o you ever get Down Days? You wake up and you just know from the word “go” that you just don’t quite feel like yourself. All you’ve done is wake up but you feel down and like you just want to pull the covers over your head and put up an “Out of Order” sign.
You’re not alone. Everybody feels like this at some point. I’m not talking about full blown depression or mental health issues here, I am talking about those days when you just feel a bit blah. Of course these days can multiply, build up on each other and can be the early signs of depression or mental health issues, so they do need monitoring and keeping an eye on. But generally, I am talking about those days that don’t happen all that often but leave you feeling “out of sorts”.
The first thing to ask yourself is what is causing the feeling? Why are you feeling so down? You may be able to identify the cause straight away: you’ve had a row with someone and it is playing on your mind; you’ve got so much to do that you don’t know where to start; you’ve got to do something that you really don’t want to do; you feel uncomfortable about your weight so you know your clothes won’t fit. These are just a few of my own Down Day triggers I’ve had over the years.
If you can’t immediately identify what the problem is, you may have to do a bit of mental digging. Try meditating and see what surfaces. Divide your life into sections and give yourself a satisfaction rating for each area. You will start to uncover the source of your discomfort. After all, that is what your subconscious is doing, giving you notification that you are not happy about something and making it pretty imperative that you listen and do something about it.
So what are you going to do to pull yourself out of the Down Day Doldrums?
First of all, be kind to yourself. Don’t start giving yourself a hard time, telling yourself to “Snap out of it” and calling yourself “stupid” for feeling that way! (Yes, I’ve done all that – it simply doesn’t work and you end up feeling worse) Listen to what this discomfort is telling you and find it’s source. treat yourself as you would a friend who has come to you feeling down. Make yourself a nice hot drink, go back to bed if you want and can and then take the time to figure out what the problem is. If it is a work day or you have an appointment that means time is not a luxury, then be extra kind to yourself because you are going to have to manage this feeling until you can do something about it. And that takes strength.
Once you have discovered what this Down Day is all about, you have a chance to do something about it. Ask yourself if there is a solution or not. If there isn’t then acknowledge that you feel pretty rubbish, but recognise that it will pass. If you cannot do anything to solve the situation, let it go. There is no point ruminating over things you cannot change. Continue being kind to yourself and try a distraction. Go for a walk, go and see a film, read a good book, have a hot bath. Do something you enjoy and refocus on that.
If you can do something about the situation, then that is a whole new scenario. Write a list of all the things you could do to solve the problem. Think as big and as out-of-the-box as you like. These are just options, you are not committing to any of them at this stage. When you have given yourself a good amount of time to come up with these options, sit back and have a look at them. Which one is really resonating with you? Which one do you like the sound of? Which one looks easiest to do? Which one is going to have the most impact? Pick that one and, most importantly of all, do it as soon as you can! Immediately! Now! When you’ve done it, check in with that uncomfortable feeling. Is it lifting? If it isn’t, pick another action and keep going until it shifts. You’ll probably be so busy, you won’t even notice it lifting!
Our subconscious mind has developed systems to bring things to our attention so that we can act, avoid pain and seek safety. Listening to it is always better than ignoring it, and taking control back from it feels awesome.
So if you are having a Down Day, give it some of your time to sort it out. But please remember, if these days become too frequent and you cannot sort out the cause on your own, get some help. Coaching, counselling, therapy are all available at the end of the phone. You are never alone and nothing is insurmountable. Get in touch with me for a free consultation about how coaching can help you move forward with what is causing your Down Days. Or contact the Samaritans on 116123 if those days are mounting up.