I don’t know about you guys but sometimes I lose my happy.
It’s not like I suffer from depression as a constant or even at all, I think. I don’t even know to be honest. But every now and then I lose my happy and I forget where to find it. Then it has a knock on effect on pretty much everything I do – the blog posts I don’t write, the awkward conversations with friends, the way I talk to my children, how motivated I feel at work, sexy times, my freaking skin… Er’thang!
The worst part is that I am fully aware that I am being a Debby Downer. I just can’t flick the switch to get it right again. In fact I have noticed that it isn’t a quick thing for me either. It’s a slow spiral downwards.
Usually it starts with some form of comparison. Which is stupid and I tell myself it’s stupid but it starts eating at me, subconsciously. Maybe it’s the fact that so and so can look amazing without make up and if I leave the house uncovered people assume Christmas is coming early (pretty sweet Red Nosed Reindeer reference there). Or some other crap where I’m looking at their highlights and forgetting that everyone has a back story. What I’m getting at is that there is a trigger. Even if it’s a stupid one.
It could also be hectic work stress. Or feeling flipping overwhelmed with commitments that we have made socially, at work, through the blog, to our family or for this trip. Or all of those combined. Whatever the original cause, I think you get the picture right? Then slowly, slowly, I start getting lower and lower. Eventually I can actually feel the weight in my chest. It’s so heavy it makes my shoulders ache. Yoh, talk about dramatic. But it is what it is.
I’ve sort of mentioned that I’ve been in a bit of a slump recently. Actually I probably mentioned it a lot. Which is annoying and liberating all in one go. But this time it lasted a whole lot longer than it usually does. Which concerned the crap out of me.
So I did a bit of calculating. And yes, we’re in the midst of a massive life change that not only uproots our normal day to day lives, but also emotionally affects me on way more levels than the typical day to day. Leaving our dogs behind. Leaving our family, who we are really close to, behind. Giving away a whole chunk of our stuff. Having the camper breakdown. Living in 7.5m2. Packing up our lives. I could go on. These are obviously small (in the greater scheme of things) in exchange for the absolutely AMAZING adventure we’re about to go on, but still. They are always there eating at the back of my mind.
But I realised that aside from that, there were also a lot of other little things that I had stopped doing. And I think those things had a greater impact than dealing with a bit of stress. I mean we thrived, OK, well, maybe not thrived, but we survived three kids in three years while taking over a business, renovating and then moving house. Stress isn’t that big of a deal for me.
The big deal is cutting out some of the self love steps I usually have in place to make sure that I cope. I realised that I had inadvertently cut those out and it was having a really negative effect on my mind space.
So here are 5 Things I Do To Bring My Happy Back
- READ REAL BOOKS – Guys, I watch series. I love series. In fact we watch at least one episode of something every single night. But there is nothing, NOTHING as satisfying as getting lost in a totally different World inside your own head. Reading takes me away from all the things on my to do list, it gives me a mental break and then a high five for taking that time out. Since realising that I hadn’t read in a while, I have smashed 4 books and it has literally transformed me. Not only do I feel energised to write more (which helps me to reflect more on the real life I avoid while I read and work out those emotions of my day to day) but it also leaves me feeling refreshed.
- GO ON DATE NIGHTS – Y’all know how much I dig date nights. It’s actually so much a part of our lives that when we don’t have them I feel totally disconnected from Seth. And that messes me up. So making sure that we meet and share our lives with actual words and not just whatsapps and gifs makes a huge difference. We’re doing life together so we need to make sure we’re connecting on the daily.
- TURN MY PHONE TO SILENT – One day, a few weeks ago, I changed my phone to sound like a total idiot. Every single time the phone beeped I felt an incredible pull to check what I was missing. My FOMO out in full force. It distracted me from getting anything done and so I was constantly feeling overwhelmed. It sucked. So I put it back on silent and man, it was liberating. So what if you don’t get through to me the moment you want to. People survived for centuries without being able to get hold of people immediately. They will survive.
- GO ON LITTLE ADVENTURES WITH MY KIDS – I really don’t enjoy staying at home for too long a period of time. Going out and doing something on a weekend is what I need to keep my spirits up. Especially as a family. Watching my kids explore alongside us is just too wonderful. Plus having those little conversations about how things work or random historical bits of info really brighten up my day.
- ORGANISE SOMETHING THAT FEELS LIKE IT’S LOST CONTROL – We have a few corners of our home that slowly start filling up with mounds of random things. We have a bowl above the microwave, the side table in the passage and the desk in our room all littered with random slips, kids toys, important letters… You know the eclectic collection of stuff you can find in those places. It’s chronic. When I’m really feeling out of control, sorting out one of those piles makes such a difference for my mental space. Not that it lasts long (the tidiness that is).