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What to Do When You're Feeling Down

I've been feeling a bit depressed lately.

I think it's a combination of things: poor sleep, stress, illness, but also living out of alignment with my values.

What do I mean by that? 

I mean that I have been resorting to some of my old coping mechanisms and parenting tactics to gain compliance from my kids. You know, all those things I had sworn off. 

Things like lecturing, threatening, and raising my voice. Ugh. 😩

Perhaps you've been in my position, and it's making you feel like garbage. I get it.

Part of the reason I know it's hitting me so hard is because it brings back old memories of how I used to be. The neural pathways of yelling, punishing, and then beating myself up mercilessly are still very much engraved in my brain, even though they are less well-trodden now.

So here are some of the the things I have been doing to remind myself that I am more than my mistakes and get my brain back online:

Gifting myself time with friends. 

It used to be that I would isolate when I felt bad. But I know from experience that doesn't really help. And even more, I have come to the conclusion that I was always made to be fully supported. This means picking up the phone, reaching out to loved ones, and not just stewing in my room.  

Listening to a positive message before bed. 

Lately I've been swapping my usual Harry Potter audiobook for a positive psychology audiobook. Maybe for you it's a calming meditation, a praise and worship song,  or even your favorite comedian’s new book. Either way, the important part is that we get off a screen (so we can sleep better) and feed our mind something nourishing (so we can feel better). Also, our brain waves lower as we drift off to sleep, making us more open to shifting our negative beliefs.

Using a grounding ritual.

Don't worry, it's not witchcraft. What I mean is doing something mindful that helps you reconnect with yourself. For me, I brew a fresh cup of cacao and sit with it. I smell it, taste it, and think about how I am connected to all the people who came before me. Sometimes I sing a special song or do some breath prayers. Maybe for you it's doing some breath work or gardening. What's important is that you move slowly enough so that you focus completely on the task in front of you. A mini meditation if you will.

If you're looking a quick boost of encouragement, make sure to check out my Inspirational Affirmation Phone Wall Paper in my shop.

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