Some days are just going to be shit and there is nothing much you can do about it. For me those days are frequently Tuesdays. My best theory is that I build up my ability on Sunday to face another week of work (i.e. interaction with people, dealing with my emotions and generally looking like a professional when inside I am cry like a baby being slobber mauled by a gummy hyperactive Labrador puppy) and by Monday evening all my reserves are used up, Tuesday comes around and I have little to offer. It’s still the beginning of the week and I still have three more days to get through but I’m already tired from Monday. By Wednesday I am at the hump and can at least find solace in the fact that it’s half way through the week. Thursdays and Fridays are hard and tired but there is a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a decent sleep in Saturday morning and having full control over who I see and what I do for two whole days. On the weekends I can do as I please. It is my choice; interactions or hermit? Stay home and watch dvds, eat uncooked baking dough and build up some resource for the following week? YAY!
From this melancholy grey Tuesday morning (lunch time I guess is more accurate) I am willing myself to find ways to manage my anxiety, my lethargy and my dysthymia.
Ergo I will share one of my swanky management techniques which often works when nothing else seems to. I have been told on and on to be kind to myself and to try to just get through the day but no one tells you how to actually do it. I concocted this technique when I was in the depths of my grief after a couple of close to home family deaths. Nothing was really making me feel better and I didn’t expect anything much to so I would try to suck as much joy as possible from the smallest things. I wrote a list of 5-6 small things that I could always depend on to cheer me up, even just the tiniest bit. These where not big life plans or exciting changes, these were about slowing down my grief and misery and just trying to focus for a few minutes on the little things in my life that still gave me joy.
I like to think about when I was a child when little things would make me so giddy and happy that I would dance around the house like I’d won a life time supply of My Little Ponies. My mother letting me buy some weird treat at the supermarket during our weekly shop (I believe it was one of those pokie things with the chocolate sauce that you dipped cracker sticks into?) Or finding something on a field or in the garden, relics of inhabitants past. Or having my Dad cook my favourite meal and knowing there was pudding to come after it, my joy for roast pork has never died.
So I will share my list of little life happies which I try hard to use as battery on the front-line of the Bruce/Anxiety war for my soul:-
Cuddles. Yep a basic thing but human contact with someone you like can make all the difference. Most of the time these days my boyfriend supplies these but I have friends and a Mother who are pretty damn good at such things as well.
Kitty cuddles. My cat brings me an unrealistic amount of joy in spite of her terrible temper and tendency to bite me for no reason.
Food. I’m not saying I go home and eat a whole block of chocolate, 3 loves of cheese on toast and a packet of biscuits but when I was very very sad the idea of going home and eating cheese or getting sushi for lunch made me feel just a little better about the world. A sausage roll has been known to do wondrous things to my mood.
Baking. I love to cook and I often rage bake when things really piss me off. Baking is a full body exercise and allows me to focus on something other than myself for an hour or so AND then I get to eat and give away yummy noms to my friends.
Blankets/pillows. No matter how bad it is I can go home and wrap myself in my blanket or a duvet and the comfort will rasp off the bad edges. A comfy bed, a nap and/or just wrapping your body up makes me feel all in utero, calm, safe with the utmost snugglitude.