Small ways to feel OK (even when it’s hard)

Posted: 29th May 2017 by Elizabeth

Are you feeling overwhelmed?

If you are, I feel you. It’s hard when life seems to be overpowering: your sense of control plummets, just like your energy levels do. Molehills become mountains, to-do lists become suffocating reminders of all that you WON’T get done. It’s awful.

At times like these, the smallest things can help to make your day just a bit more bearable. It’s easy to forget this when you’re stressed out, down or anxious – heck, it’s probably the last thing on your mind. That’s why one of my favourite articles is The Mighty’s 101 Self-Care Suggestions for When It All Feels Like Too Much. It lists dozens of simple ways to give yourself some love and me-time when life is too much: taking a moment to breathe deeply, watching the sunset or going for a walk.

For me, the simplicity of the ideas makes the list itself a comfort to read. After all, when you’re feeling really flat, taking time out for yourself seems impossible. Attempting small, doable tasks make this prospect more manageable and attainable.

With that in mind, here are some things I try to do when life feels overwhelming. Some relax me, while others make me feel like I’m more in control of life. Perhaps they might work for you too. Give yourself five minutes, 30 minutes or however long you can – it will be worth it.

  1. Snuggle my cats or give them treats
  2. Eat a bowl of two minute noodles
  3. Brush my hair. Buff my nails. Feel more fresh.
  4. Do yoga (Yoga Studio is a great app, or try this free anti-anxiety workout)
  5. Drink a glass of champagne. Even if it’s a Monday evening.
  6. Listen to Nevermind
  7. Drink a mug of hot chocolate
  8. Walk barefoot on a soft carpet or lawn
  9. Play an old-fashioned game like Tetris
  10. Write down exactly how I’m feeling. It feels cathartic just putting it out there.
  11. Have a nap
  12. Check the weather forecast. Mundane things can feel strangely good, sometimes.
  13. Go outside and sit in the sun for five minutes
  14. Water my pot plants
  15. Paint my toenails
  16. Do a crossword
  17. Plan an imaginary trip by trawling travel agency websites
  18. Take a selfie
  19. Follow the antics of Princess Cheeto, or two cats called Tussetroll and Tingeling
  20. Remember that we don’t have to feel alone. If things are too much, there is help.

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