Things to Do When You Feel Terrible
Do you feel terrible this week? Read on!
My eyes currently look like the dead sea. I've consumed enough iced coffee and puffy cheetos to fill at least 1/16th the stomach of a blue whale. I feel like I'm barely hanging on my fingernails, I've spontaneously developed acrophobia and shiver just pulling my shoulders back, but I keep existing, so the newsletter must go on.
I know that I write a lot about happiness and recovery, but I'm not going to sell you on some idea that my life is perfect or always on 100% of an upward trajectory. That's disingenuous and doesn't really help anyone except to give me social credit, maybe.
After all, I'm a writer - which means there's probably something wrong with me. Would you believe me about my so-called perfection even if I lied about it?
In truth, I am often a coward as much as I am courageous. I feel something swirling at the center of me, and it feels kind of like a rotten mass of detritus stuck in a whirlpool. And I've spent years pulling away from it, trying to ignore it, trying to escape from myself. A foolish plan if one was ever conceived, because there's only one way to escape from yourself, and at that point there is no way to even conceive of escape, or self, or anything really.
Have you ever looked at yourself in disgust in the mirror, and immediately wanted to run out in the middle of the street so you can get hit by a car? Have you ever woken up and wanted to crawl inside the pit in your chest?
From a professional feel-terrible-er, here's a list of things that you can do
Things To Do When You Feel Terrible (Emotionally)
1 Literally anything except laying there doing nothing
I am the champion of the fetal position. Trust me, it does nothing but make you feel worse as you dive down into the pit of your emotions. Do something. Anything. Anything except nothing.
2 Stop punishing yourself
Don't punish yourself by withholding food, comfort, water, or by berating yourself incessantly. Berating yourself into becoming better is a short-lived solution, as a punishment mechanism as a long-term incentive is one of the worst motivators to getting anyone to do anything, and the same implies to you. If you want to become better, you have to start treating yourself with decency and respect. Doing things to make yourself feel worse isn't going to get you closer to your goals.
3 Splash your face with water.
It calms you because the diving reflex is activated when you wet your face with cold water while holding your breath, which mostly impacts the cardiovascular system and lowers your heart rate. Science! If you can take a shower, even better.
4 Eat some food
Even if your stomach feels like it's a sandstorm, eat something - even if it's a little piece of bread. If you can be indulgent, order some of your favorite take-out.
I know, I know. Only do this if exercise is a part of your regular routine. And even if it is, I understand when you feel bad it can be like grinding your bones together to make bone dust. But if you can manage it, you'll feel much better afterwards.
Books movies, or video-games. Don't get lost in it and use them to ignore the problem, but they can be a good diversion while your brain sorts itself out. Sometimes you just need to relieve the pressure.
7 Do what you're designed to do.
Be productive if you can. I know the urge to call in to work or not do anything can be overwhelming. But we as humans are designed to be productive, and often feel our best when we're accomplishing something. If you're currently jobless, clean your place of residence, write in your journal, or send in a few applications.
8 Recognize that there is no magical cure
None of this is a miracle cure, and won't make you feel better instantly. All of this takes time.
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