How to: survive after a bad day

Monday, January 19, 2015
...or, pull yourself up and out of the "depths of despair", gently tend to emotional wounds and be yourself again. The wonderful you that was put on this earth with a purpose and for a reason. 

So, you've had one of those days. You lost your wallet, someone was rude/ hurt your feelings, you're boyfriend/girlfriend broke up with you, you didn't get the dream job, you were fired from your job. Or maybe you're feeling under the weather. Or maybe all of those things happened to you in the space of 24 hours. If so, my condolences you poor, poor soul, but I assure you, if you can make it to the next sunrise, you can survive anything and I tip my beret to you. 

Today, was a bad day for me. I lost my bank card, people in my local township were even more rude than usual, and I just felt awful about myself - like I had hit some all-time-low in the history of "Maria's All-Time-Lows". In desperation and mid-mental-breakdown, I phoned my oldest sister who is a highly intellectual individual and wise human being (I hope she knows how much she has taught me). Three things were pointed out of the 15 minute phone call after my tears had subsided and I regained my senses:

1. It's okay to be sad, but you can't prolong it. You have to snap out of it, pull yourself up after the fall and carry on. 
2. "To the mattresses!". It's not personal, it's strictly business. Wise words from The Godfather. 
3. This is temporary. Everything is temporary. Bad shit, good shit. IT'S ALL TEMPORARY. You just have to make the most of the good shit, and learn how to deal with the bad shit. 

I'm gonna quickly address each of these individually in hopes that it will not only help me clarify and clear a few things out in my cluttered head, but to help some of you too. I know for a fact that I wasn't the only one who suffered from a mental breakdown today. There are 7 billion peeps on the planet, after all. 

1. SNAP OUT OF IT. (Casual sneaky AM reference there...)
Being sad sucks, but sometimes we humans find a silver lining, and that is self-pity, which can become a habit. Don't fall into the trap of letting sadness become a constant, easy option. Letting yourself mope and sit in your room all day with a book and "alone time" is totally fine every once in a while but don't let it define your lifestyle. It's not going to make things better. Pull yourself up and out! Breathe in the fresh air. Move your body. Have a good nights sleep (that one is SO important - I know for a fact sleeping/ not sleeping can make/ break me). Be brave. Pull yourself together! It's not the end of the world. Things are hard right now but in a few years time you're going to look back and say "Wow. Go me. I did something my past self is thanking my present/future self for". 

Prepare for battle! In the morning when you're dressing yourself, use it as a metaphor for strong, steel armor that's going to rebound the arrows, bullets and spears of negativity and harm coming your way. When people you don't know find a reason to dislike you, you need to realize it's completely and totally their own problem. As a person, the only way you can make it through life without criticism is to say nothing, do nothing, be nothing. Elbert Hubbard is keepin' it real by stating that. No matter what you do, someone is going to find a way to criticize it, and sometimes not in the friendly, constructive way, but in the spiteful way that ONLY reflects the insecurities and self destruction that is going on in their head. 

Remind yourself this, "It's not personal. It's business". People don't know any damn better! You do you. Float your own boat. You know who you are. My Mum is always reminding me of the same quote she's lived by her whole life. "Love many, trust a few, always paddle your own canoe". You know who you are. You know the truth, and you are under no obligation to be the same person you were five minutes ago. If you've done something wrong, fix it! Learn from it. You're human. Sometimes you have to just put yourself first. Put yourself first over silly, immature friendships that hold you back. Put your happiness in priority because that's important and you're important. You don't have to be arrogant and self-obsessed to have confidence and self-respect and love. 

"Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different...". 
I thought I would have C.S Lewis be the opening line for three reasons: he's a bloody legend, he was responsible for the sweet, fantasy driven dreams of my childhood, and because he's wise and right. Everything is temporary. Sadness is temporary. You're not always going to be like this (unless you choose to be...), and it's really important to understand this, especially when life throws lemons at you super hard and you're kinda knocked out and sore. The same goes for being happy too... and the trick is to enjoy it, make the most of it and revel in the opportunity for inspiration and productivity. One of my favourite youtubers, Connor Manning, elaborates on this very eloquently here


{This beautiful, poetic and reassuring print available from this little Etsy store}

OKAY. So, now that we've gotten all that deep stuff out and you've had some time to think about it, it's time for a few of my tips/ favorite things to do when I'm feeling like absolute crap and it's been one of those days... or weeks. Because hey, it happens and sometimes no matter how hard we try, lemons are just super duper in season and life has a lot to throw. 

1. Music. 
My mood is very easily swayed depending on the music I listen to. For example, if I'm feeling super romantic, then Otis Redding's "These Arms of Mine", is a winner. If I am feeling like I need to test the limits of my vocals, then Ariana Grande has been cranked up to full volume, or perhaps my rapping abilities, Childish Gambino. And if sadness is kicking in, then I tend to head towards some of Elvis Presley's moodier ballads
Bottom line, I recommend listening to your favourite "happy music". Have a playlist ready for the days when you're feeling low and in need of the support of sound and I promise it'll help. 

2. Talking/ asking for help 
“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laug and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.” Frida Kahlo (and Chavela Vargas)
There's seriously nothing wrong with asking for help, talking out your problems. Sometimes when people get into the habit of bottling things up, it gets harder and harder to ask for help. Trust me when I say that it helps immensely if you share what is bothering you with someone you trust. Not only can they offer advice, understand and empathy but the conversation could easily turn and you could share a laugh (which is a brilliant medicine on its own). 

3. Write a list. Make a plan. 
Relevant to the words from The Godfather - battle stations! Make a plan of attack. How are you gonna improve your situation? How are you gonna improve it? Sleep me? Check. Save more? Check. Cut out the negativity and the people in your life that are not worth your time? Check. 

4. Chill the f*#! out! 
Make a hot chocolate. Settle down for a temporary escape into the world of good literature, or good TV. Sometimes all you need is a little battery recharge and you're good to go. 

5. Source hope and inspiration
These videos have been especially helpful and inspiring lately: wise words from Katie about staying true to yourself and the important of self-love and respect, here, here, and here. Basically anything from Connor's channel is enough to get me through a tough day. 

Well, that concludes my little spiel. I hope it helped you. It helped me because I've never elaborated on something so concisely before. My head was a mess before I sat down to write this, and at the moment, I've polished off a second cup of rooibos and I'm feeling immaculately lighter and hopeful. Much less overwhelmed too. I hope you're okay, stay strong and lots of love. xoxo

Disclaimer: This post was simply meant to be a little guide/ advice. I'm no medical professional and I don't claim to be. If you're feeling sad or depressed and it's becoming too overwhelming for you to cope, I suggest the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (AUS) or seeing your local GP for counselling or therapy advice. Remember that you're not alone and you can make it through this :) 

All images, unless otherwise stated, were sourced from Tumblr. 


SensibleThem said...

I laughed and I cried. You are INTERSTELLAR. xx

Grace said...

Just in time and oh so helpful, Maria! I'm feeling a little down at the moment because I'm staying in hostel and have to battle difficult homework and awkward social situations all at the same time. Thought I'd take a break from my work by looking at your blog, and lo and behold, the first post is this! It was like the hug of a furry sweater or a friend on a cold day, and infinitely helpful. Thanks dear!