You may have noticed that I enjoy writing lists. I write lists whenever I can, daily plans, shopping lists, tasks, goals, and usually, on Sunday, I would share my weekly list of lovely things. This Sunday however, I just didn’t feel like it. I didn’t feel like writing anything at all, as quite frankly, this week feels as though everything has gone to shit. It’s going down as one of my least favourite weeks in a while actually, through attempting to sweat out the flu, an election that shocked me to my core and crying more times than I care to recount. The realisation that the ‘us vs them’ mentality that I’d very much hoped was in my head is far more real and prevalent than I’d thought, and a general despair for the weeks, months and years ahead.
Therefore, I have decided to share an ‘It’s All Gone to Shit List’- a friendly list of things to do when it does feel somewhat like the universe is catching fire. My version of a ‘keep calm and carry on’, it is perhaps more important than ever to write when we don’t feel like writing, and be sure to carry on as we were, to avoid curling into a ball under a duvet and never coming out again.
So, when it all feels like the end is nigh, and that everything has gone to shit, you should…
Go outside, remind yourself it’s all still there and still standing. There’s nothing like some fresh air and exercise to clear your mind. Focus on the little things as you walk. The wind is still blowing, the trees are still growing and the birds are still flying; it hasn’t quite imploded just yet. Taking a camera with you can be a great exercise too, in finding things to photograph around you, you focus on the pretty little details that you may have otherwise missed.
Make a list of all the good things. Positive thinking is key as always, and often writing things down can help cement the idea and help you believe it. Write a list of all the good things that have happened today, no matter how small. Record every victory, even if it’s managing to get out of bed and shower. Take note regularly and reread often, a great way to remind yourself that not everything is as terrible as you initially may have thought.
Go out of your way to be kind. It’s more important than ever to look after ourselves and those around us. Smile, hold the door, offer to help. Tiny, simple things that will make more difference than you could imagine to someone who needs it. Get in contact with people you may not have spoken to in a while, share compliments, hug more. All little gestures that will keep the world turning in difficult times.
Take care of yourself. It’s okay to be selfish every once in a while, and self-care is one of the best things you can do to help yourself when you’re feeling down. Log out of twitter and Facebook and run yourself a bubble bath. Pop some popcorn, throw on your cosiest PJs and snuggle up under a blanket in front of your Netflix series of choice. In disastrous times, the world can wait, and you’ll be more ready to face it when you need to if you take some time to rest and prepare.
Talk. If you are really struggling, then suffering in silence is never the answer. Pick up the phone, write an email, however you do it, make sure you are talking to someone. A problem shared is a problem halved, as they say.
What’s on your list to do at times like this?