Bring light to your grey days
Grey days...we all have them. Days when difficult circumstances, negative thoughts and overwhelming emotions suck the energy out of us. Although there is a lot of talk about “being resilient”, it can be hard to break out of the cycle of feeling flat and fed up.
As a coach, I meet many people who have dealt with extremely difficult challenges in their lives. We often talk about what has helped them cope and move forward.
Here are some practical suggestions from others who have done things to help them when grey strikes:
Do something good for someone else
This doesn’t mean you have to run a 10k for charity... it can be as simple as smiling at people in the supermarket, or helping a busy Mum get her pushchair up the steps. Changing your focus from yourself to another person can shift how you are feeling.
Anything from baking a cake, to a putting up a set of shelves. Creativity uses different parts of the brain – it can help to shut off negative thinking and concentrate on something else.
Get some exercise
Go outside and take a walk, even a short one. Do some stretching. Movement can boost the way you are feeling.
Do some small jobs that you can start and finish
De-clutter a drawer, weed a patch of garden or do some ironing. The act of accomplishing a task, even something small, can generate positive feelings.
Take things one step at a time. Sometimes thinking about the future, when there are problems ahead, can be overwhelming and stop you doing anything to move ahead. Instead, think about your present moment and consider the positive things that are around you. There are a number of free mindfulness techniques available on the Internet to help you feel calmer and more able to cope.
Listen to uplifting music
I remember visiting my mother in hospital when she was very ill. The atmosphere was sad and draining. Luckily, I was able to wheel her down to the patient lounge where there was a piano. I sat down and started playing her old favourites; “You Are My Sunshine”, “Pack Up Your Troubles”, “Red, Red Robin”... and before you knew it, we were all singing along, smiling and laughing. It totally changed how we were all feeling. Hope and energy had entered the room.
Sometimes it can be hard to be resilient when you are having one of those grey days. Taking the first step can feel like hard work, but once you do, you can change the way you think and feel.