Like the tides these emotions come and go, some days are fine others feel like 700 elastic bands have been placed around me and I’m ready to burst. Truth is, those days I felt guilty, I haven’t been born into a war torn country, I’m healthy, I have no restrictions, I have NHS, a home, a family, love.
The things that put pressure on me are the things I think I have no control over, when in reality they are the things I can in fact control, but requires patience.
What I’ve noticed with the creative industry that I’m in is that a huge number of us feel this way and I know why. Our careers have not been learnt, we are self taught and in any new career mistakes will be made. It’s a very new business that is growing all the time and although it’s multiplying by the day it’s an incredibly small community. We work unsociable hours, long days, tight deadlines, can wait months for payment and we’re pitched against one another.
Burn those tiny violins though, this ain’t no pity party. We have the control that if we don’t like it either change career or keep going.
I prefer the latter, because despite all the above I am the creator of my day, my week my month. I am the puppeteer of my own content. With that comes strain, yes, but one I will deal with because for me there’s more freedom than limitations.
Comparison – Something I did a lot and a problem that can turn a great day into something rather crappy. It can 180 your day in the blink of an eye.
This brings me to the first of my 6 things to do when feeling down.
Come Off Social Media
Being someone who’s career heavily depends on social media you may think this is barmy but what I’ve learned the last few months is that if you’re deflated, the LAST thing you want to see is something reminding you of the very thing you feel you aren’t, or don’t have, or aren’t achieving, (YET!!!! – STAY POSITIVE )
If you’re having a good day and eating well you won’t mind seeing those healthy posts, but bloody hell, if you’re feeling low and haven’t ate as well as you could have, down to time restraints or a busy schedule, those type of posts will do nothing but get on your last nerve. This can then send you spiralling down a dark hole faster than Alice in Wonderland.
So switch off for the day, no one will hunt you down if you didn’t tweet!
I prefer to put some music on and occupy my time with some of the activities below.
Go for some fresh air, yes, it may be an overused phrase but getting out to clear the mind WORKS. It’s not an old wives tale, walking and exercise boosts serotonin levels to release those “happy hormones”
You may read this and think ‘ok so I just take an hour out of my day for a walk, well that’s an hour I could have done work so I’ll be behind’
I’ve had this conversation with myself before. Truth is you NEVER work effectively if you’re feeling low or steamed. You just repeat what you should be doing over and over or trying to write something, realising it’s just not going to plan. After 3-4 hours you come to understand that what you’re doing is effectively wasting time and doing nothing more but irritating yourself, you then go on social media to procrastinate, lo and behold you’re now entering the comparison stage. It’s honestly a vicious circle!
Whenever I’m full of stress or low I like to tidy, I understand that sometimes you want to do nothing, but doing nothing can make you overthink and that is seriously damaging. The best thing to do is to preoccupy the mind, organising and decluttering requires little serious thought but enough to keep your attention on the task in hand.
The reward afterwards is clear surroundings which effects the overall mood, is visually pleasing and releases tension.
This one is tricky, you don’t want to do something that will make you think about what is upsetting you so immerse yourself in things you enjoy. Maybe your favourite literature, a film, magazines etc.
I like to either read inspirational books or fashion magazines, something to get me fuelled up, filled with passion and good energy.
I’m not talking about bashing out some kind of Van Gough masterpiece but getting involved in something that is creative, whatever level you’re comfortable with. You must have seen all the adult colouring-in books recently, again it distracts your mind and restores a level of calm. I have just filmed a video on some Autumn D.I.Y decor projects that will add interesting touches to a bedroom or office.
I was feeling a little tense during this time but after doing these D.I.Ys I felt at ease and lifted so can assure you these little projects work.
Whatever your situation, career, feelings you owe it yourself to be happy so take control. You are made of billions of cells of energy, the positive energy will help you flourish, negativity will break you down. If you can control it, remove yourself from things that are preventing you from flourishing, be it people, jobs, environments. It may take time but you WILL get to where you want to be.