Bouncing Back After A Crappy Week
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that last week was kind of a crappy one for me. Nothing totally terrible or life-altering happened, but there were enough minor irritations and setbacks that by the time Wednesday evening rolled around I was struggling to sleep, my heartbeat racing and panic rising in my chest in a way that I haven’t experienced for months now. I’m usually a hugely optimistic gal and pride myself on being able to look on the positive side of life, but for some reason last week felt too much for me - everything just got on top of me, and I ended up crying more in the space of two days than I have done all year.
And that’s okay - it happens to all of us. Life grinds us down sometimes, and we end up run down, burnt out, and feeling allllll of the emotions. And when that happens, we all need some failsafe techniques to help us get back on track, which is what I wanted to write about today. I put all of these into action this weekend, and I’m happy to report that while I’m not 100% back to my usual self, I’m also not crying because we ran out of milk, which I’d say is a win.
1) Accept that it’s totally normal
Whenever I find myself feeling low and anxious, the first thing I usually do is beat myself up about how I don’t deserve to feel that way. My inner monologue last week sounded a bit like this: “What are you whinging for? You’ve just come back from a brilliant week in New York, you have a job that you love, a beautiful home and lots of exciting things on the horizon. You’re being a brat”.
The specifics of your inner monologue might be different, but I think we’re all guilty of torturing ourselves in a similar way. The truth is though that us humans experience a whole spectrum of emotions, and it’s impossible to feel happy all of the time, no matter how great your life might be. Accepting that it’s totally normal to feel sad or anxious is the first step in being able to deal with it.
2) Clear the diary
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m a chronic over planner. I struggle to say no to anyone, and as a result it’s very rare that I have a totally free weekend to just relax. However, as I felt myself getting more and more tightly wound last week, I knew I needed to clear the diary, complete the bare minimum amount of work that needed to be done, and switch off completely.
That’s exactly what I did this weekend, and it was glorious. I went to bed without setting an alarm each night, I spent some much needed quality time with my husband and our cat, and I even read two whole books. I switched off completely from real life and my ever growing to do list and gave myself space some time to just breathe. Our brains need rest just like our bodies do, and we need to stop feeling guilty about prioritising down time.
3) Focus on the positives
I find that when I have one of those weeks where everything seems to be going wrong, I can quite easily get myself into a little negativity spiral. You know the ones I mean - where you get a crappy email at work and then before you know it you’re convincing yourself that you’re terrible at your job and you’ll never be as successful as everybody else and maybe you should just quit right now. Sound familiar?
We all do it, and the deeper down the spiral we go, the harder it is to get back out. Our brains are somehow hardwired to focus on the negatives and quickly forget the positives, so as soon as I notice I’m doing it, I like to whip out my notepad and make a list of everything that has gone well that week. I did exactly this on Saturday morning and filled two full pages, which really helped to change my perspective on what I’d previously convinced myself was the worst week ever.
4) Ride it out
My last tip for bouncing back after a crappy week is one that I find easier to preach rather than practice, and that is simply riding the bad mood out. I’m one of those people who hates being ruled by my emotions and I pride myself on being able to put my positive pants on regardless of the situation, but sometimes you just have to give into it and ride it out.
There’s no point in trying to plaster on a smile and keep on pushing when everything is going to pot - instead, give yourself permission to put your best pair of PJs on, faceplant a bar of Galaxy and sit with the weird feelings for a while. I like to remember the phrase “this too shall pass” - it reminds me that however negative or sad I’m feeling in that moment, it won’t be that way forever, and I’ll be back to my usual self soon.
I hope some of the tips in this post have been useful for any of you who have also been having a rough time of it recently. If social media is anything to go by then it looks like the past few weeks of been weird for a lot of us, and if you only take one thing away from this post, I hope it’s an acceptance that we all feel crap sometimes, and it’s perfectly normal.
I’d love to hear if you have any other tips or tricks that help you get out of a negativity rut - let’s start a little conversation in the comments box...