Life is going to feel hard at times. Heck, life is hard at time. Things happen that leave us feeling frustrated, worthless and alone. But you’re not alone in feeling this way.
A few months ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Autoimmune Disease and I’m not going to lie, it’s been rather sucky. The ‘old me’ would be fighting against the diagnosis, pushing through the symptoms and beating myself up for not doing better. However, Morgan 2.0 knows there’s only one way to move forward and thats with a whole lot of acceptance, compassion and of course, love.
Here are my Top 10 Tips for when you’re about to jump on the “I suck” train.
1. Choose Compassion
Remember that everyone, including yourself is doing the best they can. My best some days is staying in my PJs, ordering take out and watching a ridiculous amount of Netflix. Your best will change and that’s okay. The point is not to judge yourself but rather accept how you feel and be compassionate with yourself. It’s always handy to remember that this isn’t permanent. Everything is temporary and is constantly changing. Right now my symptoms might be at an all time high, but it won’t always be like this. Remind yourself, this too shall pass.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” ~ Dalai Lama
Unsure how to be more compassionate with yourself? Treat yourself as you would your bestie. Be kind, patient and understanding. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt.
*You can also take the ‘Self-Love Quiz’, I’ve got a whole Guidebook dedicated to self compassion.
When you’re feeling stressed out or anxious our breathing begins to become shallow and that just leads to feeling worse. Take the time to breathe in and out slowly and as you slow down your breathing, allow you thoughts to slow down too.
When I’m feeling anxious or about to snap I take a break and just breathe, ideally outside.
It’s such a simple thing, but if you’re not breathing properly then it’s virtually impossible to think clearly. And when we’re not thinking clearly, things have a sneaky way of feeling worse and harder then they truly are.
3. Don’t censor your feelings.
Allow yourself to feel what you need to. I use to keep any negative feelings inside but now I embrace them. When something happens I say “I’m feeling really angry/frustrated/sad because…”. At first my family or friends would try and gloss over it and make me “feel better” but I now tell them “No. I need to feel this, so I can move though it.”
When I’m feeling extra angry/frustrated/sad I need to physically let out those emotions. Depending on the feeling I may sweat it out, dance it out, write it out, cry it out or even punch it out. Punching my pillow and dropping the f-bomb does wonders for me personally. I end up laughing at myself because a) I look like a crazy person and b) I’m ridiculously weak.
4. Ask for help.
It’s okay to not be able to do everything ourselves. We were never designed to go it alone. When it comes to asking for help remember to be specific and communicate clearly. What exactly do you need from them? How are you truly feeling? What can they do to help? Don’t assume that your family and friends know how you feel and know what you need. Unless you tell them, they don’t. But don’t make the mistake (guilty as changed) of assuming because they don’t know they must not care. It’s simply not true.
Another thing to remember is that there are people out there right now going through exactly the same thing and feeling. People that get it. Reach out, you are never alone.
Also, there are professionals who’s job it is is to help you. Let them.
5. Let it go.
So you want to let it go, you know that it’s whats best, but you just don’t know how? I totally get that. When I’m feeling this way my next step is to do a big brain dump. Grab a journal and just write. Get out everything in your head. It doesn’t need to make sense or even be legible. Just get it out. Don’t censor yourself and don’t stop writing. It might take 5 minutes or it might take 25, but sooner or later you will feel a release and things will start making sense. It might give you an idea on your next step, it might ease your anxiety, it might shift you perspective or it might do all three.
Once you’ve finished writing – get rid of it. Screw it up and throw it out or burn it (safely). Do what ever feels right for you. Congratulations, you have now let it go.
6. Accept what is
What makes something wrong or right, bad or good? Once you let go of the labels and just accept what is, the struggle lessens.
Just think of the thing you’re fighting as “Devil’s Snare”, the plant from Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. Struggling against or resisting Devil’s Snare will cause the plant to exert a greater force of constriction and end up strangling you.
Accept the situation as it is. Accept yourself as you are today. And be free from the Devil’s Snare.
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend not you enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
7. Surround yourself with love
Spend time with people that lift you higher and leave you feeling better about yourself. Who instantly makes you feel better? Your mum, partner, bestie, sister or pet? Now’s the time to schedule in some quality time.
It’s not just people (and animals) you can surround yourself with. Whenever I’m feeling crappy I light my favourite candle, drink from my best mug and put on sentimental jewellery. It all helps. When I’m with people I love and surrounded by things and smells I love, life feels easier.
8. Don’t quit your day dream
Maybe right now you’re not feeling motivated and inspired, which makes it the perfect time to change that. Take some time to ask yourself the important questions. How do you want to feel? What do you really want to experience, be and learn in this life? What makes you feel like your best self? What gives you meaning and purpose? When do you feel free, alive, passionate and lit up?
Visualise your ideal day or life and make some heartfelt goals. Turn all of your discoveries into an inspirational vision board or a mission statement and put it somewhere you will see it daily.
Now that you’re clearer on how you want your life to look and feel it’s time to move towards it. Nothing makes me happier than progress. It’s not about achieving the goal (that’s just the icing on the cake) but it’s the process of moving towards the goal.
Little steps every day forward is all it takes, and don’t forget to celebrate all your mini wins.
*If you want some extra guidance and inspiration than I would love to support you. You can read more about my coaching services here.
9. Make ‘me’ time a non-negotiable.
Ah, how I love my alone time. Every day I have time for myself and I don’t know how I’d survive without it. If you can’t fit in daily than weekly will still make a massive difference to how you feel.
There are no rules, and no “should’s”. Do what makes you feel pampered and relaxed. Some days I crave adventure and play, other days I want nothing more than a long bubble bath. If I’m short on time it might just be pulling an oracle card to start my day or savouring a herbal tea before bed. Take the time to listen in and see what you most need and then honour it.
Bonus tip: Unsure what you need? It’s time to reconnect with yourself through meditation, journalling or a walk in nature distraction free.
10. Spread kindness
I truly believe making someone else’s day brightens up your own. Plus, think of all that good karma.
I love performing random acts of kindness, or showing appreciation for my loved ones. It’s addictive and contagious and the ripple effect is undeniable.
One of my personal favourite acts of kindness is grabbing some cute-to-boot stationary (hello Kikki K & Kate Spade) and writing letters of love and hope to a stranger. I leave it on a park bench, inside a library book or in a random mail box and then day dream about someone reading it. I think how my words can be making a difference to someone else and adding some sparkle to their day. ‘Feel good’ boost guaranteed.
Lastly, the most important step. Choose a tip from the list above and put it into action. It’s so easy to read blog posts and know intellectually that you *should* do it, but actually practicing it is what matters most.
Now I would love to hear from you. What are your favourite things to do when life feels hard that make you feel better?