As a woman I often feel I have to be strong and independent, I look upon these traits in other women as admirable. We take on so much as women, we have to prove ourselves in the workforce, we have to be a career to our family, and as a mother I know I can feel like the whole world will fall part if I take just ten minutes to myself.
I want to be strong, I want to be fearless, but the truth is I am not always those things. There are times I feel completely the opposite. I feel vulnerable and scared, but that is OK right? Most of the time I know it is. I am fine with being imperfect, I am fine with being my true self. I am OK with crying, I am OK with admitting I need a hug, but then there are times when I feel completely vulnerable, almost naked, so lost in my own swirling thoughts, that I feel as if I am weak, moments where I feel angry at myself for allowing my vulnerabilities to show.
I know I am not alone in these feelings, and I certainly know logically that I am not weak for having struggles. Sometimes however, when you are feeling low it is not so easy to see logic. Emotions take over and it is easy to feel like we are letting ourselves and others down. So what can we do, how can we stop self-defeating thoughts from interfering with our ability to be happy.
- During difficult times taking care of yourself is even more important than ever. Preventing undue stress and emotional overload has to become the thing you prioritise.
- Negative self-talk will never help, avoid it at all costs. Don’t let anyone else talk to you with disrespect either! Try and write a list of traits you love about yourself, or at the very least that you like about yourself.
- Surround yourself with supportive people. People who will not try to ‘fix’ things, but will offer support, and hopefully make you laugh. Sometimes all we need is someone to hear us, to listen. Don’t be afraid to tell people this. Let them know you are not looking for a solution from them, you just want your feelings to be heard.
- Similar to above, be with people who validate you, avoid anyone who will deter your healing process.
- Exercise can be a fantastic way to clear your thoughts and increases those positive endorphins you need right now. Jogging, walking, swimming can really rejuvenate you.
- Other great stress relievers can be massage, yoga, a hot bath or shower, prayer, or going to a spa.
- Consider keeping a journal, getting your thoughts out on paper or your computer can be very therapeutic.
- Healthy meals, try eating regularly, small portions are fine. Fresh vegetables and fruit will refresh your body. And it goes without saying but water will help cleanse your body. If you don’t like water on its own try a splash of lemon, lime or even cucumber. Eating can feel like the last thing you want to do, but it is so important to keep your health and strength up during times of stress.
- Give yourself permission to take some time out, some quiet moments of reflection.
- Try to avoid too much alcohol, or even too much coffee when you are feeling high levels of stress, especially before bed. Try to get as much sleep as you can.
- If you are having trouble sleeping try a meditation app like Smiling Mind to help you unwind. These can be downloaded for free. Speak to your GP if you need too.
- Have fun! Play, dance, go to the park, listen to music, meet up with friends even if you have to push yourself a little. Play with your pets.
- Hug! Hugging, touch, or massage from someone we love and trust, can be a great natural painkiller and help us feel happier.
- Be kind and gentle to yourself, don’t put time frames on yourself. Be patient.
I hope some of these tips help you, or someone you know who is hurting right now. If you are unsure if you are coping please don’t hesitate to talk to your GP. If you have a friend going through a difficult period remember to be supportive and patient.
It is not easy to be vulnerable, but allow yourself time, be patient with yourself, and strive to always be fearlessly authentic.
Thanks for joining me, love Mackenzie xx
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