One of the biggest lessons I took away from my illness was that I had the ability to shift my energy – and in turn – shift my experience when I was feeling low.
For a while (too long), I made the mistake of wallowing in my sadness and anxiety. I was doing nothing productive to break my low moods or anxiousness.
I let my anxiety freeze me up and keep me stuck in its grip.
I would stay in bed too long or sit on the couch frozen up with fear, getting myself more and more upset.
I would stay home instead of catching up with friends.
…Stay inside, even though it was a beautiful day outside.
I actively avoided the things I KNEW would help, like yoga or reading.
Everything. Felt. So. Hard.
And worst of all, I would just sit around thinking about my heart issues and my fears all day.
Of course, all these actions only made things worse for me.
Once I realised that I was working against myself, and that there were things I could do to break the cycle of anxiety and shift my low energy, I used what I knew from my psychology training and mindfulness to make a plan to get myself out of my funk.
I made it a daily practice to consciously choose things that I knew would help lift my mood and shift me out of fear.
I started building my toolkit that I could go to whenever I was feeling upset or anxious.
I began by making a list of things that made me feel good when I was well.
I listed at least 10 things – big & small that I loved doing.
The important thing here was including really simple – low energy required actions, because I was so unwell physically & couldn’t necessarily do the things that I would normally do.
AND when I was feeling really low I had zero motivation, so it was important that there were options that were achievable on those bad days.
Here is my original list I made, yours may look very different, because we are all different!
But it will give you an idea of what I am talking about:
- Make myself a cup of herbal tea ( & maybe some chocolate 😜)
- Take a bath with essential oils
- Take my dog Millie for a walk
- Go outside and sit on the grass in the sun & fresh air
- Read a book
- Play my fav music
- Watch a funny movie or TV show
- Light a scented candle or diffuse my oils
- Yoga / meditation
- Phone my mum for a chat
- Do some puzzles (use my brain)
- Talk it out with my hubby
- Play a game with my family
- Clean (I know it sounds crazy, but it worked!)
Whenever I started to feel myself slipping into a funk, I made sure I did something from my list.
Even if I didn’t feel like it & my anxiety was telling me not to, I did it.
And it always helped.
Even the smallest acts of self-love like diffusing some beautiful essential oils had the ability to shift my energy and take the edge off my anxiety.
Slowly, as I began planning these things into my days, I began to see a significant improvement in my mood and anxiety levels.
I felt less helplessness & hopelessness.
I felt like I had my power back.
Please remember that it’s important to find balance with this, because pushing yourself too far when you are low and not honouring where you are at isn’t what you want to do.
It’s important that whatever you are doing is a loving gentle gesture towards yourself.
It should feel light & positive. Not heavy & yuck.
The key is to take empowered action to lift yourself out of your low mood or anxiety.
These days, I rarely experience anxiety, but when I do – or if I am emotional or just having a crappy day, I still use this same list to help me move out of it.
So, make yourself a list and play around with it!
You might like to cook, or do some gardening, go for a run, or draw – Anything that brings you joy!
As you move forward you may be able to update your list with some more challenging activities, like going out for lunch with friends or going to the gym for example.
Just start where you are.
I am positive that you will begin to feel improvements before too long if you stick with this practice.
Remember – you have the power to change your experience!
I’d love to hear how you go with this!
And if you want some help with it, or to chat, just shoot me an email or contact me on FB or Insta.
Take care of your beautiful self xx 💙