns out, some of us are so caught up in the idea of prevention that we haven’t considered whether what we’re doing is really helping.

When you don’t have anyone to talk to

Through this blog you may have read the phrase ‘talking helps’ at least once or twice.

I’m an advocate for talking because it is something that has changed my life and I think it’s something that at time is overlooked.

As much as I can advocate for people to talk more, the truth is not everyone has someone they can talk to.

Perhaps you don’t have any friends, you’re scared to open up to a family member, you can’t afford a therapist/counselling or you’re on a GP waiting list that could take over 6 months.

Talking might not solve the issue but being able to get things off your chest can work wonders for your well-being.

There’s a free service called Samaritans that you can use to call, email, write a letter or even visit in person to talk face to face. They’re available in various countries around the world including America, UK and Australia

Samaritans is a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide…

You don’t have to wait until you’re on the edge and life is getting to be too much, in fact you shouldn’t. Personally over the past year in particular I’ve found that talking about things more in general stops things becoming so overwhelming.

I think it’s lovely that these kinds of free services exist and I wanted to share it with you because it might be helpful for you or to pass on to someone you know.