Pulling yourself out of a bad time is hard, especially when all you want to do is sleep. Read this for some helpful tips and help to get yourself going.
Okay so firstly – disclaimer. I’m far from perfect and find it difficult to pull myself out of a funk, too. When I’m stressed and anxiety likes to control me, the last thing I want to do is pull myself together. All I want to do is play on my phone and watch TV in bed.
This post is just an example to show you that I’m not perfect either. It’s taken 2 weeks to publish this. But, there’s nothing healthy about hiding away from the world, and it’s a good idea to have some tools in your arsenal to help you out of it.
So, here are my best tips to help you get out of a funk, and back to normality, from someone that understands.
Keep a (very manageable and small) to-do list
The last thing you want to do when you’re feeling down is motivating yourself. That’s why I always recommend keeping a small to-do list for everything you need to sort out.
I know that this might be easier said than done when you struggle even to brush your hair in the mornings. But, having a to-do list gives you a sense of accomplishment when you tick something off, and you can reward yourself once you’ve completed a task.
If it helps, put the simplest of tasks down on your to-do list. Here are some examples to help you look after yourself (self-care anyone?):
- Have a bubble bath
- Take the rubbish out
- Tidy one room of your house
- Throw out some clothes you don’t wear anymore
- Help out a neighbour
- Write in your journal
All of the above are really great ideas to add your to-do list. Not only will you feel better for doing them afterwards, they all have their own benefits to your wellbeing.
Ticking off some of these from your to-do list are a sure fire way to bring yourself out of an anxiety funk.
Take time away from social media and mobile devices
There have been numerous studies that show that screen time is bad for you and your mental health.
Millennials are growing up with high levels of anxiety and depression for this very reason. So much so, they are being labelled as ‘Generation Stress’ rather than Generation Millennial. This article explains that almost 19% of all millennials suffer from anxiety and depression, and can be attributed to device and social media time.
Using devices before bed creates a disturbed and restless night of sleep, not to mention the other social impacts social media has on us. So this point may come as no surprise to you really.
What can you do to limit social media and device usage? Here are some ideas for you:
- Put that phone down! Avoid using your phone at least an hour before bed so your body can get ready for sleep.
- Rather than watching TV in bed, read a book instead. It’ll make you feel tired and lead to a less disturbed night’s sleep.
- Instead of spending time on social media, invite your friends around. Although being social might not be your idea of fun, you could have a coffee together and make it short.
- Use laptops/devices for work? Make sure you get regular 10 minute breaks every 50 minutes. Go for a quick walk or stretch in your chair. Focus your eyes on something in the distance so your eyes can have a rest.
All of the above points will help you take breaks from social media and your devices.
Keep up with friends and family – don’t shut yourself away
Much like the above with social media, make time for your friends and family. Humans are naturally social creatures so often get lonely if we spend too much time alone. With loneliness comes anxiety and depression, so it’s important to make time for being social (and not on those pesky devices).
Having said that, being an introvert means you’d be more likely to need less time with others. Maybe even relish time on your own. But, even so, it’s important to spend time with those you love now and again. You’ll feel more refreshed because of it.
Motivate yourself by rewarding the little things
I’ve spoken in the past about positive reinforcement and why you should reward yourself whenever you do something good. Although this technique works wonders for children in helping them learn positive attitudes, there’s nothing saying you can’t treat yourself the same.
The idea is that whenever you do something impressive (no matter how small!), treat yourself. For example when you get on that bus you’ve been avoiding for so long, buy yourself a little something.
Or how about when you finish a piece of work that has been hanging over your head for some time? Enjoy some guilt-free chocolate! When you do something out of your comfort zone, remember to do something you enjoy doing as a way of making yourself happy.
Do bear in mind though that everything should be in moderation (both putting yourself out of your comfort zone as well as rewarding yourself). I don’t want you hiding away through sheer fright now!
5. Look after yourself
The final point to make today is a very broad one but still significant. The question that still evades me on a daily basis is how do you look after yourself when it’s the last thing you want to do?
Well, this is still coming I am learning. I probably won’t have a response that answers this 100% of the time. But I do have my own coping mechanisms that may help you out.
- Keep a self care box – this involves a box containing everything that you hold dear to you. Put things like photos, cuddly toys, face masks, massage oil, fidget items, etc. and give yourself permission to look inside this box when you’re feeling down.
- Have your hair/makeup done once in a while – there’s nothing like being papered now and then. If you’ve got a bit of spare money and want to treat yourself, it’s okay- do it!
- Forgive yourself once in a while – we are all so very hard on ourselves so much of the time. It takes guts to actually allow yourself to accept what is happening and move on from it.
As you can imagine, putting yourself out of an anxiety funk can be hard.
I know this because this post has taken me nearly 2 weeks to put together because I’ve been struggling too. But use this as proof to show you that you can and will move forward.
You just need the tools and tips to help you through it. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I ant to hear from you!