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Everyone goes through times when they feel as though everything is getting on top of them. Difficult choices need to be made, people are on your back and you just don’t feel yourself. Sometimes, you hit an all time low and you don’t know how you’ll ever get back up again. Just like many of you, I’ve been in that place quite a few times and it does make you question life. Why am I even here? What do I bring to this world? When will I be happy again?

This year has been, by far, the worst year of my life! I know that’s quite a statement to make and I would usually try to outweigh it with the positives, but, I honestly mean it with every inch of my soul.

I’m a very sensitive person so I do tend to worry a little more than most people. I don’t like disappointing people and I’m forever putting pressure on myself to do and be better. But recently, I’ve been feeling so unhappy about near enough everything in my life. I can’t remember the last time I said to myself ‘I’m in such a good place right now!’. I feel as though I need to be thrown into a box and shook until all the worry and sadness disappears.

I have suffered a little with depression in the past, although I was never medically diagnosed. But, I knew there was no other answer. It embarrasses me to say this but I used to cut my body with sharp objects. I know it sounds crazy and I hate myself for having done it but at the time it was the only way I could calm myself and find a release. I still remember the feeling I felt with each cut, a gentle calmness would fall over me and the stinging sensation was, in a twisted way, soothing. My arms and face looked a state and I still have very faint scarring but at the time it was the only answer. My close friends knew about it and would encourage me to get help, but, why would I admit to doing something so stupid? Everytime it happened, I’d tell myself I’d never do it again, but, then something would happen and I’d need that feeling of release once again. My brother and sister found me one night in my bedroom scratching myself with a pen-knife I’d found in the house and I remember the look on their faces. I was crying and begging them not to tell mum and dad. I don’t think they ever did say anything, but, my brother hid anything sharp he found in his room. This went on for around a year until I finally broke down to my mum and showed her my stomach, legs and arms. I remember just pouring my heart out and saying “I can’t do it anymore, I can’t carry on hurting myself!”. She booked me in at the doctors and made me promise to always talk to her about anything that was troubling me. Since that day, I have never cut or hurt myself.

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As I’ve grown up, I’ve learnt to deal with my worries and problems. Don’t get me wrong, there have been days that I’ve felt like giving up and running off the nearest cliff, but, then I tell myself ‘It will get better’. And deep down I do believe it will, I just don’t know when?

So, I thought I’d share with you my best advice when dealing with those ‘down days’;

Go and take a walk. This is probably the best piece of advice I could give. When I feel as though my head is bursting with problems and worries, I go and take a long walk. Night or day, hot or cold, I switch my phone on silent, grab my shoes and off I go. It not only gives you time to think about everything and work out solutions but It’s also a very healthy option too!

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Just cry! It’s NOT a sign of weakness! Crying is a perfectly normal thing to do. Just last week, I was sat in the bath crying over certain things going on in my life and I felt so much better after it. I’ve figured out crying is my new form of release so I tend to do it quite often when I feel life is becoming too much.

Surround yourself with family. Family can help you more than you’d think. Even just being around them can cheer you up. I know that if I ever feel upset or I’m just in need of a pep-talk, my family are always there for me.

Watch a film. I try to watch a film whenever possible. I find that they take my mind of ‘everyday life’ and transport me into another world. I personally like to watch Rom-Coms and Thrillers.

Meet up with friends. Friends can sometimes be the best form of medicine for when you’re feeling down. Whether it’s to tell them about your problems, a day of shopping or even a few cheeky drinks, they’re always there for you when you need them!

Snooze away your problems. Sometimes, a little nap works wonders. Research says that lack of sleep can cause stress and frustration. So ensure you get your 8 hours sleep every night! If you struggle on getting those 8 hours in then take a little nap in the day.

Cuddle. Whether it’s your partner, your child or even your mum! Just grab a cuddle. Guaranteed it’ll make you feel a little better just knowing someone is there.

Make something! Baking, Crafts or Creating, just spend a little time doing something a little different. It’ll certainly take your mind of whatever is bothering you and you might even learn a thing or two!

Write it down. Whatever is upsetting you or causing you to worry then write it down. You can then set out ways to solve the situation and come up with solutions or just write it down and come back to it at a later date. I tend to lie in bed at night and over think everything I have to do and then before I know it, I’ve been in bed an hour and still no closer to falling asleep. So, I write a list of things to do or any problems I have on my phone or a piece of paper and then sort it all out in the morning.

Think Positive! I know it is probably impossible to even think of anything else other than negativity, but, please try and stay positive! There is always something positive in any negative situation. And as my mum always says “We’re not the only ones going through this”. And even though it is hard to imagine, it is the truth.

So, there you have my top tips for dealing with ‘down days’. And even though right now my world feels a little dull and I don’t feel my usual self (maybe because I’m a little ill writing this post), I know that this won’t last forever. Problems will sort themselves out and worries will disappear. And please DON’T do what I did. It’s a silly thing to put yourself through.

I hope both the advice and my little story helps,

You can find help here too!

Sincerely Sophie x