We should stroll through life admiring the scenery and mindful of life’s beauty, not charging through it and sacrificing our relaxation for other less important things. We won’t remember that deadline at the end, nor will our employer.Read More
I have this folder on my laptop called 'For scary things'. It's basically full of cool quotes, and pug pictures and Parks&Rec GIFs, and it's where I go when everything gets a bit too much.
You know - those days where you feel rubbish and sad and awful and you convince yourself that you're the worst at EVERYTHING, so why are you even trying? Those days.
As a writer, those days happen fairly often. I'm constantly putting my heart on the line, and it is terrifying. Like panic-attack-pacing-back-and-forth-terrifying. Usually, my 'For scary things' folder helps me see some perspective.
I mean, how can you not be happy when looking at Ron Swanson and sad pugs? But sometimes, I need a little something extra to help me over the scary days. So I thought I'd write a list of what helps me when I'm feeling down, in the hope that it will help someone reading this.
1 // Exercise
If you're like me, exercise is usually the last thing that you feel like doing when the scary days hit. BUT, hear me out a sec. Exercise is such a great stress relief, and it's something physical that you can do to respond to something scary. If your feeling angry - why not try boxing?
I personally LOVE yoga (which is something 16yr old me would never have believed I would say) - it helps me focus and calm down mentally as well as exercising physically. I really recommend Yoga with Adriene - it's a great starting point& there is SO MUCH content! I also really enjoy walking. Again it clears my mind, I get to listen to music and I also just take in my surroundings.
2// TREAT YO SELF
Okay, that was a Parks&Rec reference, but the concept is universal.
Take an hour/day/week - paint your nails, or read a book or watch that TV show you've been meaning to catch. Taking care of yourself is an underrated necessity. Be selfish and do what's good for you! A calm, stress-free, happy you is FAR more likely to take on the scary stuff like a pro than a you that is rundown, tired and frazzled.
3// See your friends
As a writer, I am sometimes VERY guilty of neglecting my friends - I am usually chained to my laptop most evenings tapping out the words. So when things get tough - phone a friend. Have a cinema/lunch date, or if you're long distance - talk on Skype. Do something fun like going to the zoo or a museum (I know - I'm a nerd). Talk about it. Talk about everything and anything that is worrying you. Chatting to friends is cathartic - you sort out and analyze your problems, figure out a way to solve/minimize them... and maybe, you realize they're not as much of a problem as you first thought.
By the way, I'm not just talking about IRL friends here - internet friends can be (and are) just as valuable. The writing community online is such a massive support to me - and hopefully - to others. So email, DM or message to your hearts content until your worries seem manageable again.
This is what I do when stuff gets really, really scary. Exercise, self-care & friendship is my key to feeling like I can take on the scary monster I've created in my head. These three things might not be the key for you, but I promise that you have one - maybe you need a hug with someone special, or to eat out at your favorite place. Whatever it is that makes you feel brave enough to take on the scary things, do it - because, as one of my favorite quotes says: