I am not a stranger to feeling like your world is falling apart. In fact, my life has taken a more downward dips than I care to admit is normal. However, none of us are immune to adversity. No matter what someone’s life looks like from the outside, there is 100% chance that they have experienced heartache, and failure, and guilt and despondence. We are all living this amazingly crazy, beautiful and heartbreaking experiencing on earth in a physical form. And with this experience comes the certitude of a full range of emotions and daily challenges. How boring would it be if not?
Your heart will be broken. You will experience the intense feeling that is self-loathing. You will most certainly feel guilty at some point, or, more likely, you will suffer through a permanent feeling of guilt of varying degrees – especially if you are a parent. This is normal. You are not alone.
So, when your life is crashing around you, what can you do? What can you focus on in order to not allow yourself to be dragged down?
1. Focus on the NOW
Focus on the immediate now. Just get through this next five minutes. And then the next. Until you can eventually focus on a full hour and later a full day. Do not think on the future – it may never happen. And do not dwell on the past – it is completely unhelpful.
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.
Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now.
Your entire life only happens in this moment. The present moment is life itself. Yet, people live as if the opposite were true and treat the present moment as a stepping stone to the next moment – a means to an end.”
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
2. Look after yourself as you would a small child
Drink enough water, feed yourself healthy meals, limit the sugar and caffeine. Eat something green – a green smoothie ticks a few boxes at once. Put yourself to bed early with a cup of tea and a good book. Try to get a bit of sun and movement into your day too.
3. Make sleep sacred
I am making this a whole separate point in order to portray it’s importance although I won’t go into the why – you know why sleep is important! If you only do one thing, get enough sleep. Make it a priority. Your mental health will thank you and so will your body.
4. Start a gratitude habit, straight away.
Simply keep a daily list of things you are grateful for. It has been proven by science that focusing on your blessings makes you happier. Set a reminder on your phone that goes off immediately after your morning alarm and keep your notebook and pen next to your bed.
5. Scale back on media
Take this from someone who believed that the only way she was going to get through a day was to refresh Facebook 150 times and watch 6 episodes of The Walking Dead. It never helps. All you end up feeling is deflated, a little green with envy after scrolling the gram, and totally wired from watching too much TV, not to mention the late night.
“You will achieve more, become wealthier, live a life far beyond anything you could imagine, if you spent more time focusing on what YOU want to create, rather than what others have created, or what is currently going on in the world. You get to choose – the life of YOUR dreams, or someone else’s dream?”
Sandy Forster, How to be Wildly Wealthy Fast
I have created a handy infographic to save to your phone for whenever you need a reminder. Keep strong. The good times WILL roll around again. Nothing is permanent, including this current shitfest.