Mental Health & Wellbeing Matters: getting back up when you’re down

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In our weekly conversation about mental health, a few words from someone who’s just had to find a way to lift themselves back up again.

It’s been a tough couple of years (hasn’t it been for us all), but over the summer there was something that happened that made me feel great and looking forward to the future. Something happened again just over a week ago that made me realise that I had perhaps misread things and gave me a very firm knock back down.

It was tough, really hit my confidence, made me feel uncomfortable in my own skin and made me feel uncertain in the future again. I really went to war with myself, bringing up all sorts of uncomfortable emotions that I had perhaps been sitting on for a while but I’m so pleased I let that happen. I needed to get that out of my system in order to realise my own value and how bright the future really does look. It was not a pleasant experience to get there.

Things are still early days but I know already I’m getting back up again and for me to feel this way so quick can only mean a bright future. If you are going through a hard time, I have listed some tips based on my own experience that has worked for me. It may help for you also:

  • Feel your emotions, accept it and absolutely do not shrug off anything that you feel, everything is valid and it will help you get to the next step.
  • Talk honestly to friends and family about how you feel, as long as you feel comfortable. When others share their experience it can be invaluable advice to take in mind when thinking of your next steps. However, realise that you are in a vulnerable position and only reach out to trusted friends and family.
  • Its okay to feel the depths of insecurity and uncertainty but just keep in the back of your mind it will not last. Absolutely Guaranteed. No matter how I have felt in the past I have known in the back of my mind that it will not last forever, even though it may feel that way. This is true.
  • When you start to feel a bit brighter think of things that you want to do and achieve in the near and distant future. Speak to a close person you trust that has the best intentions for you about them and resolve to draft up a plan of action to achieve all that you want. Be also prepared to readjust your plans as life happens.
  • Take action and start out in small ways.

For me, all the above helped to get me moving on to finally put into action to achieve some goals I have in mind. I was in a bad way a week ago but since I have been back into my running, gym, cycling and generally getting to enjoy life, feeling positive and be open to the possibilities. I have a plan that I feel empowered to keep to and I feel confident enough to say I really think I will achieve my goals. There will be challenges ahead but allowing myself to feel all the emotions I felt I know that the future will be positive.

One last thought: be kind in your mind. Your subconscious listens to that voice, but has no sense of humour, sarcasm, or nuance. If your internal dialogue is self-depreciating or sarcastic your back brain is taking it all literally.

Thanks, as always, for listening. This column will return next week.

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