Life can be hard. Particularly as we get older, the shitstorm comes all at once. Money issues, kids having teen issues, aging parents, relationship drama, career crap. It is intense. As my wise mother says, 'Everyone gets a turn.' Noone is immune to the Ferris Wheel of Hard Times.
While there are many guides to self-improvement and ways to get more from your shitty life, or how to manage the crap hand you're currently playing, I have found them to be condescending and pretty useless. Yes I know we should eat well, and meditate but what if things are beyond that. There are somethings kale can't fix.
As an elixir to this, I have written a self-protection and self-care guide for really hard times. All this advice has been hard earned and comes with a sincere wish that whatever is happening for you right now, will soon pass.
- Do not engage with other people's drama's when you're going through your own. You only have enough energy for you right now. If they don't get this, too bad.
- Do not take on guilt about why things are the way they are. Awful things happen and unless you murdered someone, then chances are you're not to blame.
- Know what your triggers are. This means curating what books you read, what films you watch and where you spend your time and whom with. Do not watch a show about what you're currently dealing with. It's just going to set you off. Don't go to the place where you did that thing with the person you loved who is no longer in your life. It's just going to make you sad right now.
- If you're not sleeping, go to the doctor and get something to reset your sleep. Don't waste time. Sleep is everything, It's how we clean out our noodles of bullshit and process what's happening.
- Know what makes you feel better. And I don't mean alcohol or drugs. A home-cooked meal, or the washing machine murmuring in the laundry, or making your bed every morning, or going to the library. Whatever it is, do more of it.
- Sometimes you just have to push through. Because if you stop, you will fall down and never get up again. Just keep going. I advise listening to podcasts, music, audiobooks, all carefully curated of course. Sometimes being alone with your thoughts is neither helpful or healthy.
- Find the right person to debrief to. Could be a doctor, therapist, nurse, friend, distant relative, next door neighbor. You need to talk it out, and the right one is invaluable.
- Find your own form of meditation. Could be sewing, knitting, gardening, woodwork, cleaning, walking. You know what works for you.
- And finally, accept offers of love, and support and help. You're worthy of it, I promise. And in time things will turn around for you, and you pass that help on. That's the rule.
- It's okay to not leave the house or shower every day. This is your crisis. Don't try and meet other people's expectations of how you should be managing.
Sending love and I hope whatever you're going through right now becomes lighter and brighter soon.