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Nov 22, 2021

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How Do You Treat Yourself On The Down Days?


How do you treat yourself on the down days?  The off days, the ones where you just feel like you’re in a bit of a funk and you might not even be sure why.


This is actually a really important question and the answer is not to be underestimated.


The way you treat yourself and talk to yourself when you’re feeling a way that you don’t want to, or feel you ‘shouldn’t’ is key to so much.


It’s easier to show ourselves compassion when we’re having a good run of things.


It’s easier to be nice to ourselves when we feel we’re doing a good job.


But what about the days that you don’t?


What do you tend to do?  


What do you tend to think to yourself and say to yourself?


How does it make you feel?


We’re always going to have days where things go wrong, or not the way we wanted them to. 


We’re always going to have days where people might let us down.


We’re always going to have days where it feels a bit much, or we’ve worked ourselves too hard.


We’re always going to have days where we may not have slept enough or our hormones may be running wild, or the moon is full or mercury is in retrograde...whatever it may be!


I used to be the queen of being nasty to myself in my own head.  And out loud. 


I felt frustrated with myself.  I wished I was different. In all honesty I made myself a bit of a victim.  Even though it was absolutely of my own making.


But it didn’t make me feel good.


It didn’t help me get out of a funk.


The thing I didn’t know back then was how it was creating more of the same.


How I was talking to myself was signalling to my brain to show me more evidence that it was true.


I bought into the idea that you ‘shouldn’t’ have bad days.  It’s just an extension of so many peoples conditioning that we aren’t supposed to ever feel down or feel our emotions and it’s just so damaging.


We’re human beings and there are natural ebbs and flows in our days, weeks, months and years. 


Seasonal shifts that may have an effect.


Monthly cycles that may have an effect.


I’d LOVE for people to let go of the notion that working on yourself means you’re never going to have a bad day.


If anyone tries to sell you that, run a mile!


It’s about how you SEE those down days.


How you handle them.


How you treat yourself through them.


How long you allow them to last.


How you judge yourself for having them.


We’ve got to stop trying to live up to unrealistic expectations in all facets of our lives.  It’s important that people are more honest with the realities of just being a human! 


A down day is an opportunity.


It’s an opportunity to appreciate the good ones and really recognise them for what they are.


It’s an opportunity to practice gratitude, even when you’re not feeling it!


It’s an opportunity to listen to what your brain and your body are trying to communicate to you.


It’s not about it being anything ‘wrong’ with you.


It’s about learning to listen.


It’s about living with curiosity over judgement.


What might be going on for you right now? 


Might you be doing something you don’t really want to do?  Or could it be highlighting something to be healed or reframed?


Can you name the emotion? And can you hear any judgments coming through about you having it?  How are you talking to yourself?


And what do you tend to do? What behaviour do you exhibit?  For me it was always lounging on the sofa with snacks.  Or it might be trying to ‘push through it’.  Maybe sitting at my desk trying to force myself to work and not getting very far.  When actually what I needed to do was take a step back.


Now my steps are to listen, identify what might be going on and why, get curious, allow myself grace to be human.  Self compassion.  Identify and sit with the emotion. Go do something different. Understand my coping strategies (snapping at loved ones, going for junk food) so I'm aware and can consciously choose something different.


Self compassion is absolutely something that can be learned. But you won’t get anywhere without awareness first. 


Identifying your thoughts, your inner self talk, your behaviours. Don’t let that stuff stay unconscious.


If your best friend was telling you they felt exactly the way you feel and were saying the things to themselves that you say to yourself...what would you tell them?


Can you extend that to yourself?