“There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen” – Rumi.
I’m a big believer in listening to your body. Whether that’s how you feel, what you want to do or how you want to eat. I believe our bodies will tell us what we need. Maybe that’s a rest day, a day of clean eating or simply an extra hour in bed.
It’s really hard sometimes when you’re having a sluggish and down day to not get annoyed with yourself or punish yourself. It’s also really hard during this time to see that it will pass and that those feelings will eventually subside. In just a couple of days your mood can completely change and you could feel so much more motivated, positive and optimistic to get loads done. After experiencing how quick your mood can change it solidifies the fact that feelings do pass and it’s those moments that must become your reminders during darker times when you barely feel like getting out of bed.
Last week I spent a few days feeling very little desire to do the things I enjoy. I struggled to get myself going and I found myself just doing what I had to do, the bare minimum. I wasn’t looking after myself as well as I could have been, I wasn’t motivated to work towards my goals or get anything substantial checked off my to-do list, purely because I felt I had no energy to do it. It’s not like anything in my life is bad enough to really bring me down, but I generally find that a combination of the tiny things will eventually get on top of me. Individually these small things bare no weight to effect me on their own, each one is so insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but when combined and stacked on top of each other it becomes a real weight that can hold you down.
I think we must accept that it doesn’t have to take something huge and life changing to effect us, it can just be that small thing and that’s ok. It’s ok to feel like that, everybody does and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about having those feelings! The thing with how you feel though is that it will always change, our moods and our feelings can change as sudden as the weather and we can’t always control that. You must be forgiving to yourself and accept that that is how you are feeling in that moment, that’s not how you’ve always felt and its not now you’re always going to feel, things will change and you will feel better.
I feel as though pushing myself on those down and sluggish days will only drag out the feeling and keep me in that state for longer. Listening to my body and allowing myself to just be, to rest and take the pressure off myself is so vital for good mental health. No I’m not saying you should stop everything, not go into work/school and lounge around, but you don’t have to push yourself to do the things that can wait. You can get through a couple of days without being on top of your to-do list and take the time to really take care of yourself and allow yourself the time to rest when you need it. Do the things you have the energy for and look after yourself. Your mood will change and you will feel back to your normal self again and it’s then that you’re able to make up for those quieter days. You’ll feel fresher and geared up to do those things you love again and most importantly, you’ll be ready to do it because you listened to your body, you won’t have to force yourself, you’ll want to do it. Whereas if you’re falling out with yourself over the low days and pushing yourself too hard then you’re only going to drag out that feeling, it’ll take longer to pass and you still won’t have got done what you wanted. You’ll feel like you still don’t have the energy because you continued to push yourself when you had none. We’re not robots, we physically can not push ourselves to maximum capacity 24/7, its not possible and we will burn out. We need to rest in order to function to our fullest.
Don’t get angry and beat yourself up for the way you are feeling, its not something you can control. What you can control though is how you react and deal with those feelings. We will never remain at a steady pace within our mood, we never have and its insane to think we ever will. You’d think by now we would be so aware of that that it wouldn’t effect us, but it still does. We’re striving for perfection, no time off, no mistakes, no errors…. It doesn’t exist. So to round up, be kind to yourself, accept the fleeting feelings and trust that it will pass and you will get back to being your productive self!
Please note: I am only talking about fleeting feelings, ones that pass from day to day. If you find that yourself or someone you know is struggling with a low mood consistently which doesn’t feel like its lifting then do not ignore it and I encourage you to speak to someone! Looking after our mental health is so important but it can be so difficult. Speaking to someone and getting help is the best thing you can ever do for yourself, please do not hesitate to speak up.
Useful numbers and links for support:
NHS urgent care:: 111
Samaritans 24hr over the phone service: 116 123
For additional info and support: