I must admit that I have been generally feeling pretty low during past month, and I am realising that I am not the only one. Could it be the January drag, with its long nights and short days, and its crispy cold and grey weather? Could it be the lunar activity, with its two super moons? Could it be the post travel blues? Whatever the reason, it is important to stop and reflect during these times, as through adversity there are always lessons to be learnt.
I first started with analysing the symptoms in my body and mind, with the following results:
- Low energy levels, reluctance to get out of bed in the morning
- Life seems dull and boring
- Extremely hard to connect with people, with anxiety spiking every time, an anxiety which is telling me to put a straight face, be positive, be sociable, be polite, continue the flow of the conversation, make sure you say all you have to say, having my mind focusing on what to say next rather than on really listening to what the other person has to say
- Feelings of helplessness, believing that this situation will last forever and achieving my desires is impossible for me
- Having a feeling that I am getting sick, feelings of dizziness
- Bringing up each and every excuse to avoid going out and having fun
- Craving time alone
- Little obsessions and the occasional cravings
- Reluctance to exercise
- Having a feeling of being stuck, rather than flowing.
How am I dealing with it? Well first I started to resist it, refusing to accept that the usually cheerful me, who has overcome so many challenges, has been brought into this state. I rebelled by continuing my daily routine as if nothing is happening but then realised that the situation was actually getting worse! Then, there is nothing more I could do other than give into it and see what this situation is trying to teach me.
So, since I am aware that there are many people out there who are feeling similar to me, by what I hear from people and the looks on some people’s faces, I would like to share with you some techniques I am using to deal with this period. Hope you find it helpful!
1. Accept your situation, and experience it fully
I know that most of you do not get this at first, after all who would want to accept to be in a crappy situation? The truth is, however, that these situations are our biggest teachers, and going through them may a gateway for more transformation to happen.
2. Look within yourself, really feel your physical symptoms
Whether it is a pain in your chest, lump in your throat, pain in your shoulder, tightness in your belly, feel it fully, and stay still while you do it. It is important that you stay in a quiet place while you do this, a place free from distractions. After a short while, imagine yourself being distanced from these symptoms, and that you are observing them from a distance.
3. Use an energy release technique, such as EFT tapping, or simple breathe through it
Once your symptoms get strong enough, start to tap. For those who are unfamiliar with EFT tapping, it is a simple, quick and effective emotional release system whereby you tap on certain acupressure points in the body while you feel. There is plenty of free information online about this technique you may access, since it is a technique which has been proven to work over and over. You may even speak, shake, scream, or whatever feels comfortable to you, while you do this. If you find this to weird, even simple breathing in and out helps a whole lot. It is possible that certain past experiences come up, experiences which are getting triggered through current events. If this happens, focus your full attention on them. Continue this process until you feel yourself calming down, and you feel an inner release.
4. Reach out to your loved ones, they will point out things to you, and you will realise that you are not alone!
Sometimes, simply sharing how you feel with your loved ones can help immensely, not because you do not have the power to heal within you, but because they know you and can point out things which perhaps you cannot see. I reached out to my friends this week and through them pointing out the potential problems I was facing, I felt immediately better and knew what to work on. In this day and age we too often want to pretend that everything is OK, but the truth is that we all have challenging moments, and while sharing you will noticed that the person you are sharing with have had similar periods as well.
5. Journal, write down how you feel
Journalling is an extremely powerful tool because it helps you to let it all out and to distance yourself from the crap. It is also a means for creative expression and is a means to install positive thoughts. It is also extremely powerful to make lists of the things in your life you are grateful for, even if it is the warm water pouring on you in the shower, your home, your job, or the countless people who work so that you may have your daily basic comfort. Our inner state is all a result of our thoughts, where our thoughts form beliefs, these are the programs which run the movie of our lives. By observing our thoughts and beliefs and working, both on a conscious and sub-conscious level on changing them, you are upgrading these programs, allowing you to live a happier, healthier life.
6. Understand that such periods are normal, they won’t last, and you can learn from them
A tendency could be that these periods will last forever, that you will be stuck in the doom and gloom forever. If you look at your past, you will realise that this is not true, and that the sun always shone brighter after the rain. So, instead of complaining, see what you can learn, you might get to know yourself better, you might learn to accept yourself more, you might have an opportunity to practice self-love and self-care, you might heal from certain emotional wounds.
7. Be patient and gentle with yourself
On the other hand, even if we do understand that these dark periods will end, we tend to get impatient and want it to be over as soon as possible. Sometimes, things need their time, and again this needs to be accepted. I am not saying that you should not do anything, but see what you can do at this point in time, and take those little baby steps. Accept what you cannot do or what cannot be changed, at least at the moment.
8. Congratulate yourself for how far you have come!
Whenever I feel that I am stuck, I look back to my internal state of a year ago, and I realise how far I have come! It also helps to revisit a past situation, for example going to an event which you attended a few months back, having a reunion with someone you haven’t seen in a while, and observing how your reaction has changed since the previous time. If you are already doing these practices, you will notice an improvement, for example, ohh I felt calmer than last time, I felt more open, loving, etc. Once this happens, congratulate and hug yourself, things might seem challenging, but things are going the way they are meant to go, and you are headed in the right direction!
9. If all this seems too overwhelming for you, seek professional help
Sometimes life throws at us challenges which seem impossible to overcome on our own. If you have tried certain practices listed above and you cannot get out, or your general internal state is generally low or lasts for long periods of time, do not hesitate to ask for help. It is not shameful, all of us needed this help at some point, I know I did, and it has benefited me tremendously. There are a ton of brilliant practitioners out there, let me know if you would like to know more!
10. Do one thing which makes you happy!
Sometimes we enjoy even banal things. Today, do one thing which makes you happy, even though it seems absolutely useless. If it is eating a sandwich, do it! It it means soaking yourself in a hot bath, do it! If it is doing a manicure, do it! If it is taking a walk, do that! These small things give you an inner feeling of joy, which you can multiply into other areas of your life. Remember, happiness is an inside job!
I would like to conclude with an event which brought me such joy this week….and it happened at a funeral! I met a family member who is an ex-convict. I could not help but observe his facial expression, his focus, his determination, his appreciation. He is now clean, and is incredibly proud that he now has a job. He told me one phrase which I will treasure – “Each day I see how far I have come, and if during one day I did not move forward, at least I did not go back.”