I took last week off to spend some time in Scotland. Partly to see a friend and partly because it’s a beautiful country that I haven’t seen enough of. It was good to have a break but most of the time I was there it was raining and windy so not hugely pleasant, especially when spending your time in a camper van!
I had some bad news before I left which left me feeling a little down and I noticed that a few of my friends had also been having a hard time for one reason or another too. This got me thinking about the way we weather the storms in our lives and how resilient we are, even when we feel like everything has gone to shit.
It’s difficult to be positive when it feels like everything is going wrong and, for me, I just want to escape into a couple of large glasses of wine! Not always appropriate and not really the answer to your problems. Although I love the quote that alcohol may not be the answer to your problems, but neither is milk! So how do we start to get over whatever is bringing us down?
In my case, I decided to start by sitting down with my journal. That at least helps me get out the way I feel about a situation. When it’s in your head, it’s a massive jumble of crap that keeps knocking into each other and not really resolving anything. Sometimes it’s just cathartic to acknowledge it and give it a little order while you write it down.
A new technique I’ve found is just sitting with my feelings and deciphering what it is that I’m feeling. The surface or obvious emotion isn’t always what’s prompting your response. For example, you might be driving along and someone turns into a road in front of you without indicating. You might get upset because it’s irritating and you’ve had to slow down really quickly and you get annoyed that people are really inconsiderate. But if you think about it for a little while, you might find that actually it’s fear that you may have gone into the back of them and hurt yourself or someone else. Or that you would get a huge bill when you can’t afford it.
That makes the irritation or annoyance something a little different. Sometimes looking at the reason behind your reaction tells you a little more about yourself. In the past I would probably have gone and had a few drinks to ignore the situation and hope that it goes away on its own. But this way, I get to take a look at what I can change or how I can help myself feel better.
Getting a good night’s sleep is a great one for me. If something is playing on your mind and you’re not feeling restful, why not try some meditation (there are so many apps and videos on the Internet to try). It helps relax your mind and stop you fussing over things you can’t control or change.
Sometimes you have to let a situation be, there might be absolutely nothing you can do to change it or how you feel about it. I find this one tough so I try to get on with something I can do. Like some work or reading. Something that might take my mind off the situation for a little while.
Remember that storms never last forever too. Every storm passes and sooner or later, calm is restored - whatever that looks like for you!