I talked about this idea of falling apart a lot. I can often be fine for a long time, which for me is around a week (is that pathetic?), then all of the sudden everything crashes. This can happen for numerous reasons. It’s never entirely smooth sailing. Sometimes I’m great at pulling myself out of my crashes and brushing myself off, other times it is not so easy. Here are some things that I do my best to do when it seems like everything is doomed.
1. I delete social media.
This usually only lasts a day or two, but it’s a big one. Sometimes social media can be suffocating. There’s arguing, negative news, people’s perfect lives and other triggers. Being up to date on politics, especially currently, and knowing what happening in friends lives can be so vital and necessary. I am not promoting ignorance, but sometimes you need to separate yourself from it to protect yourself.
I also get in this loop of always comparing myself to others on my social media feed. People who seem like they have no problems in the world (though I know everyone does) and I’m falling apart. It honestly makes me feel worse. I just concentrate on others and lose focus on myself.
Sometimes you need to concentrate on taking care of yourself, and that is okay, and that isn’t selfish. It’s hard to be an activist, a friend, a significant other, etc. if you are falling apart on the side.
2. I go to therapy.
When I’m struggling, I don’t want to do a thing. I want to lay on my couch and not move. I don’t want to think about my struggles, I usually just want to wish them away. Therapy is hard work. It’s worth it, but it’s hard. When I’m struggling, it is extra difficult, but this is when it is the most important time for me go. I always feel relieved after I go. I feel like a can breathe a little lighter. Appointments are not cure-alls, but they always give me a renewed sense of hope, which is so important in times when I’m struggling.
3. I do whatever refuels me.
When I’m struggling, I’m drained. Getting out of bed is difficult. Going to work is difficult. Minimum energy. This is when I have to force myself to do something that refuels me. Hiking is usually my go-to. Where I live, this is easily accessible, and it’s something that constantly clears my head and makes me feel refreshed. Other times I may read, do a puzzle, go for a run, or visit my niece and nephew. I keep those activities as a list, so I know what I need to do if I’m not in the mindset to figure it out for myself.
For others, this will, of course, be different. Some people do yoga, rock climb, crosswords, reaching out to friends, etc. Finding what works for you will be best. You know yourself better than anyone. On days when it’s hard, it is when it’s most important to do things that refuel you. It’s going be difficult to force yourself to do it, but it can be worth it.
4. Reach out to supportive friends.
I have a group of friends I turn to in these times. It’s a group because turning to just one can be tiring for that person. If I need someone just to tell me it will be okay, if I need someone to grab a coffee or just motivate me to move, I reach out to them. It is important to know your support network and to use them.
5. Turn your phone off and be present.
I can get caught up on my phone. This can be through texting, social media, games or email. I end up not being present. My mind tends to wander on its own anyway, and my phone gives it that extra push. Sometimes just turning your phone off or leaving it at home can be freeing. It forces you to take a look at what is happening around you instead of whatever is going on in your head. It’s a nice break with fewer distractions.
6. Do nothing.
Sometimes all you can do is lay on the couch, and that’s okay. Give yourself a break. Take a mental health day from work. Sometimes you do need a day just to rest and let it go. Take to time to recuperate and heal. Give yourself permission to just that. Rest. Recover. Move forward.