How Can We Help Ourselves When We’re Feeling Low?

I couldn’t pin-point why I woke up and I felt down yesterday.  Nothing specific had happened.  I followed my regular routine of getting up at 7 and going for a walk with my dog.  Usually when I step outside into the morning air and connect with nature and the world around me I feel uplifted.  That morning a sadness stayed inside me like a heavy sore spot in my chest.  When I got back to the house I felt better for the walk than I would have if I’d stayed inside, but the sadness wouldn’t shake.

I did my yoga, had my healthy breakfast, connected with a friend, doing what could to help myself feel better, but it was still there.  I had a shower.  As I was getting dressed I heard a strong, clear thought go through my mind.  It said “I just need to be very tender with myself today”.  I took that on board and gave myself permission to feel how I felt and to be kind to myself.  I stopped telling myself it wasn’t ok and that there was something wrong with me, and where I could, I made choices throughout the day that went easy on me, reminding myself to be nice to me.  By the end of the day I felt a little more content.

On my way home after work I went to the supermarket.  I browsed around and got what I needed (of course only going in for that one thing and ending up with a whole basket).  At the checkout I had a nice friendly exchange with the checkout girl, asking her how her day had been.  I could sense she was a bit bored.  She replied in the usual way most of us reply, saying “Good”.  Then she asked me how mine had been.  I said “I’ve had an odd day, not so great.  Didn’t feel so good this morning, but now I’m feeling a bit better.”  I paused, we exchanged a smile, then I said, “But it’s not so much about whether we feel down or not, it’s more about how we lift ourselves out of it.”  Her face brightened as that idea sunk into her awareness and she replied “That’s true. I’d never thought of it like that”.

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