Guys, we all get them. Low points can kick us right in the face and cause us days, if not weeks, of feeling like utter sh*t.
When this happens, we have a choice. Either fall into the black hole of no return, stuff your face with tubs of mint chocolate chip ice-cream and feel forever guilty OR, and this is a BIG OR… deal with the issue and don’t let it grind you down.
Now I appreciate this can be easier said than done. Personally, October this year was one of the worst months I’ve had in years. It felt like everything that could go wrong, was going wrong and I felt like I was losing control. To put into context everything that happened in October:
- A holiday we had booked for December was cancelled due to more pressing commitments
- I reversed into my neighbour’s car and racked up £1.2k worth of damage ON HIS CAR
- I hit the pavement and blew my tyres (front and back) causing £500 worth of damage
It honestly has felt like one thing after another. Point 2 & 3 were my errors but it was still a hard pill to swallow. I had the added stress of telling my little boy about our cancelled trip and breaking his heart (we were meant to be going to Lapland). Telling my neighbour I had caused a severe amount of damage to his car and then having to see and smile at him every day (knowing he probably hated me). AND, I had to tell my husband that I’d damaged our car causing hundreds of pounds of damage just before Christmas.
It wasn’t necessarily the acts themselves as they were accidents. It was more the mental stress that came with them. This is what I mean about that black hole. When dealing with your life’s stresses, it can sometimes be hard to see the light. However, even with everything going on, I didn’t let it get me down. I had a good cry and then dealt with it. HOW? Well, let me share that with you.
My 5 tips for picking yourself up when suffering from a low point
1. Own those feelings
The worst thing we can do when struggling with an issue is to try to hide it. As humans, we have a natural tendency to avoid showing weakness and instead pretend that everything is ok. This makes the pressure and anxiety of the situation even worse and has been proven to cause health issues. My advice… just own it. Own the feelings. Whether it’s loss, guilt, worry etc. Let it in, have a good cry, scream or rant and then let it go.
I used to hide my feelings a lot and I’d feel this terrible pressure in my chest. Felt like I was being crushed. I now know that the feeling was actually a panic attack. I used to get these regularly and they’d get worse and worse the more I hid them. As soon as I started owning my feelings, the pressure in my chest disappeared.
2. Try to understand the root cause
We’ve all got a million things on our plate and sometimes it can be hard to identify exactly what the problem is. The issue then is then is that your issues feel far grander than they really are and that overwhelming feeling starts to takes over. If you have a lot going on, and you’re unsure what exactly is causing your stress, try writing everything that is worrying you down.
Sometimes writing it down and seeing it physically in front of you can help to remind you that it’s not that bad. It can also help you prioritise what needs to be dealt with first and create a sense of order. I find a weight lifted once I start writing my thoughts down. Those dark clouds start to fade and the days feel more manageable again.
3. Tackle your issues head-on
Ok, so you’ve written those issues down, prioritised them in order of most important. Now what? Well, deal with it. In most cases, the scenario running wild in your head is actually the worst case and not all that likely to happen. If it’s financial worries, investigate a money planner or speak to a financial advisor. If you’re dealing with loss, talk to someone, let your feelings out. Or if you’ve had a disagreement with someone close to you, don’t ignore it, speak to them. Just think, if it’s stressing you out this much, it’s not worth it. Just sort it out. I can guarantee that once you tackle it (you may not resolve it), but you will feel A LOT better. And your issues, worries or problems won’t feel so bad anymore.
4. Don’t go silent
In situations that can make us uncomfortable, sad, alone etc… the common reflex is to shut ourselves off from the world. We go inward and try to pretend nothing else exists outside of our bubble. Unfortunately, this can have worse consequences than if we were to just be open and own our feelings. This is where our darkest thoughts start getting the better of us and logic and reality can start to blur.
Having a support system is so important. You won’t always need them but when you do, they can be crucial from pulling you back from this dark hole.
If you suffer from low points regularly in your life, why not let your friends and family know that so they can understand the signs and be on hand to help and support you. Sometimes, when we’re in our darkest points, calling out for help is just not something we want to do so setting up a plan of support beforehand really can help.
5. Look for the positives
I know it can be hard, especially if everything feels like its all going wrong. However, in my mind, I always think “there’s always someone worse off than you”. Whether that’s the right way to think or not, it does help me put my issues into perspective. When I’m worrying about money, I think that at least I have a roof over my head. Or, if I’m having a painful flare up from my RA, then I think about all those people that are suffering every single day with symptoms or illnesses far worse than mine.
Also, when I blew the tyres out on my car, it meant I was stuck. I literally use the car for everything. For anyone that knows me, they know public transport has always been a no-go for me. However, since having no car, I’ve had to start using the train. AND I LOVE IT. Not only is it cheaper to use the train to get to work as you need to take out a bank loan to park near my office. But, I also get a lovely walk in the morning which actually puts me in the right frame of mind for the day.
So… my point is… even though the actual event was sh*t and made me feel awful, the positives that have come from it are actually something I’m going to make part of my routine. This helped me lift myself out of my low point and move on from it.
I hope some (if not all) of these tips resonate with you and please share your tips for dealing with a low point in the comments below.