Life: Feeling Low

I normally get a little low in the dark and dull days that come after the New Year sets in. With a whole host of birthdays in December and early January, it’s always a little bit of an anti-climax when they’re over. And pretty much a good pep talk from myself, a bit of forcing myself to think happy thoughts, and everything is right as rain again. So when I sat in a pretty deep depression last week, it came as a little bit of a shock.

 photo 2014-09-13150354_zpsb756f772.jpgRegular readers will have noticed that only two posts went up. Colleagues noticed I had retreated into my shell. There were a few tearful nights, a few moments where I was perhaps a little short-tempered. But what worried me most of all was my lack of motivation. I didn’t want to do anything – not blog, not work towards a university deadline, no knitting, no cooking, no baking, it was even a no to online shopping. I pretty much just sat on my bed and was miserable. Luckily I have a great support network, and I was also able to recognise that I needed to do something quickly or it would only get worse.

I’ve started making an effort to get fresh air on my lunch break, which is easier now the local park is open again. On Monday I sat in my coat, in brilliant sunshine, eating my sandwich and reading a book. I then wasn’t tempted to nap at my desk, and I came home, cooked soup and was suitably productive.

A recommendation from his darkest days at university, my boyfriend told me to put the radio on if I’m feeling lonely. Surprisingly so much more effective than just music, I find myself feeling less alone even if there’s no one about.Still a student at heart (and remembering that’s what I will be again next September), I’m trying to learn that a little treat now and then isn’t bad. Whether it’s ingredients for my favourite meal, or even just a coffee on the way to work, little treats can really perk up my day. I treated myself to a hazelnut hot chocolate, topped with cream and marshmallows, last Friday. Best thing I’d done all week.

Helping others feel happy is also something which seems to give me a real buzz. The thanks I get when bringing a fresh batch of cakes into work puts a huge smile on my face, and it’s having double the effect this week as we’re raising money for a fantastic cause (you can read a bit more about our campaign here). 2014-09-28 10.14.21A fry up makes everything better. Fact. I went home this past weekend and had one both mornings. Bacon, eggs and toast are my staples, black pudding is a regular addition, though this weekend saw the return of a new favourite. Mushrooms fried in bacon fat. That size 8 dress I was dieting to fit into? I changed it for a 10… (in defence, it was tight on my hips which are stubbornly bony).

I’ve also tried to put less pressure on myself. Its not easy, as I’m such a perfectionist and I’ve never let myself off. Getting less than perfect marks? I’ll beat myself up about it for years (I can still get tearful about my A-Level results, and they were far from bad!). I forced myself not to type out a blog post I didn’t have the heart for. And to be honest, nothing bad happen. My views dropped by probably 20 a day, which is miniscule in the grand scheme of things. I still gained followers. So now I know the world doesn’t end when I don’t push myself to my limit, I can relax a little more. Have a long soak in the bath instead of rushing back to my laptop. Stand and cook a risotto without thinking of my to-do list. Eat a greasy fry-up without thinking of my hips…

 photo 2014-08-30143507_zps857050c4.jpgI’m now feeling much more happier having made some time for me. Sleep is coming slightly easier at night, though it would be great to not see midnight most nights. I’m still convinced the dull, dreary weather doesn’t help (if anyone wants a natural light box reviewing, I’m your SAD girl!) but making the most of my days is definitely helping keep me cheerful. I’m sure my laptop is grateful for the rest too…

What do you do when you’re feeling a little down?

  • Such an honest post, but thank you for sharing. I’ve had similar times and I definitely think that darker days are part of the problem- no matter how much I say I love autumn/winter! Taking the pressure off and treating myself are key to helping myself feel better. Watching some good TV, buying myself nice food and just having a bit of me-time are the things I do to feel better. Oh, and crazy dancing with my housemates!
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

    • Thank you! It seems like dark weather is a problem for a lot of people! x

  • Aw well glad you are feeling better! Sounds like you handled it well. I know what you mean, my birthday in November then Christmas in December – Jan and Feb are usually a bit lacklustre! I also take vitamin D which really helps with the SAD 🙂 x

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

    • Oh, thanks for the recommendation. Vit D is something I never thought of taking, though obviously it makes complete sense! x

  • Sometimes you do just need to take a break and reduce the pressure on yourself. Glad you are feeling better now!

    Emma |

    • I definitely agree – but letting myself chill out is the hard part! x

  • taniajayne

    This is a brilliantly written post & something I’m sure everyone can relate to on some level. You are quite right not to push yourself to your limit at times like these as one day you’ll push yourself past you’re limit & the repercussions of that will certainly be detrimental to both your physical & emotional wellbeing. I like that you’ve mentioned that it’s good to treat yourself at times like these, just that little thing to brighten up your day or treat you could plan for the weekend to give you something to look forward to can make such a difference! Thank you for sharing this with us! Xx

    Tania |

    • Thank you for your lovely comment! Even just treating myself to a coffee puts a smile on my face, I must remember to do it more often! x