I’ve been in somewhat of a dark place for the past month. The Christmas/New Year period was brutal to me and things in my life certainly did not go as I hoped that they would. Shit happens, as William Shakespeare once said (probably).
I’m not writing this post for the violin sympathy treatment, I’m writing it to help anyone else who is feeling down in the dumps and is struggling to get out of their own head. It goes without saying that this article isn’t targeted to individuals who suffer from any psychological medical condition. This post is for those suffering a bit of circumstantial blues, those who are looking to shake off that negative anchor, which is weighing you down and stopping you enjoying life.
I’m not back on top form yet, but I sure as s**t plan to be. So come along with me, smear on some emotional pain war paint, let out the battle cry, declare bloodshed on our useless misery and let’s reclaim that cheeky little twinkle back in our eyes.
I like to think I’ve picked up some nuggets of wisdom over the years and sometimes in order to know what’s good for us – we need to be consciously aware of what’s not good for us. Personally, I think it’s a good idea to stay away from, or at least cut back on the following seven things – until you’re back to your best.
The movies lied to you. The TV commercials lied to you. Hell, even those who love you are still lying to you. But don’t be angry with them, they don’t even know it themselves – they’re just regurgitating the same old crap they’ve been conditioned to believe since birth.
Alcohol does not always make you feel better when you’re feeling down. It’s a depressant for God’s sake! Therefore if you’re already feeling down, alcohol will amplify these bad emotions and you’ll only end up feeling worse. I love red wine like it’s my only child, but I know that it’s simply not my friend when I’ve lost my mojo – so I go without until I’m back to my best.
This may seem like a weird inclusion. I’ve always been a cup of tea man, but after living in Colombia for nine months I developed a bit of a coffee addiction. A proper cup of coffee done right is absolutely delicious, but it ‘s fake energy.
Think of it as an energy credit card system with a high APR on your power. No matter how much you borrow from it – you’ll always end up paying a lot more back than what you got out of it. Too much coffee lifts you up in the air and when it’s done with you, it unapologetically smacks you back down on the ground leaving you wired and anxious. Not what you need right now at all.
Sex/Dating (With Someone New)
I know, I know. I’m taking all the fun out of life now! Wasn’t I supposed to be making you feel better?! Look, I enjoy bumping uglies with a gorgeous specimen as much as you do, and I happen to agree with Mr. Kelly that there certainly is not even, a single thing wrong with a little bump n’ grind. But why get involved with someone when you’re not the best you that you can be?
Take it from a man who has tried to shag away his problems on numerous occasions in the past – it simply doesn’t work.
I’m not saying give your current lover a sex ban until you feel better, this is more for sex/dating with new people. The reason I say this is because when some people are feeling down – they often tend to intimately/sexually latch onto the first person who shows interest, with the belief that this person will make them happy and cover up any deep-rooted insecurities that they have. When you do that, you are completely at the mercy of someone else’s actions/words – and they end up running the show with your own emotions.
Make sure you can make yourself happy first – then get back on the dating scene when you’re the best version of yourself. Ya sexy bastard.
Travel can be a beautiful form of escapism, but when you’re feeling too low – you won’t fully appreciate it in the way that you should. I respect travel and I knew that I wasn’t in the right frame of mind during my trip, to welcome it and all of the wonderful things that I was planning to see and do.
I didn’t want to take anything for granted, so I’m planning a return to Mexico City soon, a place that is familiar to me – to stay long-term and pretend to be a grown up for a while. Think twice before throwing on that backpack to escape from something that you can’t truly run away from. Travel is one of the best things in life to do – but it’s not the magic fix-all pill that the hopeless romantics claim it is.
I personally think that we should hold very high standards for ourselves and also the people who we hang out with and connect the most with. Because when you feel like shit – the bad apples in your life will predictably rot, leaving you feeling even worse. You need good, decent, reasonably empathetic people in your life right now, but also people who aren’t afraid to give you a bit of tough love when you wallow too much.
If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘Swingers,’ – someone like Vince Vaughan’s character Trent Walker would be an ideal person to have in your life right now. If you’re not lucky enough to have someone as legendary as Trent by your side – just identify those in your life who you feel notably worse after being around and…stop being around them. You owe them nothing.
Or maybe the reason that you feel so sad in the first place is because you’re allowing another person to abuse/disrespect you and make you feel this way? Only you can answer that.
It’s very common for people to turn to what is known as ‘comfort food’ when they’re feeling crappy. Comfort foods are high calorie with low nutrient density food such as crisps, chips, ice cream and processed desserts. This leads to the individual putting on weight, feeling sluggish with mind fog and they end up feeling self-loathing on top of their sadness.
Personally, when I’m feeling too much of a negative emotion I can’t bring myself to eat at all and I lose too much weight in an unhealthy amount of time. Whichever one of these you can relate to, you need to realise how truly messed up this behaviour is and that you’re being violent towards yourself at a particular time when you need to be good to yourself.
Women need to concentrate on their iron levels more than men do and without enough iron stores they’ll feel weak and moody. Men need to pay special attention to zinc for testosterone production, and their immune system. These are of course to name only a few. Being deficient in vitamins and minerals will hinder your quest for happiness. How are you supposed to fight off this miserable dark cloud if you haven’t even primed your body with the correct fighting fuel?
Sign up to a free account to at cronometer.com and start to give your body the nourishment and respect that it deserves.
As much as I love personal accountability, sometimes it can go a little too far and we can end up being really awful to ourselves – especially during times when we’re already feeling miserable.
You need to cut that out and start being kinder to yourself. You psycho. When you put it into context – what you’re doing is you’re actually bullying yourself. That’s right, you’re both the victim and also the oppressor of a domestic abuse case – all inside your own head!
If your own mistakes and shortcomings have led to a proportion of your current sorrow – accept and learn from them and stop beating yourself up. There’s a big chance that you can be making yourself out to be a worse person than you actually are, because your outlook is so dark right now and your ego has fed off the negative messages that you have been constantly supplying it with.
Work on loving yourself again. Here’s a pretty handy rule to go by; don’t say anything to yourself, that you wouldn’t allow another person to say to someone who you love.
Coffee is delicious. Alcohol can be fun. Sexy time even more so. There’s just a time and place for these things. Sometimes we can be dickheads. But that doesn’t mean we should devalue ourselves so much that we poison/starve our body, allow cruel people to manipulate our tender emotions, and even talk to ourselves like crap.
So fake a smile, groom like you give a f**k, wear your best clothes tomorrow and keep on moving until you start feeling like the better version of you again. Why should you settle for anything else?