When you’re not feeling OK
I used to hate feeling low for no reason that I could think of. I would “hibernate”, tuck my head under my Duvet and think “Nope – I can’t do this”, or “Nope – don’t want to do this”.
My family and friends would try to cajole me with “come on, it’s a beautiful day” or “come on, lets grab a coffee”, or “come on, you’ll feel better after a shower”. The last comment always made me feel Red Rage! But I would never say. I just used to think “leave me alone, let me sleep, just leave me be”.
Does this sound familiar?
I know they all had good intentions, that it upset them seeing me like this but when you’re in it – you’re just in it aren’t you? That’s what it was like for me.
But I didn’t want to feel like this, I wanted to feel joy, I wanted to feel content, I wanted to be the person I knew I could be. But how? I started to name my feelings and my emotions, something I could put my finger on. These were my words, no one else’s, just mine; fed up, overwhelmed, upset, sad, angry, concerned, worried, scared and sometimes I said, “I just don’t know”.
I started to build on my resilience with small steps. I set myself little goals like getting up before 9am and making sure that I was in bed with lights out by 10.30. Yes, it took me a while to stop all the negative thoughts at night but that’s when mindfulness came into play. I would be mindful of the clock ticking or I would focus on the noise of the wind, rain or of my dog snoring. But slowly my sleep pattern changed. I was sleeping during the night instead of pacing around.
My next little step was to do something that I really enjoyed which was walking with my dog. I focused on the beauty of sky, how the birds flew overhead or how my feet felt as I took each step.
Words started popping into my head about how I felt like exhilarated, good and calmer. The little goals I kept setting for myself were helping me to achieve a feeling of purpose, a feeling of meaning and dare I say it, content?
Different things for different people
Different things work for different people, we can only try. And there will be days when you Don’t Feel OK, but that’s OK too. Try to look at those feelings and emotions and name them. Do something nice for you, see a friend, watch something that makes you laugh on TV, think of a nice meal you could prepare and cook, play loud music, dance like no-one is watching. Remember, those little goals or steps are there for you to help you to feel OK.