For the next while, I’m going to work on the brand-new theme of strength: what it means to be strong and why it is important. I think it’s a fascinating concept as there are so many different kinds of physical, mental and emotional strength and it can come in all shapes and sizes. So this is the first post! I hope you enjoy it. x
So, after a particularly horrid week in a few months that have been trying to say the least, I thought we could all do with a little British Stiff Upper lip… don’t you think?
You’re going to feel awful sometimes in life, often in fact. You won’t always be happy, you will have to deal with the ugly as well as the beautiful. I think that accepting that is actually a good step on the way to being content: knowing that, yes, I’m so upset today, but in a month or maybe a year, it won’t be like this, and it hasn’t always been like this either. Understand that there is nothing wrong with feeling angry, frustrated or upset.
It does, however, mean some bad days and bouts of the blues, where all you want is to wallow in your pain and feel sorry for yourself. Unfortunately, it is then time to take advice from some of those fictional characters we were supposed to dislike, but deep down we always loved:
Or, my personal favourite:
It could be the fact that I’ve been studying women from World War II for my history coursework, the kind who casually remark “Oh, of course we knew half the parachutes didn’t open. In those days you just got on with it”, but lately I’ve become sick of my own inner monologue complaining about this and that.
Basically, it’s high time we all gave ourselves a good kick up the backside. It’s about time we—and by we, this could mean the royal we, Catherine Ann—stopped moping about, hiding under rocks, getting upset and waiting for everything to go away, and did just that…got on with it.
Next time you find yourself in a horrible mood, here are a few things you might like to do to get out of the funk and move things along…
· Get dressed. I’m not accusing anyone of sitting around naked when they’re upset. I mean get dressed properly. It can be all too easy to live out the role you have put yourself in—to get out those sweatpants, leave your hair uncombed, and sulk. I always feel like putting on proper clothes and shoes, brushing my hair, applying some makeup, even if I’m not going anywhere, can make me feel a bit more put-together. A bit more ready to take on the world, even if it is from my living room.
· Take a shower. Again, not suggesting anything. I’ve found that when I’m in a really sad or agitated mood, I can jump in the shower and it feels like I’m just washing my troubles away. It leaves me feeling a bit more refreshed and good that I’ve dedicated a bit of time to myself.
· Go for a walk. Walk around on your own for a bit, either somewhere quiet or so busy nobody will notice you. Just take some time out to think things over, or not think about them at all. Enjoy being with yourself—you’re all you’ve got in the end. Whatever’s making you upset will go away, and you’ll still be there at the end of it. So enjoy you.
· Talk to someone. Have a chat with someone who has nothing to do with your bad mood. Rant to them, cry to them, explain to them… or just talk to them about something completely different. It will either feel good to get it all out, or be nice to forget it for a while.
· Don’t talk to anyone. Alternatively, bask in your own awesomeness for a while. As above, you should be able to function on your own, and enjoy your own company. Think of something you might like to do on your own.
· Get on with some work. Take this opportunity to do that essay that was due a week ago, or whatever it is you’ve been putting off. It will force your mind to concentrate on something else, if you’re working hard enough.
· Re-arrange ALL the things! Have your own little movie-montage moment, very Bridget Jones-esque. You know the kind of thing. The protagonist gets a haircut, re-paints the house, chucks out all their magazines and self-help books… For you, this might be as simple as tidying your room or organising your desk. It will somehow symbolise that change is on the horizon—and when you’re in a funk, change can only be a good thing. It might also give you back a little bit of control when it feels like things are escaping your grasp too quick.
· Step away from the internet. AWAY! NOW! You may be tempted to rant on social media—a huge no-no, which always results in even more trouble, or look up your friends to see how much fun they’re having without you. Yuck. Or you might even find yourself looking through memes made up of black and white photos of swirly writing with “can’t trust anyone xo” or “when life is just so unfair…” and actually identifying with that rubbish. Just turn it off and walk away. Again, go back to you. Avoid this whole information overload we’re becoming used to.
· Cook. Even if you’re not in the mood to eat. If you don’t like cooking, probably best to avoid this one, but I find baking a cake or cooking a hearty meal for my family very soothing. There’s something about the familiar ingredients and going through those motions that makes everything seem OK.
· Escape into a book. This is a favourite of mine. My weapon of choice is usually old and torn, and I jump back in among all my old friends and go and live with them for a while. It reminds me of the past, which reminds me there’s a future, and just lets me solve other, more interesting problems for a while. Ones with time travel and dragons.
Best of luck getting on with it, guys.