Sometimes we might find ourselves at a point beyond exhaustion. It could be the comedown after seeing friends, or the end of a frantic week and dreading the next week. Perhaps you find yourself running around for others constantly without sparing a moment for yourself. It might feel like there’s no end in sight to the exhaustion. When life becomes a bit much, here’s what we recommend you try.
Make sure you’ve covered the basics.
These following tips will seem very insignificant, but can actually make the world of difference when things become overwhelming.
1. Stay hydrated. Fluids will help your body feel more energised. Just as plants wilt without water, your body will start to lag if it’s dehydrated.
2. Have some food. The body needs constant nourishment. Sometimes just the small act of taken care of yourself can help lift your mood. It’s understandable that you may not want to eat if you are feeling low, but even something small will be beneficial.
3. Take a shower if you haven’t had one recently. When you’re in the shower, try and hold your body as gently as you would a child. Showers can feel productive and can be a good way of lifting the mood.
4. Go for a walk. Sunlight can be uplifting for the brain, and it might help for you to see some faces if you live alone. If the weather isn’t very nice, what about a trip to the supermarket?
5. Get dressed. Sometimes the simple act of looking nice can help to lift your mood. Keep it casual in a t-shirt and jeans, or wear one of your favourite dresses if that will help you feel good.
6. Allow yourself to sleep if you’re tired. If you feel sleepy, sometimes it can be the body’s way of telling you to rest. Try and get some sleep if you can, allowing yourself the time and space away from electronics and the busy outside world.
Going a little bit further…
7. Try and have a conversation with someone. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about your feelings, but try and speak to someone you have a somewhat deep connection with. Perhaps pay them a genuine compliment and bask in the warmth of how good that feels.
8. Try listening to some music or watching/reading a feel-good film/book. Do you have an old favourite that you have a strong emotional connection with? Indulge yourself. If you’re listening to music, try an upbeat song that will have you dancing around the room.
9. Sometimes all we need is to be held. Is there anyone around who can hold you? Whether it’s a person, pet or even a cuddly toy, there is something safe and nurturing about being held – it’s giving you the love that you can’t always give yourself.
10. Try therapy. If you have in a position to, seeking counselling or therapy can be an effective way of getting yourself out of a rut. Some organisations provide this free of charge, or there are many voluntary organisations, such as the Samaritans, who will offer you emotional support when you need it.
11. Try medication. If you’re not on it already, sometimes it can give you the boost you need, although you may not feel the effects for a few months. If you are on medication, make sure you take this regularly and consider changing your prescription if you feel it’s not working for you any more.
Addressing the root of the problem
If you’ve been through all of the above, perhaps the following may be helpful for you.
12. Seek mental clarity. Are you feeling overwhelmed at the moment with the amount of work or deadlines you have? It’s okay to just look at the next step rather than the whole staircase. Speaking to someone about why you’re feeling overwhelmed may help you find a plan of action easier.
13. Do something small. Even if it’s just cleaning the kitchen or putting the hoover around, a small step can help you to feel productive and get your head in a better space. If the only thing you have done all day today is loaded the dishwasher – well done!
14. Love yourself. Whatever this looks like for you, whether it’s dressing up and taking selfies, asking your friends for reassurance, do what helps you to feel attractive and love yourself. Unashamedly make a list of all the things that make you fabulous and unique. Your friends will be more than happy to help you with this list, and no, that’s not you being needy.
15. Are you putting off something you’re dreading? This can be anything, whether it’s a decision to move houses, a job offer you’re unsure about, or calling the dentists to cancel an appointment. Again, sometimes bouncing ideas off someone else can help you realise what you would like to do. But sometimes it’s either about biting the bullet, or doing something else until you feel you’re more able to do this task.
16. If you have overexerted yourself in any sense of the word, perhaps it is time to allow yourself a rest. Whether it means sitting around because you have done too much exercise, turning your phone off because you’re emotionally exhausted from being a good friend, or you have studied too hard and you simply need to bingewatch something brainless, do what you need to do to get yourself back on your feet.
The most important tip we have to offer is to give yourself time. Sometimes your mood might change and there’s no reason for it. But that’s okay, because it will change again. The only thing that is constant in life is change, and you will surely feel as good as you feel bad right now.
Don’t forget to keep connected if that’s what helps you. Whether it’s being connected with nature or people, being isolated can be one of the worst feelings. If you need someone to talk to, you can contact the Samaritans on 116 123, or email [email protected]