I’m ritualistic by nature, and have believed in the power of figures ever since the Zoltan the Fortune Teller machine in Blackpool told me my lucky numbers.
When I’m feeling overwhelmed and sad, which can happen to anyone- therapy or no therapy- I focus on three things. Three things in an act of self care, which both grounds me and helps me to remain optimistic.
One: I do something extremely hedonistic and indulgent. I will binge-watch until I fall asleep in front of netflix, I might buy tacky magazines and flick through all of them in an evening, maybe even buy Ben and Jerry’s Birthday Cake ice cream (which even surpasses even cookie dough imho) and eat without guilt. I will do these things because I need to TREAT MYSELF and also completely separate myself from the situation at hand that’s bringing me so much misery.
Two: I do something helpful for someone else. I might be feeling completely horrible and that I'll never feel happiness again, but how can I improve the life of someone else, and get me some perspective? If I can’t bring a smile to my own face, I’ll try for the person next to me on the train. I might donate to charity, pass a compliment onto a friend, or give more time and patience to my parents who still don’t understand how Alexa works. No man is an island.
Three: I do something productive. I have a pinned google keep list of those niggling tasks that need to be done, that guilts me everytime I open the app. Organising my finances, research into careers, registering the superdrug card I always seem to lose. Doing just one of these things on a day I feel the worst reminds me that, I really am not the worst- I am strong and capable, and will not let my sadness define me.