When you’re feeling down and exhausted, you often find yourself with no motivation whatsoever and just want to curl up in a ball on the sofa and binge watch your favourite TV show. You will likely want to cancel all plans, hide away from the housework, and juts find ways to pass the time until you can go back to bed. Occasionally, this works. Occasionally, this is exactly what you need. Ask yourself this though, how many times have you felt disappointed in yourself by the end of the day because you haven’t achieved anything? How many times have you woken up the next morning feeling exactly the same way? It often leads to a vicious circle, one that is incredibly hard to get out of. We’ve all been there; we all know what that’s like.
Sometimes you just need to push yourself. Sometimes forcing yourself to do something small can make all the difference and really kick you out of your funk.
Housework and getting organised
For me, when it comes to getting organised and doing housework, I find that pushing myself works. I can be sitting there in the evening when my son has gone to bed, and think about all the stuff that needs doing…the washing up, the hoovering, sorting the laundry out, cleaning the highchair. They are all quite small things, but when they add up they can get quite overwhelming. When I push myself to get these things done, I usually end up with a feeling of accomplishment and a fresh burst of motivation, meaning that I can continue and get stuck into the rest of the chores.
This is because they are quite small things in the grand scheme of things. Getting stuck in doesn’t really require much thought or emotion. You can distance yourself from the chores as you get them done, maybe by putting the TV on in the background, listening to music, or simply daydreaming. Plus, with them being physical activities (even if only minorly so), they get your body working and you end up feeling more energised than you would if you just spent the rest of the day in front of Netflix.
Getting out and about
Getting out and about and getting some fresh air is another thing that is great to push yourself to do. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say it’s pretty important. Fresh air is not only good for your body, it is also good for your soul. Locking yourself in at home, however, no matter how bad you feel, can just make things worse. Seeing the same walls over and over, the same clutter, the same screens, breathing in the same (sometimes) musty air, can just kick you down even more. Going outside for a walk even just a 15 minutes stroll around the block, can work wonders. Taking it even further and going to the park or the beach, or anywhere else where you can be one with nature, can honestly completely refresh your soul and give you a whole new perspective on things. Especially if you practice mindfulness when you’re out there; focus on the sights, sounds, smells. Focus on your body and how it’s reacting to being out and walking. You’ll find things aren’t as bad as you thought they were; that you can cope after all.
If you have social anxiety, social situations can be difficult to handle. I’m not just talking about meeting up with friends and family, I’m talking about leaving your house and being in an environment where there are other people around to see you; other people who might or might not interact with you. When you are feeling down, even the thought of that can send panic racing through you.
I often find that taking a step back can really help in these situations. Try to think of it logically rather than with emotion. You need to go to the shops for example, but you can’t handle the idea of being around people. When was the last time a stranger stopped you when you were shopping? For me it was when I was in Tesco on holiday, and a lady asked me if I could reach something on the shelf for her. Rather than the usual anxiety I get when strangers talk to me, I actually felt empowered because I was able to help her. If you bump into friends or family, wouldn’t it actually be nice to see them whilst having an excuse to duck out if you need to? (I need to get this frozen home before it defrosts, or sorry, I’m in a bit of a rush, catch up later?). If it is a social engagement you are worried about, ask yourself whether you’d feel disappointed if you cancelled. Whether you’d regret it. Ask yourself what you’d end up doing instead and whether that would be more enjoyable.
When was the last time you pushed yourself? Did it help? What did you manage to achieve? Celebrate your achievements no matter the size of them!