My life is currently in a bit of a slump. (No, it’s been one heck of a slump. One of the worst I’ve ever experienced in my short life span.) But I can feel that I am slowly but surely making my way through to the other side, and that I’m coming out on top. After doing some reflecting and soul searching I’ve realised that I cannot be the only one going through these kinds of phases, and that writing about it will not only help myself, but surely provide some perspective to someone else going through the same thing. I’ve come up with a short list of feasible (read: obvious, should be easy but doesn’t always feel that way) actions which can help you, just as they are helping me, to get out of your slump.
Spend your money wisely
We all know that spending your money on things you don’t need is wasting, and that money could have gone to something more important. But then again, retail therapy (spoiling yourself with something you don’t need; usually a splurge item) can do wonders to a broken spirit. Just think of how amazing you felt after buying that epic pair of shoes, or splurging on that leather bag you’ve been wanting for a while.
In my case, retail therapy consists of anything from fashion to books (which I will probably not get to read in this lifetime) to home ware, and going out. Although I am totes for retail therapy, I have made a conscious decision a while back to quit my spending addiction, and I am proud to say that I have been sticking to it. I have had countless sleepless nights worrying about how I will survive until the end of the month, while my splurge items just sit there staring at me, constantly reminding me of my dilemma. Many times I have spent all my money with nothing to show for it. (I honestly don’t know which is worse.)
Wasting hard-earned money causes extra, unnecessary stress. This contributes to sleepless nights and hair loss and skin breakouts and nail biting and mood swings and ALL the things! So instead of going out for drinks when you can’t afford it, or buying yet another bag on Spree, or that cute top at Mr. Price that you’ll only wear once, rather suck it up and save that money. It’s one less thing to worry about and you’ll be happy you did.
Get enough sleep
As mentioned above, stress leads to sleepless nights. Or restless nights. Or even bad dreams and night sweats. When you find yourself in a panic you should really go the extra mile to get a good night’s sleep.
Try listening to some calming music. I have a sleep playlist which consists of bands like The XX, Temper Trap, Band of Horses, White Lies, etc. But, if you are someone who needs to sleep in dead quiet, then you need to make things dead quite. Shut the door, put your phone off (or on silent if it’s your alarm), turn off your clocks (that ticking sound drives me mad), let everyone know that your going to sleep now and that they need to STFU.
Something else you can try is drinking some calming or night rest teas. I drink Night Rest Tea or Relax Tea from Annique (usually Night Rest tea before bed, and Relax tea during a stressful day or before a big presentation).
Next, make sure you have enough fresh air in your bedroom. Open those windows!
And lastly, try to get your bedroom as dark as possible. Studies have shown that lights can affect your sleeping pattern.
Check your eating habits
When I am stressed I usually either starve myself, or binge-eat a bunch of junk. Which leads to skin breakouts and weight-gain and a bunch of unnecessary stress.
Start by having breakfast every morning. It doesn’t have to be at 6am. I only eat breakfast at around 8 after getting to the office, because I find it difficult to eat earlier. And it also doesn’t have to be a bacon & eggs & toast with juice and coffee and some fried mushrooms. In Summer I usually have have a bowl of All Bran Flakes with yogurt. In Winter I opt for Oats, either flavoured or original with fruit and honey. (Try to stay away from kids cereal, as it doesn’t keep you full for very long).
Get some exercise
Get your butt to the gym. Do some yoga. Run or jog or even walk around the block or to the grocery store to pick up milk and eggs. Exercise will not only get you into shape, but releases endorphins that make you feel good, and it will tire you out which will help you fall asleep. You don’t need to spend a lot of time on it. Take 10 or 15 mins before bed and when you wake up the morning to do a quick yoga sequence, or some pilates, or do a couple of sit-ups and push ups. If you are keen on trying some yoga I recommend subscribing to Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. She has excellent videos for complete beginners, and she has a very relaxed and informative approach which I love.
Make a change
Get a hair cut, try a new lipstick or mascara, go to that restaurant or coffee shop you’ve been wanting to try for a while or change up your morning routine. You’ll be surprised how big of an impact a tiny change can have on your life.
Don’t skimp on me-time
It’s very important to make time for yourself. To finally read that book you bought but never actually read, or that DIY project you’ve been wanting to try, or that scarf you wanted to knit before last year’s winter came around. Whatever it is, make time for it. On of my goals for this year is to read more books and to spend more time exploring religion. I’ve been getting to these things simply by cutting down on TV. My evening routine usually ended with me watching a few episodes of series or a movie before bed. Now I spend that hour or two reading, and it’s really been a breath of fresh air! (It also makes me really sleepy, which is an extra bonus)
I know how tempting it can be when friends invite you out to dinner or drinks, or when someone suggests Pizza Friday at work, but you know you can’t afford it. I also know how embarrassing it can be to have to say no and then explain why you can’t participate. But believe me, you’ll thank yourself later. Saying no is one of the best lessons I have learned in my life.
Talk to someone
I have a friend who is very close to my heart, but whom I don’t see as often as I prefer. But whenever I do see her, she unknowingly inspires me in ways I cannot explain.
You don’t necessarily have to talk about your stresses (even though it’s good to get it all out), you can just have a good chat and a laugh to take your mind off things. Call up that friend that you haven’t talked to in a while.
OR if you don’t feel comfortable about talking to someone, or you you don’t feel like company, write it all down.
And lastly, don’t take life so seriously. I promise you, whatever slump you’re in, you will get through it! This is simply an obstacle which you will overcome, and learn a valuable lesson with it. My motto in life is everything happens for a reason, which I know is very cliche, but I stick by it. There are times in life when, no matter how hard you kick against something, it will find a way. Because it’s simply meant to be. And when you realise it, it will put a smile on your face.
I would like to leave you with this quote from Bridesmaids:
“I’m telling you, hitting bottom is a good thing… because there’s nowhere to go but up.”