My Guide to Calm

So, this week has been pretty crappy! Despite a couple of really fun dates with friends and catch ups with family, I’ve just felt a little brought down by other things. Things that I know will be fine and really have no reason to worry about but still, I’ve been unable to shake that unsettled, rubbish-y feeling. What I’m really in need of is a lazy weekend with Scott and an extended period of time back at home with the family, but all in good time!

I know it’s completely normal to feel like this for a day, a week or even longer, and I also know there are so many people feeling worse and with more reason to do so. I’ve been trying all my go to things to lift my mood and they’ve all helped. Even though I’m only just getting back to feeling 100%, it all helped bring myself down to a more reasonable level of calm and helped relax my mind and body for the evening so I could at least snuggle down for a good nights sleep.photo 3

Talk: I spoke to all my family and my closest friends about how I was feeling to process it all and that so help! It reminded me that this week is one out of many, that feeling sad and worrying won’t actually help and that I’m not alone in my life right now. In the end, that’s what you need friends and family for, to remind you of those things.

Indulge: now, what I indulged in may not sound great to everyone, but for me? It was sheer bliss! Let me give you the back story. On Wednesday, Mum and I planned to meet in Edinburgh and I was going to take her for an early Mother’s Day meal. All the trains were heavily delayed and cancelled and the weather was awful so in the end, we ended up cancelling. On top of how I was already feeling, this made everything a lot worse. By worse, I mean sitting in the train station sobbing away not even caring who saw, ahaha. I headed back to the flat and called in the shops for chips on the way home. I had gravy in the freezer so literally just ate a bowl of gravy soaked oven chips. It was so good! I then proceeded to eat 10 chocolate cookies and, after a few weeks of eating really well recently, I felt so sick! But guilt free, so it was okay, I needed it!

Mope: don’t feel guilty for crying or watching bad TV or staying in bed… unless you have other responsibilities to be attending to! If you’ve had a bad time of it and you’re in the position where you can take some time to do nothing for a little while, just go for it. If you still have jobs or work or things you really have to get done? Just think of the free time after you’ve completed it and look at that as a goal.

Make: by the evening, my day felt pretty much wasted, so I headed to the kitchen to make some food. I’d (clearly) already had my sugar, fat and calorie intake for the day so I just had some chicken goujons and a mini veggie stir fry. I did everything from scratch and that hour or so just focusing on something I enjoy doing was good for me.

Stretch: I was feeling so tense and heavy after a day of not much movement or release of any energy. I don’t often do yoga, but when I do, I love it. I just went on YouTube and had a wee watch of a few different mini yoga sessions but ended up just doing some of my favourite stretches and focusing on the feeling of it to relax my body. My head still felt a little full and muddled, but my body felt far more calm and comfortable!

Bathe: for me, nothing beats a hot bath or shower to warm my body up and calm me back down. Light your favourite candles, put on some music or a favourite TV show (that doesn’t require too much attention!), some lovely smelly stuff and just lay back and enjoy.

Listen: I love Jonsi and the other night I just put on his album ‘Go Do’ and listened to that. It’s so slow and peaceful yet fast and exciting that you can relax but be distracted by something at the same time, perfect for if you feel like your mind is in overdrive and you’re worrying about everything. 

Sleep: obviously, the most important bit! And fairly self explanatory! Hopefully after the super relaxing evening you’ve had, you’ll start to dose off. Try and push any negative stuff from your mind, focus on your breathing or listen to more music if that helps too. Reading sometimes helps me but often by this point I’m too tired to do it. Something I also like to try (but usually fail to achieve) is taking all my thoughts and putting them on a box. I break things down into chunks eg. friends/uni/work/family etc. and one by one really try to envision in my mind putting that topic in a box in my mind. If there’s a lot of, say, university stress in my life, I’ll break that down smaller. You have to really imagine though. One time I did it successfully and my whole head literally (but not literally literally) just emptied and I felt so much lighter and calmer. It is hard though, but hopefully if you can’t get it to work, you’ll have dosed off in the long and tedious process anyway 😉

I hope for some of you this may help you channel your stress and worries more easily. Even if it’s been a perfectly happy day, I think sometimes it is good to add that next level of relaxation again to set you up for the days ahead. I am sure all the world will be back to rights in my life very soon and until then, I’m just reminding myself of the things to be grateful for. I wanted to share how I feel because, life isn’t always jolly sunshine-y wishes and pretty things in anyone’s world, most definitely not mine! But it is really good, and I know it, even on a week like this.

So take a breath, think things through and follow some or all of these steps and let me know if you feel a little lighter for it 🙂 Kath xx

P.S. Obviously everyone is different. These are just the things that help me and work for me but there are so many ways to help yourself when you need it. Do what works for you until you find the things that truly work to calm and relax yourself.

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