We all have those days when we wake up and it feels like everything starts to go wrong from the very first moment that we open our eyes
I know I can’t be alone here!
Everyday stresses and strains can leave us feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted to say the very least. Throwing something like alopecia into the grind of an already stressful everyday life can often feel like the tipping point for many sufferers.
As someone who has suffered from depression (yes really!) AND alopecia I spent many years simply waiting for those bad days to pass and brighter days to come along. I left everything to chance because I believed that I didn’t have any control over how I felt. Depression is a chemical thing. It’s a brain thing. How could I possibly be in control of something that complex!
When depression came my way it felt like I didn’t have even the energy to brush my teeth or lift a cup of tea to my lips. Breathing felt like an effort and you would have given up on all possibility of me actually being able to engage in a conversation with you.
Depression’s a Bitch with a capital ‘B’
The main reason I create guides and e-books is because I wish I had something … ANYTHING when I was depressed that let me know I wasn’t really alone. The same goes for why I set up my business. Yes of course I need to make a living but I feel incredibly honoured and grateful that I get to make a living AND make a difference to other sufferer’s lives in such a positive way. I can’t imagine doing anything other than what I’m doing right now with Aspire Hair. I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
I wanted to put together this little guide and I hope that you’ll find some fun and effective little tips in here to help you out when you’re feeling like the world is against you.
I don’t claim it’s some kind of magical cure for feeling blue! What you’ll find in this guide is a list of 10 things that always help me to feel more positive and relaxed when I’m having a crappy day.
FYI – The smallest of things can affect our moods!
What gets me?
Now there’s a question!
My partner Gary says I’m over sensitive and touchy. Other words such as mardy and moody have also popped up over the past 10 years of us being together too!
Perhaps these personality traits of mine are out of my control and it’s all down to genetics? (My mum suffers from bipolar disorder). Perhaps my down days and days of feeling blue are the result of what I’ve been through in my life?
I’m one of those people whose mood can be easily affected by those around me. I have a lot of empathy and it’s not unknown for me to start blubbing along with one of my clients at a consultation! I can’t help it. If someone is upset or feels emotional pain then I empathise very deeply with it.
I considered this quirky personality trait of mine a curse up until around two years ago when I realised that actually, this trait allows me to be good at my job! It’s beneficial to my clients and my business that I act and feel this way. The fact that it comes totally natural to me is an added bonus!
So, as helpful as my overactive empathy is it also can be a real pain in the butt sometimes!
I remember my first call to the children’s hospital in Sheffield to see a little girl going through chemo. The hospital had called me and asked me if I would be able to visit a young lady aged 9 and arrange some new hair for her.
I knew this was going to be difficult. Difficult for the little one and her family and difficult for me to hold it together.
I’m going to share with you the 10 things that I always do when I’m feeling blue in the hope that if you get an attack of the blues that you’ll benefit from the following ‘strategies’
It’s not magic that your about to read but I really do find these things very helpful and it’s all about focusing on the positive and allow ourselves to feel better.
You might be saying to yourself “Yeah OK Emma! But it’s not my fault that I feel crap. I’ve lost my hair and I can’t control that. It’s my alopecia’s fault that I feel sad!!”
Here’s a little secret for you ….
YOU CONTROL HOW YOU FEEL
It’s true that we can’t control everything and we can’t control other people’s actions.
Q) Can you tell me the one thing that we CAN control, 100% of the time without risk of failure?
A) Our behaviour!!
Think about it …. We have control over our behaviour and our thoughts.
You may not believe it to be true now but I hope that once you’ve finished reading this you’ll believe it and feel more hopeful and less ‘Blue’
Let’s get started …
1. The power of deep breathing
Sit down somewhere peaceful and quiet. It might be in your bedroom after the kids have fallen asleep, in the living room while the little one is taking his/her afternoon nap or in a park somewhere or the woods. Close your eyes. Take three long, deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. With every breath in imagine feeling peaceful and rested and with every breath out imagine any stress and strains leaving your body. Deep breathing is a simple yet powerful way to instantly calm your body and mind and using a simple visualisation technique such as imagining that every breath in is full of positive energy and every breath out releases worry, stress and negativity is equally as powerful.
2. Read something positive
Reading any book for a little while helps us to quieten our minds and focus on the story we're reading. Reading something positive is even better. Books such as self-help books are fabulous things! I’m an avid reader and as much as I love my fiction I always love to read books that are going to help me learn new techniques to manage any troubles that life may throw at me. Sometimes all it takes is for someone else to remind you that actually, everything is going to be OK.
3. Allow yourself some rest
Sometimes people simply don’t ALLOW themselves the time to feel peaceful and relaxed. As odd as it sounds it’s actually very true! I’m going to hold my hands up here as I can be guilty of this too. Worry, anxiety and negative thinking can quickly develop into bad habits that are hard to break. Sometimes these habits will have been formed many years or even decades before they begin to cause real problems in your life and your emotional health. Sit down and think about the things that YOU really enjoy doing. The things that bring you joy and make you feel happy. It might be sitting down to write, playing an instrument, walking in the rain or taking a walk on a sunny day. It’s so important to dedicate some time every week (or everyday single day if you like!) to simply do something you enjoy doing. Turn off your mobile phone, close your laptop and get off of Facebook! This time is dedicated to you and you alone.
4. Be kind to yourself
Imagine the situation …
You’re out with your mum or best friend and you notice that her mascara has run on one eye. What do you do? Some people may choose to no nothing or you may choose to discreetly tell her that her mascaras run right? Would you start shouting at her and say “You idiot! I can’t believe your mascara has run and you’ve not even noticed it yet. You are so stupid, I can’t even look at you, and you’re disgusting …”
Erm NO! You’d never do that to your mum or friend because 1) its nasty 2) it’s un-acceptable to speak to her in that way and 3) Let’s be honest, its only mascara and it can be easily fixed!
Now think of how judgemental and nasty we are to ourselves sometimes.
Would you talk that way about someone else? Most of us wouldn’t because were nice people! The point is how you view yourself is very different from how others view you. You should be a little kinder (OK a lot kinder!) to yourself. A helpful way of doing this is to write a list of all your positive qualities.
5. Create your own spa hour
Giving yourself an hour of pampering really helps to lift your mood when you’re feeling blue. You might be thinking ‘I can’t afford a massage and a facial’ and that’s fine and fair enough. I’m not made of money either and an hours’ worth of treatments are not in everyone’s budget. What you CAN do though is create your own spa hour. Buy or make your own facial (see the recipe below) and treat yourself to some lavender bubble bath. Light a few candles and play some relaxing music. You can download relaxation and spa music for free from the app store and it’s fantastic! I use it every evening during the school week to help my six year old drift off to sleep.
Banana Face mask
Take two bananas and mash until it forms a paste. Add two tablespoons of honey. Apply the mask and wear for ten minutes, onto a dry face. Massage your face for 5 minutes before removing.
Oatmeal and Honey face mask
Mix 2 tablespoons of un-cooked oatmeal and 2 tablespoons of honey and apply to clean dry skin. Leave for 15 minutes and then rinse away
Strawberry face mask
Mash 5-6 medium sized strawberries with a few tablespoons of natural yogurt and spread on clean dry skin. Wear for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
Put on your favourite music and dance your heart out! I call this my sneaky exercise routine because it doesn’t feel like exercise at all it’s actually incredibly fun and uplifting. Get the kids to join in too.
7. Be geek (chic)
Get yourself feeling and acting a little more organised by creating a folder for your goals and to do’s. I currently have three of my own folders on the go for 2014, one goal book, a gratitude book and a goal and action sheet! My family folder contains a calendar and print offs of the kids school holidays, birthdays and dates that I need to be remembering this year as well as ideas of holidays, day trips and breaks I’d like to take with my family and my work folder contains my calendar, daily to do sheets, goals and the actions I need to take to make it to my goals and inspiration on where I plan on taking Aspire through 2014.
One of your personal goals may be to sit outside in the sun for at least 10 minutes a day and read a book, or have a bubble bath every night to help you relax. Whatever you decide, write it down and stick to it.
8. Surround yourself with positive people
We all have a friend or family member that has the ability to suck the energy right out of us. If their super good at working their negativity then even a phone call or text message from them has a negative effect on your mood! Surrounding yourself with negative people rubs off on you so do yourself a MASSIVE favour and surround yourself with as many positive people as possible.
9. Make your morning blissful
Starting your day by throwing yourself out of bed due to over laying and then screaming at the kids because you’re running late is not anyone’s idea of relaxing and blissful. A morning routine can really help you to start your day in the best possible way. Brainstorm some ideas now on how you can create a fab-tactic morning routine. I’ve included an example of my ideal morning routine below …
· Check emails from my iPhone while sipping my tea preferably on the garden if the weathers nice
· Check on our Facebook page and Twitter and respond to any comments from the night before or through the night
· Put on some music and get dressed and apply make-up if I decide to wear it that day (sometimes I don’t even bother with the make up!)
· Set off to the Aspire salon no later than 9.30am
Of course, some days it doesn’t work out as id have planned. But having a routine in place makes it a lot easier for me to start my day the best possible way. And when your day starts well everything else seems to fall into place nicely too.
10. Get a hug!
Receiving a hug from someone you love has been proven to lift low moods. Maybe your partner, mum or dad, a best friend or your kids could give you some valuable ‘cuddle time’. The fantastic things about hugs are that you get a rush of different feelings depending on who is doing the hugging. For example when my partner Gary hugs me I feel safe and secure, when my kids hug me I feel proud and grateful and when one of my best friends hug me I feel supported and fully understood. A hug is an amazing thing. Out of say 6 consultations I do in a day at Aspire I’d say 4 of those clients will hug me at the end of the session. That means I get a lot of hugs every day!
Love from Emma xxx
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Love from Emma xxx
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